Founder of the Non-Government Organisation Gadens Børn i Indien, Pia Lindell Qwist is staking everything she’s got to create a shelter and a school for homeless children in Kolkata, India. During her earlier travels India, she’s come face to face with what she considers a grave injustice and the realisation, that even a small effort and a little money, by Danish standards, will make a big impact in a country like India.
According to UNICEF there are between 1.1 and 1.8 million children are living on the streets of India in total. Approximately half have no adult guardian to take care of them and an estimated 50,000 of these children fend for they selves on the streets of Kolkata.
Some beg or collect garbage for recycling to make a living, but most are forced into organised crime by local gangs. For the girls especially, this often means a life in prostitution, in a world where age is not a question and everyone is disposable.
As a result of these dire prospects substance abuse is more than just common place, it’s pretty much the only escape they can find by their own means.
Pia and her organisation has collected most of the necessary funds to build and start running the shelter, but just as the construction is started, it grinds to a complete halt. Corruption and inefficiency stifle development. Already six months behind schedule, Pia must now find a way to get the project back on track, all the while also struggling to get the proper permits, so she can keep helping the children living on the streets.
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Sep . 08 . 2015
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