Calcutta’s Red Light Children by Elaine Davenport (Documentary Review) (Thursday, February 21, 2008)

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BORN INTO BROTHELS (FREE HERE) This is a trailer that is 2 minutes long, but the Documentary is available just below it for free! It’s 83 minutes long.

* THREE MAJOR COMMENTS ABOUT THE CHILDREN:

1. Such talent
2. So much intelligence
3. It made me so proud to see these beautiful children never complaining despite the pressure.


I was on my treadmill about a week ago when the television caught my eye. There was a documentary on about children of prostitutes in the red light district of Calcutta, India. I didn’t know a whole lot about India and of course, I was curious. I knew nothing about Calcutta.

SIDE JOURNEY…

A while back, our news media was bombarding us with information about the bird flu and how we were going to get it imminently and they were also speculating about an inevitable pandemic. Then all of a sudden they stopped. Well, guess what? The bird flu has hit India and they are slaughtering chickens and ducks by the thousands. I understand it has hit China. I don’t eat chicken or duck and after this reminder; I won’t have any “weak” moments. READ AND SEE VIDEOS ON THE BIRD FLU IN CALCUTTA AND SEE THE TWO HEADED CHICKEN HERE

Calcutta is a city built for around one million people to live in. There are an estimated 30 million people living there. It is a city of extreme poverty and I’ve heard wealth. There was lots of work for Mother Teresa when she was alive. I understand that many Indian people didn’t even know that she was there until she received the Nobel Peace Prize. It is said that a lot of the middle class Indians are not interested in publicity about the underclass. I’ve been a part of the underclass before and by the grace of God, I no longer am so it is with great interest that I write about this little known problem and present it to you as a humanitarian concern and a prayer challenge.

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A group of Hollywood types apparently observed the poverty and despair; especially in the red light district of Calcutta India and decided to try to do something about it. The children of Calcutta’s red light district undergo and experience things that “most” American children of any background do not experience in their everyday lives. I’ll tell you about it.

In the documentary; they went in and gave the children cameras and instructed them to take pictures of their surroundings. Despite some of the hard to imagine circumstances…the children took beautiful pictures. During the filming we are able to observe some of the worst housing, overcrowded poor sanitary conditions. I was appalled at the way that many of the mothers talked to their children. We saw babies with no diapers. In one instance a young girl wanted her mom to attend an awards program and the mother was unable to pay twenty five cents for a baby sitter. A passport procedure was one of the worst I’ve ever seen. Ironically, the child who emerged as the most talented photographer of the group lost his mom during the filming because her pimp set her on fire.

I was shocked at the cursing and the combination of constant chastising from the mothers of the children. There weren’t a lot of fathers in the movie. I will say that despite the poverty and dire circumstances; it was still striking and noteworthy that the families had such fierce loyalty and love towards and for one another. Ever ingrained in my memory was the beautiful children and the fact that they were quite poor, that a lot of pride was taken by them regarding their appearance. I’m not so fond of the caste system in India and my prayer is that it will be torn down and removed like the Berlin Wall, Nazism and slavery. All ugly things in the world’s history. I ask for your prayers! We will revisit this as there is a lot more to this story.

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