I love India. It’s unpredictable, mesmerising, beautiful and full of contrasts. You can see photos or video of India and get a little bit of an understanding for this country but you really have to visit India to even begin to see a true snapshot of what this nation is all about. This is my third visit to India and I still know so little about the country.
What a difference a day makes.
Yesterday I was walking across ancient, crafted marble at the Taj Mahal in Agra. Today I’m sitting in a guest room in Parliament Street in Delhi. Outside there are hundreds of unionists taking part in a protest. Leaders are chanting slogans though a P.A. system that’s been turned up to eleven and the assembled group is replying loudly. I have no idea what their cause is because it’s all in Hindi, but they certainly sound passionate. It’s now he middle of the day but the rally started early this morning.
Not far from here, at India Gate, a protest continues against six young men who raped and beat a 23 year old girl on a moving bus travelling through parts of Delhi. There has been a national outcry and there are demonstrations being held all over India calling for the perpetrators to be hanged. One of the rapists has already admitted his guilt and said that he should be hanged.
The events here are being reported around the world, including in Australia.
THE hours-long gang-rape and near-fatal beating of a 23-year-old student on a bus in New Delhi has triggered outrage and anger across the country as Indians demand action from authorities who have long ignored persistent violence and harassment against women.
In the streets and in parliament, calls rose for stringent and swift punishment against those attacking women, including a proposal to make rapists eligible for the death penalty. As the calls for action grew louder, two more gang-rapes were reported, including one in which the 10-year-old victim was killed.
“I feel it is sick what is happening across the country.It is totally sick, and it needs to stop,” said Smitha, a 32-year-old protester who goes by only one name. – News.com.au
It seems strange that against that backdrop I will be celebrating Christmas with a group of Indian friends later today. As I’ve said many times, India is a land of contrasts.
Girls off the Streets
While in India this time I’ve had opportunity to see the work of SIMaid’s Girls off the Streets project.
I’m amazed at the work that is being done to bring hope and healing to young women who have been rescued from human trafficking. Young women who have been sexually exploited and sold into prostitution are now growing in confidence as they learn to trust again and develop life skills that will give them a strong foundation for life ahead. Girls off the Streets is giving them a future and importantly, letting them know that they are truly loved.
If you haven’t already, let me encourage you to check out Girls off the Streets and find out how you can be part of this project which is bringing hope to those who had lost hope.
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