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India’s forgotten cotton-picking children

[By Mari Marcel Thekaekara|New Internationalist] I always associated cotton picking with songs from the American deep-south. It conjured up visions of poor people, mostly African Americans. We associated cotton picking with southern slavery in America. Never with India. Inexplicably, given I have clear memories of detailed geography lessons about India’s agricultural patterns and cotton-growing states. My lack of awareness on ...

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Green Day at Indian Girls Shelter

It might be one of the most unique covers of a Green Day hit you’ll ever hear: young, at-risk girls from an Indian shelter singing Boulevard of Broken Dreams. “Many of these children have been abused or have suffered trauma. Music helps to engage them, it helps them to relax,” Faith Gonsalves, the founder of Music Basti, says. Volunteers from the non-profit ...

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Mica mining: Cosmetic giants riding on children’s backs In India

|By Sanjay Pandey| As the sun crawls up the sky in Koderma, abandoned mica mines start shimmering in its reflection. Driven by hunger pangs, a group of sleepy children from a neighbouring village trudges towards the Charki mines, holding mining tools in their hands. Five-year-old Ajay Das hurriedly slips into a narrow hole and starts his day. His tiny hands ...

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Her Toy Story

Shweta Chari was having dinner with friends in 2004 when she shared an idea to create a place where children could play. Sharing that many children are forced to be labourers at an early age, sometimes in dangerous industries such as firecrackers, the electronics engineer wanted to help them regain their childhood. “Simple toys can make them children again,” says ...

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