Laidl Visit

Trip Start Sep 04, 2006
Trip End Aug 20, 2007

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Flag of India  ,
Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Much of India is experiencing an economic boom but for vast swathes of the population their situation has not improved in generations. Hundreds of millions are trapped by caste and gender discrimination and by the cycle of: poverty - child labour - no education - poverty and so on. These people endure some of the worst conditions experienced anywhere in the world. For instance, an Indian child is more likely to be malnourished, have inadequate sanitation, not attend school, remain illiterate and marry underage, than is a child from Africa or any other global region.

Laidl is a home and vocational centre set up by the i-India charity for street children in the city of Jaipur. Many of the children have been abused at home and run away to live on the streets and railway stations. The situation worsens as they become involved in child labour, prostitution and drugs, and the abuse continues. Laidl provides them with a secure home to combat immediate challenges such as malnutrition and illness and develops their attitudes and skills so they can make a better future for themselves.

We visited 2 centres and the girls and boys we met were making jewellery and other crafts. It was easy to see the difference in attitude and behaviour between the children who had been there for a long period compared to the street children who visit for only a few hours (homes are full so it is not possible for them all to live there). It was saddening to hear a lot of their stories but very moving to see the progress that they have made, not to mention the laughs and friendships they now have and smiles on their faces - they all love to have their photos taken!
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