Wednesday, July 27, 2011

DEMONS IN GODS OWN COUNTRY

“That man put his thing from where urine comes into my mouth…when I vomited he slapped me and then he pushed it from my back…and then I started bleeding…in pain when I started crying he tied me with a electric wire and banged my head…and then I got scared that he will put that thing again in my mouth and kill me…so I did not cry out loudly…”
These were the words of a 7yr old sex trafficked victim whom I met in Kerala. I listened to this with pain and dread. For some unknown reason the child had developed a fancy for me and was disclosing to me everything in her baby voice which till date she has not even told the police.
I met many other children all below the age of 14yrs trafficked for commercial sexual exploitation and rescued. What was common in all their stories was a father who raped at the age of 4yrs or a brother who molested or an uncle who forced to have oral sex. Incest and dysfunctional families was the common background all these children came from. These children had no scope to escape as they had no information or access to any other support system beside their own families.
What happens when the most safe space for a child becomes a zone of fear, threat and suffocation? What happens when deepest bonds of faith and trust is misused and exploited? Where should this child go?
One of the child I met told me that her parents had left her with her maternal parents from the time she was born. Most of her childhood was an eternal wait…for her parent’s occasional visit. She always believed that if her parents took her back she will also be like any normal child. Finally when she was 12yrs old her parents took her back. The first year of stay with her parents was sheer nightmare as the father would beat up the mother and daughter to vent out his anger and frustration( he was jobless). The next year saw another side of the father…a man so affectionate and loving that the child forgot and forgave all the torture. Little did she realize that he was bartering her to highest bidder. With silent connivance of the mother(who was only concerned about her own safety and security), the father sold his own daughter for prostitution. The worst part of the story he was the pimp and stood outside the room every time the daughter was send with a customer.
Where does a child who is in this kind of a situation go? The family is unsafe…no relatives or friends would like to take responsibility…and the civil society or the state have no system of protection services that is accessible.
A glance around me…revealed civil society organizations gearing up to organize protest march…conventions and generally making a lot of visibility in the media…the state trying to find the accused…the opposition trying to find fault with everything that the state is doing…But NOT even a single person were thinking what do these children need?
Interactions with the general public was even more scary…most of them were convinced that the 7yr old, 10 yr old and the 14yr old were all immoral persons with loose character and were just making up all these stories to gain attention.
It is such a irony when a person in prostitution Nalini Jameela wrote her story…the world had only eyes and ears for her…chat shows…column after column were written…so much so that the world was glorifying her life in commercial sexual exploitation…but today when these children’s stories are part of everyday news…nobody is thinking how can we prevent this? How can we protect these children?
I have been asked a million times “will you start a branch in Kerala”…my question is do I have to? Can you not be that person who can also reach out…is it not our collective responsibility make this world safe of our children!

66 comments:

  1. That is a burning question Dr.Sunitha!
    How can we prevent this from happening?
    Protect the vulnerable- women and children, in the society? It would be great to know your thoughts.
    I have been having this dialogue in this mind for a long time now. Thank you for opening this up on this platform.

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  2. In a thousand time i just ask to myself this question, How can we protect them???..i hate news paper for this reason,when i open the paper there is thousand stories like this.. If i get a chance to protect them or do something for them i try my best

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  3. I can't even believe the things happening to little children. I am speechless..

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  4. here..,the medias are interested only in circulation...
    politicians interested only in power..
    YOUTH interested only in money..and resources..
    and the common people are interested only in devotion..and religion..
    people laughs up on words like humanity and consideration...
    its hard to challenge all these..but i will surely try...

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  5. GOD'S OWN COUNTRY !!!!
    Which part of this world isn't a part of human inhabitance ??? Yet can hardly see humanity in these small and vulnerable kids lives ....
    Got to do something about it ....

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  6. This happens more often than we would like to believe.
    Hip Grandma of http://hiphopgmom.blogspot.com

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  7. This is too horrible - Rakshasas pale in comparison to these men.If this is the condition in our most literate State ,one cannot imagine what must be the state of affairs in other places !

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  8. Sunitha, your voice is one that must be heard! You are correct, there must be others who step up and take collective responsibility for protecting our children. We must all step up.
    When people are successful, others ask more and more of them, rather than learning from them and moving forward to also save children. We must never risk the work we are doing by taking on too much additional work. The new Center and all of the children you have now are a huge responsibility. Let's talk in October about this huge issue. I send love, friendship and my commitment to this work. Carol

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  9. I dont have words..My heart weeps...god bless u and all ur workers....let god grace u all with nine lives...

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  10. Sunitha, please let me know what difference I can make. I am in U.S and so much of grief at every news I get across, we need to protect these kid's..

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  11. i don't know what to say...i can't believe this is happening around me...i'm from kerala...
    i'm not sure about what significant contribution i can make...i'm just an engineering student...
    but if there's any thing that i can do,please let me know...
    rakhi.ravi07@gmail.com

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  12. Its so so so sad and disgustingly painful when I read malayalam daily papers and find at least 5 rape/handling cases against Women. In kerala, supposed to be a God own country, our society is the biggest hyppocrites in India itself. But there is nothing fruitful to mourn about it, rathen then we have to fight against these atrocities. I wish you my best for your works and Prajwala.

