Read the following excerpt from the book, No Longer A Slumdog, and have it break your heart.
This is not an exaggeration.
This is not just a story.
This is the life of more than 1 billion children around the world.
After a risky home delivery on the dirt floor of the family shack, you were dried off with a dirty rag or an old newspaper; your parents never learned much about sanitation.
Your home was made of tarpaulin sheets held up by bamboo sticks. It was pretty crowded with your whole family living in less than 100 square feet of space. The shack was right next to a railroad track, and every 10 minutes a train would come roaring through. Sleep was difficult under these conditions.
When you where born, you were already malnourished. The little milk your mother was able to give you couldn't do much to ensure your growth. You might also suffer night-blindness from vitamin A deficiency.
Soon your mom had to resume her day job of cleaning streets with a hand-broom and washing other prople's clothes, because when she didn't work, the family didn't eat. So you where left in the care of an older sibling. As you started to crawl, you explored on your hands and knees the open sewer trenches running along the alley between neighboring shacks. If you had any clothing at all, it was made from rags found in the near by dump, which is where all the household treasures came from.
If through strength and providence you survived the first few years of life, at the age of five or six you might be sold by your parents into bonded labor to help secure a little desperately needed money for the family. Otherwise, you probably joined your siblings sifting through garbage to find rags, plastic bottles, pieces of metal or anything else that could be sold for a few pennies to help the family survive. You may become a better or a thief, desperately doing whatever you could use to eat.
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