Thursday, January 14, 2010
the slumdog children of mumbai
It is not always pleasant to work in the slums, or on the streets. More than the physical hardships, you are always being quizzed about selling India's poverty. You have your own traumas about the difference between your own life and that of the people you are working with.
When you have lived for any length of time in Mumbai, you stop "seeing" the life on the street. There is so much of it that it can be overwhelming, and you ignore it to get on with your own life.
But while working on this programme, I felt that it is important to give a voice to the people who are usually invisible. I stopped feeling ashamed of my work, and saw that it could be an opportunity to help at least a few children.
The Channel 4 site has an article on street kids, my very limited experience with the children. Please read it here.
The Slumdog Children of Mumbai
Edited to add. The film received a tremendous response with hundreds of emails, comments and enquiries to help the children in the film and others like them. True Vision has built a site dedicated to these children with links to some of the NGOs working for the children, and also ways to help the children directly. Within 48 hours, the Trust Fund for the children has already collected over 8000 GBP.
The link to the site is here Slumdogchildren.org
The biggest challenge is not going to be money, but motivating the children esp. the boys to go to school or vocational training. Any suggestions are welcome.