Children In The Indian Slums



Have you ever looked at the face of a child born of poverty…looked right into his eyes, held the gaze and wondered what he was thinking? Or did you flinch, momentarily confused, and walk away relieved to be back within the comfort of your safe world?

If you ever did look, you would find yourself swimming into their depths….the little dark pools of eternal want - the one that comes with perpetual longing. Yet, there is a certain fearlessness too that stares right back at you. The reckless defiance that comes when there is nothing in life you can call your own. For with earth below their barefoot feet, and the open sky above, these children have no place to rest except the open arms of life itself. In that vast space, even fear dare not tread.



There’s an uncomplicated pattern to Lakshami’s days. She was named after the goddess of wealth and prosperity, though she’s never even seen the back of a rupee note, let alone what it can buy! At the crack of dawn, she’s up with other slum children, not to go to school, but to head towards the slum public toilets next to the railway lines. Here in the open ground, standing with hundreds of other exposed bodies, she breathes human excrement, germs and flies, while starving dogs look on. Trains amble past, carrying faceless passengers to their busy lives, as they cringe their noses at the stench. Lakshami is mildly amused; to her the smell symbolizes only one thing: home


She spends the day with her mother, combing through rubbish piles looking for materials they can sell for recycling. This means, working at least 12 hours a day and earning less than a dollar for it. Lakshami’s belly has the distended look that comes with slow starvation: breakfast on good days is a mixture of sugar and water; dinner a dry piece of chapatti. The rest is what her grubby fingers can find rummaging through trash ditched regularly by trucks near the slums.


Even garbage comes in different qualities, you discover after years of working through it for a living. The one collected from the big towns smells and tastes better, compared to the one from smaller districts. Yesterday, she even found a mango, half eaten on one side, and despite the rotting pulp, it tasted far better than anything she’d had in days.




Sanjay is, of course less lucky. He was sold to the slum’s beggar Master because his parents drowned in the monsoon rains that yearly flood Indian villages. He himself barely survived dysentery, and his malnourished frame can only just support him.That was a rare stroke of luck in itself, as most of the slum children die anyway of malaria, since the medical care even if available, is beyond their paltry means. Along, with other children, he’s now dropped off every morning at the town bazaars to beg for money, all of which he owes to the master naturally.


Ali, his begging partner has a different story altogether: he drags himself on crutches because the master amputated his legs when he was only a year old. You see, Ali is low-caste…and everyone knows that is worse than the life of a slum dog itself, though the money he earns exceeds their whole team put together. The master calls him his ‘prize’ beggar, and all the children secretly envy him.




Yes, it’s a morbid existence...but it leaves one wondering at the resilience of human nature to survive and prevail under the harshest of conditions. And so when the evening falls, and the slum children return to their little shacks, they find reasons to laugh…and the energy to chase each other with broken sticks and rags along those rat infested alleys. One sees them playing games like any other children, swaying to tunes of their own making.... even in that blighted corner of their little world!



And at night, no one comes to read or sing to them, or tuck them to bed, as there is no blanket to tuck, and only the hard ground to lay on. Yet, not a word of complaint escapes those dry lips….or ruffle those sunburnt brows... nor does it occur to them to question the bleak reality of their lives. They have learnt even at that age, not to ask, question....or even hope for answers. So they quietly close their eyes to a dreamless sleep… and despite the clouds that hang low on their days, the shadows all fade away….and for a moment they are neither poor nor rich, but just little children again.



Comments 122 comments

Nancy's Niche profile image

Nancy's Niche 6 years ago from USA

This story literally brought me to tears. These children suffer for the greed, cruelty and ignorance of adults and the corruption of governments. Where are the laws that protect children in countries like yours against these hideous “masters”?


myownworld profile image

myownworld 6 years ago from uk Author

yes, I know...it's just hideous! this is one of the reasons why I wanted to highlight such 'unchecked' cruelty going on in the world, where a bribe in the right hands can let anyone get away with it, irrespective of the what the law says. thank you Nancy for feeling for these children....I sometimes cannot sleep at night thinking over what they go through.


badcompany77 6 years ago

I love your writing my friend, it's when I read something like this that I get annoyed at some fool getting you annoyed. You are my best friend, you are one beautiful lady and one intelligent writer. Never argue with a fool, you will never win against one.

Always remember the important things in life like this hub and always remember you will always be 10 times a better writer than that fool. Take a hug and keep smiling, your hubs always make me appreciate my life, thank you xx


myownworld profile image

myownworld 6 years ago from uk Author

see, now I just sit here smiling from my heart...tears in my eyes and at a total loss for words! I should have listened to you....but I'm still learning to find my way here, and at times one just ends up saying things one doesn't mean. anyway, these forums are hard work...and it's easy to lose perspective here, so thanks for reminding me of the real reason why I'm here! you're just wonderful....xx


bloodnlatex 6 years ago

Suddenly I feel guilty for all of the things in my life. You can always make me feel lucky and fortunate just for being born where I was. Your words are magical. They can take the reader wherever you want them to go, and see what you want them to see. You are by far one of the best writers I've found on here, as well as one of my best friends as well.


Paradise7 profile image

Paradise7 6 years ago from Upstate New York

Bloodnlatex said it for me: I feel guilty for all the good things in life that these children don't have, and that I don't appreciate enough.

