The sounds of silence

We don't see them at every major intersection of every big city in India. We don't see them working in our homes, in our friends homes, we don't see them sifting though the garbage, or begging at railway stations, we don't see them everywhere. And we really don't see them in the schools...

These invisible children form the subject of the book The Weight of Silence by Shelley Searle, a freelance writer based in Austin, Texas. She writes "Amidst the growing prosperity of India, there is an entire generation of parentless children growing up. They are everywhere. They fill the streets, the railway stations, the shanty villages. Some scrounge through trash for newspapers, rags or anything they can sell at traffic intersections. Others, often as young as two or three years old, beg. Many are homeless, overflowing orphanages and other institutional homes to live on the streets where they are extremely vulnerable to being trafficked into child labor if they’re lucky, brothels if they’re not. They are invisible children; their plight goes virtually unnoticed, their voices silenced."

While the book is not published in India, we stil thought some of you might like to learn about it. Its easily available, including from the author's website. In the year of Slumdog Millionaire, true stories may prove to be more valuable than easy fiction.