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Today in India, over 18 million children live on the streets and every five minutes, another child is added to this astounding number. Many are forced to living on the streets by necessity. For some, their father has died and they are now the sole providers for their family, while others have no family at all and have nowhere else to turn but to the dangerous and exhausting street life.

In order to survive, many work in fields or roadside restaurants for 12-15 hours a day; some of the children undertaking this rigorous work day are only five years old. Still, even others are not so lucky to get safe jobs like these; many are kidnapped and seriously maimed then thrown back on the streets to become beggars – their earnings given back to their captors. Too young and fearful to fight back, they become trapped in this hopeless cycle of violence and humiliation until they are either old and strong enough to escape or until they die. Young girls who attempt to survive in this dangerous environment are often kidnapped as well as forced into prostitution for the profit of their captors.

Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world.”

___ James 1:27

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