Open Invitation : Join us for Millions of Children : Voice of Little Hearts

A real change is possible only when the change begins at the roots; our children are the roots of the world’s future.

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At this very moment somewhere in the world there are organisations and people working their souls for the betterment of the society. Be it the UNESCO or some random human, the world knows the worth of our children. The world knows that they are the future. Organisations are working round the clock around the globe. Yet the issues faced by our children remain an unsolved mystery. The statistics still shows the numbers against the well-being of our children, irrespective of whatever measures been taken for them. The top ten issues faced by the children globally are listed as below (source listverse)

Violence through Indoctrination, Poverty, Life as refugees, Lack of Access to Education, Child Neglect, Child labour, Child prostitution, Child pornography, Trafficking and slavery, and Military use of Children.

This list above is based on the perspective of our society on children’s issues. ie what our society views as problems faced by children. This, of course will vary from country to country. If Military use of children is the top problem in the middle east, child prostitution would be the major problem in Southeast Asian countries. So the preventive measures and the strategies should be customized according to the needs of the children in their respective society.

As noted earlier, the problems are seen in the perspective of the society. We are missing a point actually there itself. What about the perspective of the children? If they make a list of 10 problems the face, what would be that? We need not be surprised if their list has “Mommy not allows chocolates”. They may not be matured enough to foresee their future as we elders do. But when we find solutions to their problems we should also see the solutions from their perspective. How effective our solutions are reaching them.

For example, When a toddler suffers from poverty, providing food would be an enough solution for that time being. But when a teenage kid suffers from poverty, just providing food is not the solution, also educating about the poverty and sustainable ways to overcome it becomes a part of the solution. We also need to care about how they receive our ideologies of poverty and methods we suggest to them to overcome it. Because children with developed / developing consciousness are not just robots to follow our instructions. Though we are doing good deeds for them, it is equally our responsibility to ensure that it reaches them effectively.

Overall, we insist on three major point precisely.

1. Understand problems from children’s perspective
2. Work on grass-root level and ensure our efforts benefits the children
3. Create a network and a model that is self-sustained.

Voice of Little Hearts

VLH sample TEMPWe taglined the project “This could be your child’s voice” which says it all. We are going to address issues faced by children in India. So the priority of the issues may vary from the global context. We have a list of issues faced by children in Indian scenario and that will be covered. The project focuses on adhering to the three points listed above. ie. To address issues faced by children by understanding in their perspective, VLH will reach children direct and discuss their problems individually along with their ecosystem and this project will create a network of volunteers, a working model which will keep going.

So how VLH is going to work?

Overview: VLH will begin as a publishing project, then reach children across India as a community that cares for them and will continue to evolve as a supportive system for the children directly.

Project Preview: The core team of VLH will have members from Propel Steps, Writers and Activists who works for Children. Based on the core team’s inputs 12 wings (teams) will work on writing in twelve languages. Each wing will have it’s Lead(s), Editors, Translators, Writers and Project Coordinators. Each wing will collaborate with one another. The core team will ensure the overall development of the project and support all the wings. The individual responsibilities will be communicated later after the individuals joining the project.

Once the book is completed, it will be released simultaneously in 12 languages across the country and the globe. We Propel Steps and the core team will ensure to avail the books free of cost for children across India with the support of local NGOs and Sponsorships. The distribution of VLH to children will happen via planned events and workshops (the details will be communicated at the later stages of the project)

For Propel Steps, this is a non-profit project. However, considering the huge costs involved regionally we may tie-up with various publishers to release the book for general readers and parents community. The profit earned via sales will be majorly used for the events associated with VLH and the royalties will go to the respective wings. We Propel Steps would just remain as the founder of this initiative and seek no remunerative returns. However will hold the accountability to ensure the project is used for its purpose and the children get benefitted continuously.

What can you do now?

We have no hidden secrets as we have made the project plan very transparent. All you need to do is Think. Think of where you can be a part of this project and what role you want to play in this. You can be writer, a translator, a social media promoter, a project coordinator, a PR or a NGO who can be part of this project, a publisher who wants to publish this project, a school who wants to be associated in this project. Overall we need your support and we value it. We will deliver and ensure every ounce of your efforts are converted into smiles of some random child. That could be your child also. 🙂

So Join us.