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  13. We hear all these unthinkable things happening around us. And what we do? We express our utmost shock at the moment and retire into a peaceful sleep thereafter. Lamenting and expressing mere shock is not enough. These are the results of our immeasurably depthless moral collapse. The TV and other media may be playing a big role in highlighting these atrocities. But one should not forget that it is these same media who would show and promote any provocative, misguided sexually charged contend for their commercial benefits. And we would watch it with reverence too. How come that the sheer greed for money and material gains caught our imagination this much and we failed our soul so miserably? Needs to find answer for this if we are to cure the rot from inside.

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  14. I'm ready to take up the responsibilty. lets join hands to bring back a smile on those cute little faces.
    Planning for a shelter for women and children at calicut.
    Interested to join me, mail me on k.pennu@yahoo.com

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  15. Yes....we need people like you Sunitha....I was feeling terribly hopeless while thinking what is happening in our society..I am sure there are thousands who share the same feeling and all of them will support you directly or indirectly...

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  16. You can never put a complete stop on these incidents. However severe and quick capital punishmnents can put a break to a majority of these cases

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  17. women should be educated and made aware on grassrootlevels about the chances of these kind of incidents....potential criminals also should be identified as early a spossible and they should be corrected and given psychiatric help so that they dont become a menace to sucha vulnerable section of the society....poverty of the mind,the intellect is the root cause of real poverty.....a happy trained and watched man will never stoop to anything obscene...power should be the privilege of only the person of sound character....power that goes to the head is a s dangerous a s a man who is drunk....power therefore should always be meted out in sparse quantities...

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  18. Hello Sunitha madam

    I am a PhD student in biosciences at IIT Bombay. i am moved by your efforts to rehabilitate the unfortunate girls and I share the feeling with u that just organising candle marches is not the solution to the problem... the real solution is a 2 way thing.. .1. to rescue and rehabilitate the victims .. this is the cure part.. and vry much needed

    2. this is the prevention part... this is to sensitize the ppl about our moral values and a person's right to live life with dignity... to teach them patience and tolerance for their situations ... most of the culprits have actually been tortured themselves ... but that doesnt mean that they will make someone else's life a hell.... in today's scenario, we dont actually bother what happens of others...this thinkin needs to be changed from the core.... bacause i feel ....Prevention is better than cure...

    However, that doesnt intimidate the need for cure and i believe this with conviction.... I support u 100%... in this noble deed.
    I also want to just let u know... that some months back I donated Rs. 3,600/- for nutritional requirements of children supported by an organization called Care India.. i dont exactly know what they have done of my money but i m sure it is in safe hands. I intend to do regular donations for the cause that u people have raised... however, sometimes it is difficult to trust ppl, especially in the light of so many scams.. i m not saying that u hv to prove urself everytime but this what a common man wd think before giving his/he share of earning in somebody's hands.. isnt it?? i myself asked that Care India executive so many questions.... i felt ashamed afterwards.. i am a bio student and completely understand wt actually happens in AIDs and how nutrition is important for the affected... still i thought twice before giving my donation.... i dont know how right i m in this thinking and i dont want to judge myself either... but this is one thing i hav decided.. that i want to donate a share of my income regularly to a cause like urs.. i dont knw how much is less or more or how much will be my capacity to give... but at least i can start somewhere... please let me know the exact ways and means by which i can do this and remain connected with the cause...

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  19. How can I help
    Mail me @kranthi933@gmail.com

    ---IIT Madras Student

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  20. I am a student Dr.sunitha ,
    Thare are so many people who complain about the simplest things happening in their own house and forget the things happening around them. I wish to help you in any ways possible mam. I am from coimbatore . Please do mail me about the things i could help you with through sneha.nesa@gmail.com

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  21. How can i help..please let me know preethykg@gmail.com

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  22. ma'am.....it should be no more called GOD'S OWN COUNTRY...it's DEVIL'S OWN COUNTRY.....I am from Kerala n its a shame for me when i hear such news...each day the papers or media have some or other stories....the only state in India with 100% literacy...is this the true literacy???SHAME....n ma'am i really feel such sadist b******* should be killed on the spot once he is brought into limelight (no matter who he is)....esp the one's who tortue children...this is continuing coz they dont fear anybody or anything....

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  23. mam i saw ur tedx video...i was lyk shattered....
    mam please tell how i can help..... yashikajain1990@gmail.com
    from nit bhopal

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  24. I wish you all strength for your fight against the devil

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  25. Hello mam,
    my name is k.vijay kumar reddy, i am from hyderabad.
    i saw your video,i was shocked,mam
    i am with you , please tell me how i can help these situations.vijairatna@gmail.com,&@yahoo.com.

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  26. Dear Sunita : I salute your spirit! I also do agree that every single individual should contribute in making our society a better place to live in. Please let me know from where can I begin in volunteering....knowledge_recruit@yahoo.co.in...I pleadge my support!

