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Dasharath Naik – India

He’s a young boy walking mean concrete sidewalks in sneakers he has had for a few years even though they no longer fit. He can no longer tie them and has slit them up the back. His Sister is just a bit older, 14, pregnant and afraid; one of the victims of the game called “Jewels in the Crown” that the older boys play to see how many babies they can produce. These older boys are the baby-daddies whose involvements end on dirty mattresses and rooftops.

The boy is running drugs now; he wants new shoes. He thinks it’s his time to “get paid.” The girl contemplates suicide, how much money and benefits the State can provide. And how many babies she will have to have just to break even. Here is another boy and girl on the outskirts of life.

It doesn’t matter where – the Appalachian hills, the poor southern towns, the old Indian reservations/settlements, the Ghettos in every town, the corners of streets where drugs and Gangs are the law, the homes where they watch their mothers get beaten, or the beds where they are molested.

They are the ones we choose not to see. The ones with snot on their noses from crying, the ones in used, dirty clothes, the ones in schools that do not teach and homes that do not care. The ones with an illness other children can’t understand and teachers get frustrated with. The ones that are bigger than life in magazines and in TV ads, but are so invisible while most of us cash our checks and go to the grocery store only to scrape more food into our trash from one meal than they will eat in a week.

These are my American children and the news tells them they are lucky. In a sense maybe they are…..

They are not the people running from their countries because bombs killed their whole family, because their brothers and sisters died from starvation with flies on their faces and swollen bellies. They are not the children who spend their days in the trash heaps just to find something to eat or sell.

They are not the children who become soldiers at 9 years of age or get kidnapped and sold. They are not the children who flee and look for a better place only to be turned away by the so called free countries. They are not the children whose parents died on the journey.

…but they are all the children of this terrible world. They are all our children, they belong to each of us. Their tears form the Ocean that we will all drown in…because this is the world we have created. We should be ashamed. We should all scream out with one voice.


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