For the adventurous first world types finding themselves on a humbling journey through the slums of India, or the working class Australians maximising their cash on the Indonesian coastline, it is hard to ignore the poverty stricken pathways. Small children begging past their bedtimes, youths born into an underground world where innocence is a bargaining chip.
It is our instinct to give the limbless man our petty change, put a temporary band aid over world poverty. Many don’t realise these donations are feeding the darkness, not the starving.
Human trafficking; this is the sad reality in which human lives are bought, sold and traded like spare car parts. Many of the seemingly homeless, hopeless children on the bustling streets of Delhi or Mumbai were kidnapped or bought from slums or rural areas. Often they are mutilated by their captors then made to ‘work’ an area, whether it be begging, stealing or prostitution. These people are vessels, siphoning money up the criminal hierarchy.
India is a prime example of the mountainous adversities against the attrition of slavery; a country of over one billion people with one of the fastest growing economies in the world. Of the top ten wealthiest people in the modern world, four of them are from India. This is a country developing at an alarming rate, but development isn’t always progress.
It is also home to the largest slum in Asia. After the recent (landslide) election, the country’s newly founded, pro-western-economic-model government slashes and burns toward total global domination. The class divide is rapidly turning from a gap into an abyss of doom, where everybody owns somebody and souls are sold like chocolate bars.
Of the 20 to 30 million people who are slaves in the world today. 50% are children and 70% are female. So to all the bra burners, it may be time to set a light to our pockets. Stop fuelling an industry where people are pets put to work. Where does hope lay for the enslaved? In the west? There are of course hundreds of national and international organisations focused on educating and spreading awareness of these atrocities, but the problems persist. As in most human rights cases, the power lies with the people. Too often with the wrong people.
Written by Louise Purcell