What is the cultural background
Women ring bells to wake the gods in a ‘wedding celebration.’
Idols are common
Why is it so difficult to help these children? There are several reasons. First, the culture doesn’t value children. Girls , especially are not valued. Second, caste systems are in place. Third, families are dysfunctional. Fourth, substance abuse makes it difficult to help them. Finally, the population is very high.
What do they look like?
They look just like our kids – except in a very different environment. They are independent; they take care of each other; they are tough; they need help; and, they need a Kinsman Redeemer.
(Left: Rail station; Right: Picking up trash)
Where do they live?
Many families live as gypsies, The basic necessities, like clean water and shelter, are nowhere to be found. People come to the care centers for food, clothing and other basic needs.
The Times of India reports that as high as 38% of the population live in slum conditions. They also report that as high as 17% of the land is consumed by slums.
Not being able to read and write makes it difficult for people in the slums to get jobs. Seeing little use for there children to go to school and become literate, the parents of these children put them to work either begging or working for little wages. In some cases, the children see little of the money they made, as it goes to support the family and the parent’s bad habits.
Most families have been living in poverty for generations in large part due to the ancient caste system, in which people are assigned at birth the caste of their father, with little opportunity to attain a higher social ranking.