Three of us, Cristina, Elisa and Stefania, left for India in November 2013. Arrived in Calcutta, we met poverty and human misery everywhere, children who roam without necessities and without protection, women and men asking for help and other unimaginable scenes. We felt heartbreak and astonishment for this reality so different from our own.
In one of the Missionaries of Charity’s houses, in Shanti Dan, we met Tiziana, who had worked there for many years; in Nabo Jibon, we came upon Samantha, who was also full of energy and ready to do something more concretely.
We went to the slum Dhapa, one of the most difficult human realities in the city. With a backpack full of medicines and medication material, we met the slum inhabitants, we introduced ourselves and tried to respond to their most urgent needs. Going around the city we realized that the slum children had at least a plastic or metal poor house and some familiar protection: the street children didn’t have anything!
In the two main railway stations in Calcutta, Howrah and Sealdah, there are a lot of children. They are orphans or abandoned children or they have run away from home. They invent various odd jobs to make ends meet and to get food. These children are in danger of racketeering, pedophilia, drug, organs dealers and they are helpless. There are some shelters for them but girls risk the most: they experience violence, exploitation and prostitution every day.