Things aren’t the same in India as they are in America. That sounds like a really obvious statement, but it’s hard to fully grasp if you haven’t seen it or been told about it.
We want to give you a better idea of the life of an “untouchable” in India, and the reality that they live in every day. We hope that this will help you understand the gravity of the poverty and slavery running rampant in India.
Think about American families 150 years ago.
They worked on farms or ranches and families wanted to have lots of children to help with the work. They lived simple lives in homes that they built with their own hands.
Now dial that back even more.
You see, the poorest of poor in India, the “untouchables” – they’re outcasts. They live in self-made shacks in rural areas, and huts in the middle of trash dumps. They’ve never heard of Facebook, Starbucks, or the Internet. They don’t have electricity, they’ve never felt air conditioning, and they don’t know how to write their own names
They’ve never heard of birth control, they’re married incredibly young, and big families mean more hands to help with the work. They live in the same village their whole life, they don’t know that the earth is round, and for all they know, what they’ve seen and experienced is as big as the earth gets.
Their parents, grandparents, great grandparents, and great great grandparents were all poor, many of them were slaves, and some of them passed debts for merely trying to survive on to their relatives three generations down. They’re used to being looked down upon, used to being hungry, and used to working all day every day.
They suffer abuse from people who look at them like livestock, they’re given loans to buy food for their children that put them into bonded slavery, and they live in fear of being beaten, taken, or or raped.
These people are considered subhuman based on the culture and religion of India. They’re living a hand-to-mouth existence. Many manipulated into debt when an emergency comes up and then they’re forced to sell their children to pay that debt.
Their children are kidnapped by people who sell them into slavery in brick factories, sex trafficking, rock quarries, and more.
They are trapped in an inescapable cycle of poverty.
For an “untouchable,” India isn’t a land of opportunity like America. The land of opportunity doesn’t exist for these people. They can’t pull themselves up by their own bootstraps because they don’t even have boots. They’ve been taken advantage of and preyed upon for generations and their slavery is woven into the economy. Just think about all of the revenue generated off of 18 million people in slavery and the astronomical economic gain that comes from having laborers who work for free their entire lives.
So what’s the solution?
There isn’t one, but there are many.
The solution is beyond a simple answer or idea – it’s made up of many ideas from many people that we hope will one day be put into action by a multitude of individuals. Poverty and slavery in India isn’t an issue that resolves overnight or even in 10, 20, or 30 years. It’s an issue that we slowly chip away at and gain momentum against by finding and educating people who have the power to do something and make a change. Everyone can do something. Ideas are great, but action is vital.
We’re not just raising awareness. We are changing lives right now. We’re building the foundation for reform in India so that our work will continue in the generation to come.
So what can you do to take action?
SHARE THIS – just click one of the social media buttons at the bottom of this page to share with your friends
GET CREATIVE – Start a fundraiser, give a percentage of your business’s proceeds, give up one meal out a month… anyone can do it.