You have the writer's gift to bring these children to us, up close where we can't help but see and hear them, and feel for their plight.


myownworld profile image

myownworld 6 years ago from uk Author

blood, I'm just too emotional today...and your words tear me up again. thank you so much...for just feeling with me...it's all I ever hope for when I write. Never ever feel guilty for enjoying life... I think when i left Asia (years ago) I was haunted by this guilt. How could I ever be happy, when somewhere back home kids were starving? And then I realized that it's ok...and that just by smiling and giving out positivity u do your little bit...and even that is something...stay happy x

and paradise 7, such a brilliant writer like yourself, it's always a pleasure to be read by you! (or read u) thank you.


dohn121 profile image

dohn121 6 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York

I'd like every person that ever complained about the U.S. and their policies and their not getting "their due" with the Bailout to read this hub, myownworld. The world can't be that small if a society such as this one can exist on the very same planet. I absolutely heartbroken to see and read this hub. I did see Slum Dog Millionaire and so instantly thought of it while reading. I want to thank you for sharing this hub with all of us, myownworld. Thank you.


rmcrayne profile image

rmcrayne 6 years ago from San Antonio Texas

It is just unfathomable to me when I see these beautiful children smiling in pictures or on film. I don't even know what to feel. Is it a message of hope? Do I pity them? Have they just not yet learned to pity themselves? THen there are the vacant faces of young children raising their family of 2 or 3 or 4 even younger children. Heartbreaking.


myownworld profile image

myownworld 6 years ago from uk Author

dohn and rmcrayne...two writers I respect so much! thank you for your insightful comments.

yes, I ask myself those questions a million times too, but I've only come to one conclusion, that is human life is much more resilient than we can imagine...and because they haven't known any better, it's amazing how these children are almost content within that world of theirs - that in itself is heartbreaking too! cheers for reading..!


sannyasinman profile image

sannyasinman 6 years ago

I have travelled to India but left earlier than planned because I was too affected by the human suffering and abject poverty which was everywhere, and which I was unable to ignore. Unlike an image on TV, when you are there, you can't just switch it off.

Your article brings it all back so vividly, and once again I am filled with sadness and anger.

You consistently touch our souls with your profound accounts of human suffering and remind us all that we have so much to be grateful for, and absolutely no right to complain.

Perhaps one day, we will have raised human consciousness to a level where there will be no more Slum Masters because there will be no more slums, no more innocent children mutilated and exploited, tottering on the edge of starvation.

Perhaps.


cally2 profile image

cally2 6 years ago from Paraparaumu, New Zealand

I also travelled to India and was deeply affected by the poverty. But the hope and resourcefulness of the people was something they could wear with pride. With your permission, I would like to use this hub for my English class in a 'poor' New Zealand High School. I get a little tired of people in the West telling me how hard they have it. And if some of the people who read this do a little more to help, we can rid our planet of this terrible poverty. After all it would be cheaper to feed and educate these people and then trade with them rather than go to war with them or sell them weapons to go to war with someone else. As always your writing soars.


myownworld profile image

myownworld 6 years ago from uk Author

thank you for the wonderful words sanny and cally2....having witnessed these horrors at such close range, and now living in the west myself, there are times when I cannot stop marveling at the contrast between the two worlds....nor can I cease appreciating the little comforts people here take for granted!

And yes, these wars only seek to aggravate situations... (I for one have personally seen pakistan being destroyed by the impact of russian invasion of afghanistan, the repercussions of which are being felt to this day)

My heart is just with the common man (esp. children) caught in between....may there be hope for them! thank you once again for reading and understanding. and yes, cally2, i'm more than happy to know u want to share this work with students in your class...even that fills me with hope!


Money Glitch profile image

Money Glitch 6 years ago from Texas

Every time I read one of your stories and see your pictures, the world becomes smaller. We have got to learn that humanity is headed for destruction through our greed at the expense of others.

Please continue to share your experiences providing a voice to the things that needs to change throughout the world...


Terence Gray profile image

Terence Gray 6 years ago from London, UK

Thanks Myownworld! As said, you're a special writer who shares a piece of your heart with every word and the more I read the more it becomes obvious... you're a special being! Thanks loads for another amazing journey! TG


Flightkeeper profile image

Flightkeeper 6 years ago from The East Coast

The innocence of children living under such harsh conditions and still able to find a short time for play overwhelms me. Thank you.


myownworld profile image

myownworld 6 years ago from uk Author

thank you Money, Terence and Flight for reading and appreciating. yes, I know the unfairness of all this overwhelms one, but so does the way these children continue to laugh and play and be actually content with what they have! it's almost like a way of the universe to 'balance' itself out. it's fascinating really. cheers all...and all my love x


EnglishM 6 years ago

It is so ridiculously frustrating, that feeling of helplessness that there is absolutely nothing one can do to stop outrageous human behaviour. A well written chapter of a world that doesn't care. And yes, the ability to find moments to laugh and play is overwhelming. I'm honoured to be your friend.


Robert Clinton profile image

Robert Clinton 6 years ago

I think most of travelers go India to view there Culture, Forts and Poverty. I saw many of travelers enjoy to have photo with these. I think they are making them fun. Yeah India have around 30% people below the poverty line. I don't know exact way how to overcome from this( i just do some donation on NGO's). But i really hope the day will come when these families will eat three tomes a day, As India is Developing with nice speed.


myownworld profile image

myownworld 6 years ago from uk Author

thank you EnglishM and Robert for reading and commenting! take care..


tony0724 profile image

tony0724 6 years ago from san diego calif

myownworld that was just a heavy experience for me to read this hub and an even heavier one to stare Into the eyes of those children in the pictures . Especially that first one .

