Category Archives: India

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.

“Look, There Is The Prostitute Village”

As I’m reading, the stories I’m finding are chilling. Some of the writers are brilliant. Too brilliant perhaps. Their words make my skin crawl. Yet it spurs me to read further, talk more, SHOUT if I have to. It is forcing me to open my eyes  – wide –  and never shut them.

Then suddenly my Indian friend touched my arm. “Look,” he said. “There is the prostitute village.” And I was shocked beyond words. The road we were on was a major traffic artery but it was just two vehicles wide and it shot right through this wide-spot-in-the-road. There were trenches on each side of the road, with boards placed across the trenches at intervals. No side streets, no sidewalks, just a few dusty huts, some men squatting around, trucks and buses streaming by on the highway — and beds. Rickety cots lined the roadside. And standing in front of the cots were — children! Heartbreaking.

Sweet girls as young as ten years old.

The full story is here.

The Small Hands Of Slavery

human rights watchThis is a long but informative paper from Human Rights Watch that details the scope of the bonded child labor problem in India. The report is entitled, “The Small Hands Of Slavery.” I urge you, if you are reading this right now, to open your eyes to the truth of what is happening to children all over this planet.