Get in touch now by joining our Facebook Group here.

Contact publish@propelsteps.com or +91 72000 48566 for more details and to discuss your queries / interest.

Alert! : Beggars with Sleeping Child! Mostly Drugged!!!

“Why is sleeping child in the hands of beggars? Have you ever wondered … ” 

This article is being circulated around to answer this question, which is not a Hoax and exposing the horrible truth behind this. Please read…

beggingbabycars“Near the metro station sits a woman of uncertain age. Women’s hair is confused and dirty, her head bowed in grief. 

The woman sits on the dirty floor and next to her lies a bag. In that bag people throw money. On the hands of a woman, asleep, is a two year old baby. He’s in a dirty hat and dirty clothes. 

“Madonna with baby” – numerous passers-by will donate money. The people of our kind- we always feel sorry for less fortunate. We are ready to give unfortunate people the last shirt, the last penny out of your pocket and never think another issue. 

Helping, seems like. “Good job done”… 

I walked past a beggar for a month. Did not give any money, as I knew that this is a gang operated scam and money collected by the beggar will be given to whoever controls beggars in the area. Those people own numerous luxury properties and cars. 

Oh and beggar also gets something, of course “ A bottle of vodka in the evening and a döner kebab”. 
A month later, walking past the beggars, as shock, it suddenly hit me…. I’m staying at a busy crossing, stared at the baby, dressed as always- dirty track suit. I realized that it seemed “wrong”, finding a child in a dirty underground station from morning to evening. The baby slept. Never sobbed or screamed, always asleep, burying his face in the knee of a woman who was his MUM. 

Do any of you, dear readers, have children? Remember how often they slept at the age of 1-2-3 years? Hour two, maximum three (not consecutive) afternoon nap, and again – movement. For the whole month, every day of my walking in the underground, I’ve never seen a child awake! I looked at the tiny little man, with his face buried in the knee of his mother, then at the beggar, and my suspicion was gradually formed. 
– Why he sleeps all the time? I asked, staring at the baby. 

The beggar pretended not to hear me. She lowered her eyes and hid her face in the collar of her shabby jacket. I repeated the question. The woman again looked up. She looked somewhere behind my back, tired with utter irritation. Her look was similar to the creatures from a different planet. 
-F **k off … her lips murmured. 
-Why is he asleep?! I almost cried … 

Behind me someone put his hand on my shoulder. I looked back. A some old man was looking at me disapprovingly: 
– What do you want from her? Can’t you see how hard she’s got it in her life… Eh … 
He gets some coins from his pocket and throws them in the beggar’s bag. 

Beggar made a hand wave of a cross, portraying the face of humility and universal grief. The guy removed his hand from my shoulder and strolled out of the underground station. I bet, at home, he will tell how he defended poor, distraught woman from a soulless man in a tube station. 

Next day I called a friend. It was a funny man with eyes like olives Romanian nationality. He only managed to complete three and a half years of education. The complete lack of education does not prevent him from moving around the City streets on very expensive foreign cars and live in a “small” house with countless number of windows and balconies. From my friend I managed to find out that this business, despite the apparent spontaneity, clearly organized. Its supervised by begging organized crime rings. The children are used in “rent” from families of alcoholics, or simply stolen. 
I needed to get the answer to the question – why is the baby sleeping? And I received it. My friend Gypsy said the phrase, completely ordinary with a calm voice that twisted me in shock, just like he was talking about the weather report: 

-They are on heroin, or vodka … 
I was dumbfounded. “Who is on heroin? Whom – under vodka?! ” 
He answered 
-The Child, so he doesn’t scream. The women will be sitting whole day with him, imagine how he might get bored? 