I like to consider myself a quasi tough guy but this whole hub made me want to cry and to pray for those children at the same time. I live near the mexican border and have been down to Tijuana and seen some very Impoverished circumstances . But gazing at the slums of India Is just heartbreaking as I have always had a big heart for children . Thank you for making me sit up and take notice.


myownworld profile image

myownworld 6 years ago from uk Author

I know how you feel tony...it's just one of those realities in life that takes so much courage to face.... But I admire you for being in touch with your real self....and for feeling compassion for these children. For that, I thank you. much love...


habee profile image

habee 6 years ago from Georgia

Wow. I'm practically speechless. This was amazingly moving. You are a gifted writer, my friend!


Storytellersrus profile image

Storytellersrus 6 years ago from Stepping past clutter

I have read similar stories in the books by one of my favorite authors, Rohinton Mistry. Not that I like to read of this horrific lifestyle but I want to know. Thanks for confirming what I have discovered in his books. I have not looked into the literal eyes of poverty as you describe.


myownworld profile image

myownworld 6 years ago from uk Author

a very warm thank you to habee and storytellers for reading and commenting (two very gifted hubbers themselves!). yes, am a great admirer of Mistry's works too...and A Fine Balance is one of my favorite books ever!...cheers for stopping by!


ralwus 6 years ago

I hear the voice of a woman crying from the wilderness. 'Tis you my dear friend. Who will help them? Who really cares? I wish I could do something, I do care and I am horrified of such things. I do not understand or barely comprehend how such things can exist today. You break my heart woman. Charles


myownworld profile image

myownworld 6 years ago from uk Author

something about this comment just touched me so deeply. maybe, it's knowing someone understands....feels the same helplessness....longs to reach out. I have just tears left now. happy, grateful tears. thank you....


ralwus 6 years ago

I am in tune with this, I am a veteran of poverty you see. I came from low standards, a boy discriminated against for his brown eyes and very dark skin, almost half-breed of Native American blood.Of my 6 siblings, I was only one that looked this way. I had to fight to survive and survive I did. I am in tune with the poor, the down trodden, no matter where they are.


myownworld profile image

myownworld 6 years ago from uk Author

see, if out of all that hardship was born a gifted and brilliant writer like you, then there is hope for every child in those slums! pain begets beauty... strangely, sadly, there is truth in it. my heart tells me so. sending you much love and joy...and smiling your way...x


tonymac04 profile image

tonymac04 6 years ago from South Africa

This is, as I've said in one of my Hubs, the real pornography - that children have to suffer like this in a world in which there is so much wealth. The system is so rotten that can allow this to exist. We need that "bloodless revolution" that fellow-Hubber Paraglider has writte of. The greed and selfishness that allows people, especially children, to suffer when we have in our hands the means to put a stop to it really gets "my angry up" as a friend used to say.

Thanks for this eloquent and moving Hub.

Love and peace

Tony


myownworld profile image

myownworld 6 years ago from uk Author

thank you for your insightful comment tony. yes, I know...among other emotions, anger is one thing I too feel, esp. if u actually witness the mass scale of this misery and poverty. I personally, can't get over how people can actually live...and even smile under these circumstances... inhuman as they are, but they do...and that tells me that this world must have a way of balancing itself out somehow...! anyway, cheers for stopping by and reading!


Duchess OBlunt 6 years ago

Myownworld, I have to set aside the time to dedicate to reading your hubs. I can be guaranteed to feel a whole gambit of emotions each and every time. I need to have a box of Kleenex handy, and the time to compose myself after. I have learned to make that time before coming to your hubs.

You are truly a gifted lady. The writing is only half of it. You have to "feel big" to write the way you do.

Again today I am sitting here blubbering as I read. Amazing what you can do with the written word!

Thank you. Sincerely, thank you.


Cheeky Chick profile image

Cheeky Chick 6 years ago

Myownworld, I always look forward to your hubs. I know they will stir emotions and that I will feel something.

This one left me wanting to snatch little Ali away and take him home with me. I wanted to take him and give him a life he could never imagine; one with stability, care, comfort, food, health and love. I even thought to myself, "How could his master ever catch me?" It was a beautiful fantasy, but then I wondered, would there be another baby enduring amputation to take Ali's place?

You are such a gifted writer. You will change the world with your words. I'll be cheering for you all the way.

Love,

Cheeky


myownworld profile image

myownworld 6 years ago from uk Author

Duchess and Cheeky...it's me who needs to thank you for such wonderful things you've said! I get very emotional when I read comments such as yours, especially coming from writers I admire and respect so much...hence, please forgive me if I'm not very eloquent here. Just know that i had tears in my eyes...and that I'm sending the warmest love and wishes your way...xx And yes, lots of healing for Ali too... my heart tells me it will reach him somehow.


DeBorrah K. Ogans profile image

DeBorrah K. Ogans 6 years ago

Myownworld, You have done a beautiful job here capturing the plight of the neglected children of India! It is heartwrenching, yet the Truth needs to be told. As you pour your heart out I pray the Lord will mend any inner brokeness! You are a talented, gifted and compassionate writer. Thank you for caring and sharing, Blessings!


myownworld profile image

myownworld 6 years ago from uk Author

Deborah you say the loveliest things always! it's entirely my pleasure to be read by you.....your compassionate heart understands I know. all my love and many thanks xx


MagicStarER profile image

MagicStarER 6 years ago from Western Kentucky

I, like you, find myself not able to sleep thinking of the millions of children in the world, who are suffering the consequences of wars and natural disasters, and victims of the unscrupulous. May God help them. There will be a reckoning one day, and all their tears will be wiped from their eyes, and their world will be a world full of love and plenty. Please look at my hub: World Refugees 2009. The world is full of the suffering, homeless, and starving. It breaks my heart.


myownworld profile image

myownworld 6 years ago from uk Author

Magic...I'm with you... thank you for reading and feeling with me. yes, will be reading your hub soon. take care and peace!


