They’re Not Slaves, They’re “Playmates”

India is struggling to overcome a culture rooted in slavery.

Some in the middle class in India view their practice of taking poor children from their families as a “noble” cause. They tell themselves that they are saving them from hunger and extreme poverty. And they use ridiculous euphemisms that conceal the truth of what they are doing.

Here are some excepts from a well written article by Amelia Gentleman of Internation Herald Tribune | Asia – Pacific.

“Most argue that they are doing something noble by helping feed and clothe poor village children,” he said. “But the maids are usually badly dressed and hungry.”

“A lot of euphemisms are used,” she said in an interview. “These girls are known as ‘playmates’ for babies and ‘household helps.’ We have to repeat the message that this is a crime.”

“I know about the legislation, but it doesn’t apply to me,” she said. “I’m a good employer. I’m not doing anything criminal.” As to why children make such good servants, she said: “It’s easy to order them around. If they make a mistake, you can twist their ears.”

Clearly this is an issue that is not going to go away easily. Enforcement alone will not be enough. A massive public awareness campaing is needed to drive home the severity of the issue.


  1. Euphemisms is what you talk about. Talk about things that you have taken from that great nation. But it does not make a difference, you would probably be in the same fucked up state as you are in, where difference in a sister and mother doesn’t matter much. Oh, i am sorry, i forgot that you know the words of these words anymore.

    The legislation surely doesn’t apply to you but realize how fucked up an american family is when an average american movie ADVERTISES of broken relationships and MOVING ON …. how far can you move …. i will probably ask you in hell.

    hejdå until then,

    Just an average Indian or indien whatever you fucked up *from whereever* call it!

  2. “An Indian”… how about this… you tell us your version of the truth. I’m just reporting what the news is reporting.

    I know how screwed up American families are… you’re going to have to trust me on this one. I know my own nation has major issues around this very topic as well. I’m not blind. But none of this is helped by you just throwing insults at me personally.

    If the report above is a lie or misspoken or a half-truth, then tell us the full truth! The truth is what this is about. I’m not interested in spreading lies or defaming a nation. I’m concerned about children being forced into slavery and I’d like to see it ended. Are you saying this is not a worthy goal?

    As for hell, many are living it right now… they don’t need to wait like you and I.

  3. An Indian,

    You’ve given me some inspiration for analysis of our own systems.

    I am now bringing to mind stories from our own foster care system here in the United States. I have read stories of shocking abuse, including the caging of the children. And this from families who claim to be helping, to be “noble.”

    Is there much difference? No. The real question is a question of scale and culture. Is this endemic? Is this part of the American culture. I don’t think so. It deserves a closer look, however.

    I hope you come back and engage in dialog designed to help everyone understand the truth.

  4. Manas… I don’t know. I wish I did. That’s why I said this is not a simple problem. It’s not a problem that will be solved by authorities rushing in and jailing people. It obviously has be dealt with on many social levels. I’m not sure this can be fully resolved without dealing with widespread poverty and educating a society with deep roots in bonded labor.

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