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from The Great Debate:

Meet Nobel Peace Prize winner Kailash Satyarthi, a savior to children

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It is thanks to Kailash Satyarthi that thousands of children have been saved from a life of slavery and agony in India. It is thanks to his organization, BBA -- the ‘Save the Childhood Movement’ -- that these children can regain trust in other human beings, the vital ingredient of life.

It was six months ago in New Delhi, in the gardens of the Imperial Hotel, that I first met Kailash. Sipping a cup of iced tea, he began telling me the story of two little boys he had just rescued. These newcomers were refusing to bond with the other children, sitting on the side, looking terrorized and suspicious. It was only days later, when another child got them to utter a few words that they said: “Why are these people so kind to us? Do they want our eyes or our kidneys?” They could not imagine for a minute that someone would want to feed them and look after them without wanting to abuse them even more. That story touched my heart.

Imagine the kind of hell these children are coming from. They come from a place where children are beaten, abused, treated like a production tool and destroyed. It’s the parents who often give them away, conned by middlemen and a few rupees; but parents can also be abused by clerics, Kailash told me.

These children have been terrorized and dehumanized since their youngest age. How can they conceive a world where a child is respected and loved for nothing in return? The road to recovery is very long, and Kailash and his organization play a crucial role in this process. Bachpan Bachao Andolan (BBA) puts these children back on their feet, educates and trains them, makes them human again.

from The Human Impact:

“FGM is bad, but it’s not child abuse,” says London-born victim

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When London-born Jay was a teenager her mother suggested she join a secret women’s society in Sierra Leone. There would be a big party, new dresses and she would be treated like royalty.

“If they’d told me what the real deal was I would have probably skipped town!” she says. “I wouldn’t have got on that plane.”

from The Human Impact:

The pain is far worse than childbirth – FGM survivor

Britain has announced new measures to tackle the hidden crime of female genital mutilation making it compulsory for doctors and nurses to record FGM cases. London community worker Sarian Karim Kamara, who underwent FGM as a child in Sierra Leone, told me how it has affected her life and why midwives are on the frontline in efforts to end the brutal practice.

“I’ll never forget what happened to me. I was only 11 years old and I’m 36 now. I’ve had five children and the pain I went through on that day cannot begin to compare to any of my labour pains. It’s indescribable.

from The Great Debate:

A fragile peace with Taliban if school attacks escalate

In the week in which America opened the door for negotiations with the Taliban, three bloody massacres of school children -- shot down simply because they wanted to go to school -- raise grave questions about what kind of peace the Taliban offer.

Within days of the initiative for talks, the Taliban shot to death nine foreign tourists encamped on the peak of Nanga Parbat in northern Pakistan, saying the murders were in retaliation for a drone attack that killed one of their leaders. But what kind of justification can possibly be offered for the firebombing of a college bus carrying forty girls from their Quetta campus in Pakistan? Fourteen defenseless girls died in the bombing; eight more people died when the terrorists ambushed the hospital.

from The Great Debate:

A fragile peace with Taliban if school attacks escalate

In the week in which America opened the door for negotiations with the Taliban, three bloody massacres of school children -- shot down simply because they wanted to go to school -- raise grave questions about what kind of peace the Taliban offer.

Within days of the initiative for talks, the Taliban shot to death nine foreign tourists encamped on the peak of Nanga Parbat in northern Pakistan, saying the murders were in retaliation for a drone attack that killed one of their leaders. But what kind of justification can possibly be offered for the firebombing of a college bus carrying forty girls from their Quetta campus in Pakistan? Fourteen defenseless girls died in the bombing; eight more people died when the terrorists ambushed the hospital.

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