Ladybird33 profile image

Ladybird33 6 years ago from Georgia USA

Wow, this is so eye opening, we know it exists but sometimes we bury our heads in the sand to ignore what's going on in the world. Very emotional story, you did so good expressing this side that we tend to ignore. My very best, Ladybird


myownworld profile image

myownworld 6 years ago from uk Author

thank you ladybird for reading....and seeing what so many of us choose no to. A pleasure to read your comment! much love..


jess can help u profile image

jess can help u 6 years ago from Fresno, CA

Nobody wants to know that conditions like this exist, but unfortunately they do myownworld. We live in our safe environment, and eat really well...compared to what others eat...yet many complain what is placed in front of them. When I was a boy, my grandfather would save clothing, and canned goods,and once a year, he and I would cross the border into Mexico, Tijuana to be exact, with these goods. We would drive to a place just over the border called "shantytown". The people lived in shacks built mostly of cardboard, and scrap pieces of anything they could find. My grandfather would distribute his goods as evenly as possible to those poor people. You could see how sickly they were from not eating right, and the lack of hygiene. I never asked my grandfather why he did that, because I didn't have to...it was always in his eyes, and written on his face whenever he saw suffering.

You have a way of bringing this issue up, for everyone to see myownworld. People would be more grateful for the very little things they have, and realize how rich they really are. God Bless myownworld.

Jess


myownworld profile image

myownworld 6 years ago from uk Author

I'm smiling (with happy tears) at your comment Jess. Your grandfather seems like a great man. People who do these little kind acts, inspire me beyond words...and now I see where you get all your compassion from. We're the same...i can tell. Deep down inside, we long to help those who suffer... and hard and disillusioning as it seems at times, this need is something always burning within.

take care my friend...a very special thank you to you. x


AdsenseStrategies profile image

AdsenseStrategies 6 years ago from CONTACT ME at Adsensibilities@gmail.com

I completely support your efforts to highlight this issue. I honestly think that it is the priority of our times, ahead of terrorism, and certainly ahead of Britney Spears, David and Victoria Beckham, etc! Keep up the good work (I have some hubs on poverty also, if you are interested...)


Millionheir 6 years ago

It is surprising to hear you talk of this as I do not know many indians who discusss these matters, even the self made doctors who out of poverty became something. It is like they do not want to look back, they are ashamed. The caste system really is something it's like the jim crow law of the 50's. I'm glad you are helping to spread awareness when others turn the other cheek. Please keep up the good work.


myownworld profile image

myownworld 6 years ago from uk Author

Adsense thank you for your wonderful words...here and for fan mail. Just waiting for a quiet moment to read your work...hopefully soon! thank you for being a fan...am honored actually!

Millionheir: I do agree with you completely, and maybe, it's because I really do not belong any one place ( was born in pakistan to indian parents...but spent my whole life traveling; then lived in france for 5 years before moving to london!) One learns so much through intermingling with other cultures - but most of all, you learn perspective! thank you for the great comment!


maudine_05 profile image

maudine_05 6 years ago from United States

First, I wanted to say how great you're writing are,I didn't know until I came across your hub(of course how will I know had I not read one, LOL!) I came from a third world country the Philippines, where poverty are also evident.Back then,everyday, going to work I'd see children begging on the streets and all I can do is to give them whatever food that I have on my hands, though, I wanna give more, that time I was also a struggling,working single mother of two earning a bit higher than a minimum wage. Sometimes,I just don't wanna see those kids roaming because its really hard to stomach the plight they're going. Hay! those poor souls...


myownworld profile image

myownworld 6 years ago from uk Author

thank you Maudine for reading and sharing your own experience. i know...to see is to believe....and it's only till you see these beggars with your own eyes that the truth of this reality really hits you. My heart is with every single child suffering in this world...and I wish we could somehow do more for them! cheers again for stopping by!


Cheeky Girl profile image

Cheeky Girl 6 years ago from UK and Nerujenia

This is a good hub. Your heart has to go out to these people who have to survive in these conditions. I doubt the life expectancy is very long. We all have to do more to help eliminate poverty. Children are always the first victims of poverty. Every life is precious. Thanks for this!


Sa Toya profile image

Sa Toya 6 years ago from England

Such a good read! I share your thoughts on this thoroughly

It makes me realise there is so much I take for granted.

It's funny bring new to this and finding out there are so many people's work I enjoy reading.

I think you have a new fan here mate!


myownworld profile image

myownworld 6 years ago from uk Author

Sa Toya, thank you for reading and feeling with me! And for becoming a fan...cheers!


Sa Toya profile image

Sa Toya 6 years ago from England

Your Welcome

Sorry I didn't realise I posted a comment 3 time my laptop was freezing and being a nutter all day today


mega1 profile image

mega1 6 years ago

I know you are enlightened enough to know that with that condition comes the unrelenting images of despair and starvation in the greater world, while perhaps in your own piece of the world everyone thrives. It is difficult, I know, to perceive that we can do so little. I send my compassion to you and your awareness. Hopefully you have found ways to make some changes in your world. Great hub!


myownworld profile image

myownworld 6 years ago from uk Author

thank you Mega for that lovely comment! and for becoming a fan! Hope is a beautiful thing...and lives in the hearts of men....even in the poorest of slums! May it never die...


Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 6 years ago from Houston, Texas

Once again your words not only show the plight of children born into the slums of India, but show the huge heart that you have for all people. Hopefully your well written words will bring light and hope to eventually end this travesty.


myownworld profile image

myownworld 6 years ago from uk Author

Peggy, thank you for reading....and feeling with me. Sending much love to you...


terrowhite profile image

terrowhite 6 years ago

This is very nice story and it brings disgrace to Indian peole.. Why the hell government did not take any step for teh betterment of these children..? it is sad.. but true..


myownworld profile image

myownworld 6 years ago from uk Author

The ordinary indian people are not to blame for this - they have the warmest most generous soul...it's those in power that misuse it. Anyway, thank you for reading and commenting!


Richieb799 profile image

Richieb799 6 years ago from Cardiff, Wales UK

I liked the film Slum Dog Millionaire, probably nothing compared to reality but still, I like Bollywood films :) another one I saw is called 'Luck' umm and there was another one about gangsters but I can't remember the exact name. Thanks for commenting my most recent hub, its nothing as professional as your hubs, but I think it has content and is entertaining. I wasn't dissing girls, just us guys exchanging tips :lol: Your a cool girl :D I rated it up!


christinecook profile image

christinecook 6 years ago

as I read this I too am overcome with so many emotions. As I look at the pictures,though,I see smiling poor children. Children,who as you say,do not know anything else.I am inspired by their strength. I am even ashamed,because as I look at these children and their lives.I think,I am so comfortable,I lack for nothing,I would not want to live there.Life can seem so unfair. No one should have to live like this,yet I see more joy in them,in those sweet smiles,then I do on the faces of our children in western society.


russiangypsygirl profile image

russiangypsygirl 6 years ago

Your words are powerful and poignant. It has always been my aspiration to use my photography to show the world its sides to each other. Your words are deep and I believe that comes from having to experience pain, and loss, and depravity. I understand your rage, your sadness at this... Thank you. Maria


Micky Dee profile image

Micky Dee 6 years ago

You really are bringing out emotions. Very well done. It boggles my mind how sophisticated weapons abound to wreak so much havoc and the rich and shameless will not use their power to alleviate suffering like this. Thanks and peace!


myownworld profile image

myownworld 6 years ago from uk Author

Richieb, cheers friend for dropping by! you're equally cool and doing so well! lol...and I loved that hub of yours! x

yes, Christine, it's appalling the kind of subhuman conditions these children survive in and yet..YET, I have seen such simple joys in their lives...it's heart rending! Thank you for your lovely comment!

Maria (russiangypsy) thank you for reading and appreciating! There is no rage in me...just a deep filled sadness at this...I suppose it just bleeds into the words. much love...

Micky Dee, cheers for that great comment and for stopping by! take care..


NateSean profile image

NateSean 6 years ago from Salem, MA

See, there are people in my hometown and in the city I lived in the whole last year who take advantage of services like foodstamps and shelters because they don't want to find a job. They beg for change outside of stores and the make twice more than people with jobs do in one day.

I want to drag those people out to these places to show them just what real poverty is. It's not going days without adding minutes to your phone and it's not buying a 40 ounce of beer with the money of naïve strangers, people.

It's a little kid picking through garbage for something to eat. It's a mother trying to split a peanut butter and jelly sandwich five ways.

I get so sick of people in this country complaining about how hard they have it when others have it so much worse because no one cares about them.


myownworld profile image

myownworld 6 years ago from uk Author

I know Nate..but I've stopped focusing on what maddens me, and instead live only for what inspires and fills me with hope. Thank you for the great comment! I'm looking forward to reading your hubs soon! take care..pleasure to meet you!


sophs 6 years ago

This is so heartbreaking it's hard to imagine a life like this. We take things for granted too often, we are so lucky. Them poor little children, they shouldn't have to live like this it's so sad. 'Yet, not a word of complaint escapes those dry lips' - so true, I watched a documentary and yet they seem so happy and playful and smiling, which makes me want to cry even more :-) Great writing Myownworld


myownworld profile image

myownworld 6 years ago from uk Author

Sophs...we're both the sensitive emotional kind it seems....thank you for reading this and having the courage to think and wonder about these children. Much love...


Michelle  6 years ago

I really enjoyed your post, thank you for highlighing these issues! I visited India for the first time in 2008 and was overwhelmed by the poverty. It was heart-breaking to see the children living on the streets. It really changed my outlook on life and since that first trip I told myself I would find a way to help! :)

I recently got involved with a small organization that helps children in Kolkata. Ive been volunteering with the organization for 3 years now and just moved to Kolkata for the next 4 months to get more involved.

I would love to share the information of the organization I'm volunteering for, let me know if that would be alright with you! Its a small organization registered in the US, UK and India. Its really a brilliant organization and I would highly recommend anyone who wants to help children in India to support this charity. You can contact me at mfraedrick@gmail.com.


myownworld profile image

myownworld 6 years ago from uk Author

Thank you Michelle for reading! Well done to you for all your volunteering! I already work for a school for poor children in pakistan, but will surely have a look at your organization too. thanks.


Preethi Anusha profile image

Preethi Anusha 6 years ago from Hyderabad , India

I liked this story ... you've put so many questions one needs to think about .

Sooner or later I'm going to write a hub that can be considered an extension to this one . It will surely address many more things than this hug did .

I might check back asking you to permit me to use ur hub's link ..

