They are a reflection of the other India – they lost fathers to suicide forced by debts, mothers to the sex trade, or they fled their rain-starved villages with families to big cities and scavenged on the sidewalks.
Now the 25 cheerful children from across Maharashtra have rebuilt their lives, go to school and are full of hope — but they have travelled to New Delhi to demand better lives for millions of others who still live in crushing conditions.
The children have been elected by hundreds of other children across Maharashtra to represent them, and are participating in the Indian Social Forum, a gathering of thousands of activists from across India and abroad.
“We want to tell everyone the problems of children. But we also want to ask the government: will you only hear us or do something about it?” asked the outspoken, 14-year-old Jyoti Mahode.
Email Neelesh Mishra: firstname.lastname@example.org