In order to make the baby slept the whole day, it pumped up with vodka or drugs. Of course, children’s bodies are not able to cope with such a shock. And children often die. The most terrible thing – sometimes children die during the “working day”. And imaginary mother must hold another dead child on her hands until the evening. These are the rules. And the by passers-by will throw some money in the bag, and believe that they are moral. Helping  “mother alone” … 

… The next day I was walking near the same underground station. I stocked up journalistic identity, and was ready for a serious conversation. But the conversation didn’t work out. But turned out the following … 

A woman was sitting on the floor and in her hands she was holding a child. I asked her a question about the documents on the child, and, most importantly, where was yesterday’s kid, which she simply ignored. 

My questions were not ignored by passers-by. I was told that I was out of my mind screaming at poor beggar with a child. All in all, I was escorted out of the tube station in disgrace. One thing remained was to call the police. When police arrived, beggar with the baby disappeared. I stood with a full sense of – “I’m trying to fight windmills”. 

When you see on the subway, on the street whether women with children, begging, think before your hand climb for the money. Think about that, if it wasn’t for your hundreds of thousands of handouts, the business like this would have died. The business would die and not the children-inflated with vodka or drugs. Do not look at the sleeping child with affection. See horror… Since you’re reading this article, you know now- why the child is sleeping in beggars’ hands. 

___

Please share this with your friends. A best way to identify the ones who suffer genuinely is to interrogate them and just begin a conversation like as if you are from an asylum home / orphanage, who wish to help them. If they take a step back when you try to offer help in terms of rehab in a home / orphanage, then those people are fake. If they are genuinely needed help you can always call the emergency child rights/women rights number of your respective country. India ( 1098 ).

And again when you decide to open your wallet to throw a coin to a beggar, remember that this 
Charity could cost another child’s life.

Alert! : Child Trafficking

Child Traficking

Human trafficking is the third largest profitable industry in the world. Child trafficking unlike many other issues is found in both developed and developing nations. Trafficked children are used for prostitution, forced into marriage, illegally adopted, used as cheap or unpaid labor, used for sport and organ harvesting. Some children are recruited into armed groups. Trafficking exposes children to violence, abuse, neglect and exploitation. According to UNICEF a child victim of trafficking is “any person under 18 who is recruited, transported, transferred, harbored or received for the purpose of exploitation, either within or outside a country”. Trafficking is one of the hardest crimes to track and investigate hence data is hard to obtain. The latest figures estimate that 1.2 million children are trafficked worldwide every year. Child prostitution has the highest supply of trafficked children.

India is a source, destination, and transit country for trafficking for many purposes such as commercial sexual exploitation. The majority of the trafficking is within the country but there are also a large number trafficked from Nepal and Bangladesh. Children are trafficked to Middle Eastern countries for sport such as camel racing. There are no national or regional estimates for the number of children trafficked every year. But 40% of prostitutes are children, and there is a growing demand for young girls in the industry. 

NGOs estimate that 12,000 – 50,000 women and children are trafficked into the country annually from neighboring states in the sex trade. Thousands of girls are trafficked from Bangladesh and Nepal. 200,000 Nepalese girls under 16 years are in prostitution in India. An estimated 1,000 to 1,500 Indian children are smuggled out of the country every year to Saudi Arabia for begging during the Hajj. Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, West Bengal and Tamil Nadu have the largest number of people trafficked. Intra state/inter district trafficking is high in Rajasthan, Assam, Meghalaya, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra. Delhi and Goa are the major receiver states. Trafficking from northeastern states is high but often overlooked. In 2008, 529 girls were trafficked from Assam alone. 

There is a rising demand for live-in maids in urban areas. This has resulted in the trafficking of girls from villages in West Bengal, Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh to live under extremely poor conditions first in “placement agencies” and later in the employers’ homes. Placement agents keep the girls in small unhygienic rooms packed together. They are often made to do the placement agent’s household work and subjected to sexual abuse. Smita a sixteen year old girl was taken from her village in Jharkhand and subjected to various forms of sexual abuse and exploitation at the hand of her employers including rape. When rescued her parents refused to take her back since she had been tainted by rape. Falling sex ratios in Haryana and Punjab has led to a need for trafficking of brides from villages in Orissa, Jharkhand, Bihar, Assam and West Bengal, who have been sold off by the parents. Jyoti, age fourteen, was sold and married to a 40-year old man of Rs 15,000 in order to produce a male heir.