Keep going ... nice one :)


myownworld profile image

myownworld 6 years ago from uk Author

thanks Preethi for the input! greatly appreciated! Yes, would love to be linked to your hub. take care and cheers for becoming a fan!


theirishobserver. profile image

theirishobserver. 6 years ago from Ireland

excellent hub, thanks for putting so much good work into this topic.....keep up the good work


myownworld profile image

myownworld 6 years ago from uk Author

thank you Irish for your nice comment! much love x


Moulik Mistry profile image

Moulik Mistry 6 years ago from Burdwan, West Bengal, India

You admit it or not, India is a world of slums - even it boasts itself of being called a super-power (a day-dreaming)...


myownworld profile image

myownworld 6 years ago from uk Author

It's not India...but poverty anywhere in the world that saddens me. I hope somehow we can do something more to eradicate it. Anyway, cheers for stopping by!


Moulik Mistry profile image

Moulik Mistry 6 years ago from Burdwan, West Bengal, India

So crude the pictures are - the photos from the other side of the world should blind the eyes of the so-called modern world...


myownworld profile image

myownworld 6 years ago from uk Author

I know Mistry....it's a glaring contrast! Thanks for reading friend...!


gramon1 profile image

gramon1 6 years ago from Miami

I have never been to India, so I don't know how bad poverty is there. But travelling through Latinamerica, I have felt impotent so many times. I lived in the Dominican Republic a few years ago. Coming out of the airport, I was mobbed by children begging for anything. Of course, I ended up giving them all my small money. I was kind of desperate very often. The poverty was horrible. I went there for work. So, I started living in that environment. Soon, I realized that the locals were immunized by the children mobs. They just considered them a nusance. I could never adapt to it. I just choose 10 of the regulars and told them to come every day for $1 per day. I started doing this when a 7 year old girl came to me as I was getting off my car to offer herself for money. I just started crying. She had never had that response. I asked her to come with 9 more friends the next day, but not to offer that again. When they came, I offered them the $1.00 per day, every day if they did not try to sale themselves.

They told me that they would not do it again. I have no idea if they continue offering sex for money or not afterwards. But I gave them that chance. Two years later, I did very bad financially and had to leave. You can't imagine my sense of guilt as I had to tell them that I could not help them again.

In the end, I figured that there is only one solution. Teaching women about contraception and abortion. Teaching men that if a child comes, it is his too. A big part of it derives from thinking of women as property, that like cattle, is designed to reproduce.


myownworld profile image

myownworld 6 years ago from uk Author

Your comment just brought tears to my eyes Gramon...not only because of your effort to bring some relief into that huge never ending sea of poverty, but that sense of guilt you carried away when you left. I live with it every day of my life...and the images of these children haunt me even now. Thank you for understanding and feeling this with me....:)


gramon1 profile image

gramon1 6 years ago from Miami

I think the feeling of guilt is something we need initially. But only actions are what make a difference in the end. What you are doing with your hubs helps. Bringing attention to the root of the problems is very important. We can't really do enough for the MILLIONS of children that are suffering in Latin america, Africa, and Asia. But we can prevent that suffering in future generations. Bringing equality to women and responsibility to men in the third world is the only solution. But there are so many barriers set by all aspects of cultural traditions, religions, and social need, that this is a very uphill battle. It is much easier to teach people new technologies than to teach them that their beliefs bring their missery.

So, what you are doing is the right thing. Just continue expressing yourself. The world will end up listenning!


myownworld profile image

myownworld 6 years ago from uk Author

:) 'it is much easier to teach people new technologies than to teach them that their beliefs bring their misery.' I completely agree! I love and truly value your comments Gramon....am waiting for a quiet moment to read your hubs. Thank you!


susanlang profile image

susanlang 6 years ago

I feel your thoughts as they merge with mine in this heart breaking story which sadly, has no end in sight; not as long as evil rules the earth. Your power over the written word is never ending and you alone will move the masses with it. Myownworld, I believe you will change the world. Love you sister,

Susan


myownworld profile image

myownworld 6 years ago from uk Author

susan, my friend, so wonderful to see you here! You've been through so much yourself in life that I'm sure you can empathize with all who suffer and need support. Your warmth always flows through your words, so thank you for that wonderful comment. It's meant a lot. You're an inspiration to many yourself...so do take care... :)


gracefaith profile image

gracefaith 6 years ago from United Kingdom

Excellent Hub, really touching. I am so struck by the examples of slum living you have described here. The most heart- breaking thing is that you have put hand in hand severe deprivation and degradation with unselfish acceptance and innocence of want.

These children so desperately need, but they are not possessed by want.

I will keep reading your Hubs. I have really enjoyed the ones I have read so far.

Grace and peace to you,

Fiona :)


myownworld profile image

myownworld 6 years ago from uk Author

Such a wonderful and insightful remark Fiona....! Truly appreciated...:)


blackreign2012 profile image

blackreign2012 6 years ago

Takes me back to slum dog millionaire.. what was going on with the two younger actors in that film. The controversy surrounding them and the money they earned etc. For some reason whether its in the Western culture or overseas children are not appreciated as they should be. Here in the West children are abused, molested, left in poverty; not as dire as what is happening in india and other countries nor am I trying to compare the two. The suffering of children should be the top of everyone's list to try and rectify. But then that all goes back to the superstructure and how it was contructed so this type of suffering goes on right under the government(s) watch. It puts it all in perspective when you look in these children's eyes and see their journey. You may not know the specifics of their lives but you can tell they have been through it.


myownworld profile image

myownworld 6 years ago from uk Author

Exactly black!! For me too, children are without doubt the MOST deserving of love and attention, and I wish more was done for them all over the world. (I know what you mean about kids in the west...infact, they are at risk to certain more frightening things here than anywhere else); thank you for reading and your great comments! take care...:)


Cathi Sutton profile image

Cathi Sutton 6 years ago

Bless these precious little children. I hope someday no child has to deal with such poverty. In a world so rich and abundant, no child should suffer in such a way as you have described, It is heart breaking to think this can be happening today. I am so, so sorry for these beautiful little children. Thank you for telling us of this plight.


myownworld profile image

myownworld 6 years ago from uk Author

Thank you Cathi for reading.... and your kind wishes...let's hope they reach these children somehow.


fucsia profile image

fucsia 6 years ago

thanks myownworld...

you reminded me that I'm lucky and that the problems of everyday life are not real problems.


myownworld profile image

myownworld 6 years ago from uk Author

Thank you fucsia for reading and commenting :)


NiinaOhmiya 6 years ago

I am just tearing up by reading this. I lived in India and still visit many times, but for some reason I have become immune to this situation. Is this because I've lived there for a long time? Because I'm a cruel person? I saw another child today and prayed that she would have enough food to fill her today. Thank you for making these feelings revive inside of me.


myownworld profile image

myownworld 6 years ago from uk Author

Niina, I've lived in south asia for many years too, and I know exactly what you mean...one get so used to looking at poverty and suffering, that after a while, one just blocks it out, thinking we could never change or make a difference. Yet, you said that silent prayer for that child today, didn't you? I'm sure it will reach her..... and you read this and felt something within too, so even this will translate into good 'karma' somehow....

thank you friend, whoever you are, for reading and taking the time to comment.... :)


cosette 6 years ago

my god, how moving. and powerful. I can see that Slumdog Millionaire was pretty accurate in its depiction of life in the slums. you managed to astound me with your writing. children's resilience is equally astounding, and under such incredible conditions. i find myself responding to many of your words with feelings of understanding, sadness and wanting to do something now, not tomorrow.

thank you for this incredible hub. i am sorry it took me so long to find you.

best regards.


myownworld profile image

myownworld 6 years ago from uk Author

It's good to see you here Cosette. I think we both needed time to find each other... but as long as we did, it's insignificant. Thank you for your kind words... they mean a lot coming from you... take care :)


andhra history 6 years ago

This is a good hub and your writing skills too are amazing. here is an article on Child Labour... take a look.

http://wiseoutlook.blogspot.com/2010/05/child-labo...


myownworld profile image

myownworld 6 years ago from uk Author

Thank you andhra for the appreciation and the great article...! So sad, isn't it?


andhra history 6 years ago

yes it is. Child labour is an issue is closely connected with poverty. until unless poverty is eradicated, child labour would prevail. In many economically depressed countries where child labor exists, there aren't any welfare systems, If poverty is addressed and when proper measures were taken, the need for child labour will automatically diminish.

i have seen your another hub on child abuse.. i'll come back and read it.


myownworld profile image

myownworld 6 years ago from uk Author

@ andhra: I completely agree, poverty is the root cause for it, and I wish too every country had good welfare systems to help such people. It's just so heart rending... Anyway, thank you for reading and your great comments! :)


jamsheed 6 years ago

Hailing from the country where you come across the inhabitants of slum dwellers day in and day out and then reading your article about the same topic, made me stop and think of them on a very personal level…it made a whole realization set into me and I gave a long and deep thought about life in slums… that is the imaginary effect you writing has…

Whenever I look into the blank eyes of a deprived and a hungry child I sometimes feel he is looking right through me, all though his eyes do not say absolutely anything I come across a thousand words which he wants to tell others about him and his condition…it scares me sometimes, as I realize that some where even I am one of the reasons for his condition…although every time I thank God for keeping me well off than many other people in the world, I just can’t come to terms that things which I may regard as absolute necessity may be of the most wonderful pleasures to the underprivileged of the society…

Thank you for bringing such a heart touching tale of the one of the most misfortunes of humanity …I am happy that you are playing your part by just bring up this topic…

“When a poor looks into your eyes, he is only seeing how poor you are”


myownworld profile image

myownworld 6 years ago from uk Author

Hello jamsheed.... every writer has a personal favorite, and this hub has a soft corner for me personally. I think I wrote this with tears in my eyes through out.

Once ages ago, I went to lahore with this impossible dream of helping these slum children.... I still remember the feeling of getting down from my car, and having a sea of children run towards me as if I had brought them some magic potion to make all their dreams come true. I think I've never felt as helpless in my life! Could i... could any of us have the power to end all that poverty and suffering that a life time of giving could not end? I doubt it.

We can only add little drops here and there, yes, but I feel powerless against it's immeasurable depth. And yes, I still carry it's guilt in the heart every day of my life.....

take care my friend... if only our words could do more for those children.....


theindianblues profile image

theindianblues 6 years ago from Some where on the Globe

Excellent work, thanks for sharing this good topic. I am your latest fan. Thank you!


myownworld profile image

myownworld 6 years ago from uk Author

Thank you indianblues for reading, commenting and becoming a fan :)


Prakash T profile image

Prakash T 6 years ago from Pune

Being an Indian I feel ashamed that I haven't ever thought of making such kids happy at least a single day. You have made me think.

But, you know something... As we are always busy with our personal and professional issues, we hardly get time to think about others, especially the poor. But, I realize the importance of social responsibility after reading your hub. Great job indeed!


myownworld profile image

myownworld 6 years ago from uk Author

@ Prakash: Thank you for your kind words... even feeling something in our hearts is a start... almost like good 'karma' that transfers itself and somehow reaches them.... :)


McHamlet profile image

McHamlet 6 years ago

Powerful stuff. It's the unfortunate truth that in the western world we rarely really think about such poverty and its consequences, and that's something that's unlikely to change soon; but we can follow your example and make a contribution by reminding people that children like these exist. I can think of no greater pleasure right now than to be with some of these kids and to make them smile, as some of them are in the pictures above, despite the awfulness of their situation. And I can thank you for that uplifting thought, which I may someday be able to realize. You've done a great service for these kids and for us by writing about such ugly truths in such a beautiful way.


myownworld profile image

myownworld 6 years ago from uk Author

Yes, I know... living in the west myself for so many years now, I realize how easy it is to lose oneself in the day to day fast paced life here... and it seems as if there is nothing beyond it. I see people demanding better and bigger and more efficient version of everything - even life itself!

And then you step out, and come across the most extreme poverty and suffering possible, and human life surviving amidst the most squalid of conditions. And suddenly, everything falls into perspective... one's own petty little struggles become insignificant. There is pain, but real happiness in that moment too. For you realize your own life could have a purpose... that you could actually make a difference. That life itself is not that wasteful, pointless shell you live back home... that strangely enough, its core is here... in a slum in a godforsaken part of the world.... and it all makes sense suddenly!

Take care and thank you for your kind words. They mean a lot to me. :)


Pamela Kinnaird W profile image

Pamela Kinnaird W 6 years ago from Maui and Arizona

I am pretty much speechless. I read your hub and I read some of the comments. I imagined for the first time in my life things I had never before imagined nor realized.

I will read your hubs and find out more. Thank you for the links you have provided also.

I am your most recent fan.


myownworld profile image

myownworld 6 years ago from uk Author

@ Pamela, thank you for reading and for your kind words. It feels great to be followed by writers like you. :)


Tatjana-Mihaela profile image

Tatjana-Mihaela 5 years ago from Zadar, CROATIA

There is poverty everywhere, always so painful. Although we all know how to solve it (it would be so easy to solve it in few short decades), greediness prevents it to be solved. And that is what really makes me sad.

I adore your Hubs and your style so much.


temp_inizer profile image

temp_inizer 5 years ago from Noida (India)

Really true... I could not read the full story because tears in my eyes, the pic shows the reality of the slum, we have lot of facilities for our self to do everything so why we not do little things for these children...


WELL DONE 5 years ago

this really helped me with my studies. You have put alot of time and effort into this, WELL DONE!


extramobilephones profile image

extramobilephones 5 years ago

It's very amazing post... thanks for sharing it


RTalloni profile image

RTalloni 5 years ago from the short journey

It's been far too long since I checked on what you have been writing!

This is so well done, as your work always is. Heartbreaking, and impossible to believe, yet true. A seat mate on a cross country flight here in the USA was from India and he told me that his mother used to give to the street children until she found out that their "masters" took all that she gave from them.

For most in our country the picture you've drawn is not fathomable, but the degradation of our society is allowing very small pockets of situations comparable to what goes in other countries to develop here. As thinking darkens and deteriorates, societies sink to lows they would never dream of.

Oh that people would believe and obey the whole counsel of God's Word!


Scarface1300 profile image

Scarface1300 5 years ago

I would say that this is a fantastic hub, but that wouldn't sound quite right. The writing is brilliant and informative but to say something so tragic is fantastic is totally wrong. In this day and age I wonder if these poor childrens plight's will ever change. I can see why so many immigrants flood out of these Countries and try to re-locate in places like th UK or USA. That is also something that carries personal dangers. I am writing a series of poems that tries to look at the alternate viewpoints of Illegals/Asylum Seekers and that of UK residents. But until change comes for them in their own countries can we blame them..... Voted UP and interesting......Thanks


Adarsh 4 years ago

i really loved the way u expressed life in slum

it seemed as if u had a real good view in front of yourself of the slum

really nice written piece of yours

i am from india and slum here is worse

i hope u once come to india and have a glimpse at the slum here too...


Adarsh 4 years ago

sorry, actually i meant delhi,

slum in dlehi is really bad and i hope u come to delhi and have a look at the slum here.....


bob 4 years ago

i want to help them


Trish_M profile image

Trish_M 4 years ago from The English Midlands

A very, very sad story ~ but very well told.


moonlake profile image

moonlake 4 years ago from America

Very sad and sad that we really have no way of helping. I once knew a couple that went to India and said how beautiful it was and I wondered if they had blinders on. They had see the poverty and must have just ignored it. I could never visit the country and know I could do nothing to help. Great Hub.


JJ coolio 4 years ago

this is a very sad text but i found it really usefull because of my home work on world poverty your an amazing author you went in to so much depth


Anil and Honey profile image

Anil and Honey 3 years ago from Kerala

Dear hubber, How i say a comment, I don't know. Nice, beautiful.... actually you are a real social reformer . India is a developing country. But we can see a huge distance between rich and poor. I think government are careless in this case. Now we are in 'new economical policies' but... where is development.?.

Nice pictures and video.


tanzila rehmat 16 months ago

i'm asking God, i 'm poor... why?

With growing sobs high and high

The sobs which You can hear only

Tell me why am i set lonely

i ask You of my isolation

From children of Your Creation

Everyone is Your Creation and so am i

Then segregation is growing and growing… why?

i possess “another” category in the world

Sparkling children don’t like to play with me

Am i so bad? , i know i’m poor that’s why

i also want those neat clothes

And Ice-cream cones

So i could also enjoy every lick of them

People laugh at my clothes

But they don’t know i can’t afford “those”

i have most of the times nothing to eat

But just have water to drink ….

People don’t know my provisions

They just laugh at me and pass comments on me

i sometimes get fed up by all of this

And complain to You

i am poor... why?

You sent me poor... why?

i ‘m set alone in this dark world

It hurts me, shatters me

And stabs my sentiments

i ask You i ‘m poor… why???

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