    God Bless You and your Team!

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  27. Had a chance to listen to your TED speech through a social network site. It made a powerful impact. One thing you said is a reflection of what I have been thinking for years. Women who are victims are victimized more not only by society but by legislation also. Every women caught in brothel house need a healing but not a punishment in jail by violent authorities. The stories you have shared make me feel that my life is worthless unless I do something towards stopping this violence.

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  28. Dear sunitha mam am just viewed your TED speech and am highly impressed by your speech..wishing you all success in your great efforts ...

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  29. Sunitha - I hope you are reading this blog. I saw your TED video too - I want to help in whichever way I can. I am in Chennai. Please send me your contact details to komandur.kannan@gmail.com - I have asked few business people to create job opportunties for the victims. Please revert - Let us all join together and create a safe society for our future generation. Hats off to you.

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  30. We should not think that all these things happening around the world are hidden to the supreme being. For all these behind there is ancestral curse that influences one's life.

    Please read these versus from the word of God
    carefully...

    1:21 Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.
    1:22 Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, 1:23 And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things.
    1:24 Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves:
    1:25 Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen. 1:26 For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature
    1:27 And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.

    May God bless you.

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  31. hai ma'am,
    i want to talk to you in person... atleast i wish to contact you on phone.. i know your time is most valuable than anyothers coz if u r 2 mins late at some moments the victim may die but please tell me how can i contact you jus give me 5 mins of ur time.. radha

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  32. I am with you. I wanted to help the girls out. I know what it is like when it is from a family member (Think you understand this sentence). I do not want to disclose to you . I want to help girls. Say me how to. If you want to contact me, give me ur mail id here. I will contact you. No more girls can be left alone when there so many like us around them.

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  33. hi sunitha , I would like to help in what ever way possible . The biggest challenge would be how can we educate these victims to be mentally strong & face the challenges in life . How to face this conservative society who are not ready to accept them & how to build courage & confidence in them . And as you said it has to be a social reponsibility of every individual .. tomorrow it might be me or my children .... Everyone has to put their foot forward in helping these victims come out of their grief & help them in standing on their own foot . Create opportunities for them to survive & progress.

    "Teaching them how to fish , than giving them fish to eat "

    Please let me know how can i do my bit in helping them :g_keerthi87@yahoo.com

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  34. Hello Ms. Sunitha, I am in so much respect for your work. I bow myself to your service. What is the root problem to this kind of behavior? Why do people sexually exploit children? The worst case is where a father uses their daughter for sex and also use her for money. Bastards... When i saw your Ted talk, I had tears in my eyes. Those kids, gang raped. Why arent there harsh punishments for these animals? Kids undergo a twice the amount of trauma an adult human being undergoes during rape. When I saw your TED talk, I had a lump in my heart. I am now in Singapore. But I will return back to India in another 3 years. Even though I cannot fully dedicate my time to this activity, I want to do part time. I want to interact with these kids.. Give them unconditional love.. Make them feel that they are human beings and they deserve all the love in the world. Want to give them education. I want them to be as happy as my daughter. Please.. I need your help in doing this..

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  35. I want to join you. roopa.yabaluri@gmail.com. i need to discuss with you on this.. please mail me ur mail id. i am also from hyderabad (in-laws) home town is visakhapatnam ( parents). presently I stay with my husband in usa ( came last month). so in usa if i can contribute anything on behalf of this.. i will honoured.. Thanks..

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  36. i want to contact you.. pls any one help me by providing the contact details of sunitha garu

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    Replies
    1. her phone no.919848025014

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  37. Dear sunitha,
    I am also a MSW graduate now i am working with HIV infected people, but i am not getting satisfaction, all the NGOs are working as business concerns. I don't know how can i be a real social activist. I want to give my all efforts to support your activities.

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  38. Dear Maam,

    I am with you in your efforts..keep going maam.

    mail:radhakrishnan.aravind@gmail.com

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  39. Dear Sunitha,

    Not sure if you would be reading this... I watched the video of your presentation at TED and still can't stop thinking about all those little kids who have gone through such torture... It brought tears in my eyes... It's not just in God's Own Country, it's everywhere... People no more have the ability to distinguish between a girl and a woman...! and I really wish there was a law in our country that would directly give a capital punishment to these ruthless men who commit such crimes...No, in fact have them castrated...!!!

    I live in UAE and am from the so called 'God's Own Country'...! Please do let me know what I can do towards this cause supported by you...

    Divya (divrag@gmail.com)

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  40. I'm ashamed of being a keralite now.
    Most of the people of kerala can only boast of the high literacy rate, so-called morality and so on.

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  41. Hi Maam,
    Great!! Congratz.. Keep growing. we accompany you..

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  42. GOD Bless U Dr.Sunitha Krishnan.You show us how to come out & do selfless service for the society.

    I'm also from Kerala settled in Puttaparthi,Andhra Pradesh.Please do let me know how i can help you & ssupport you Mam..

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  43. How can I help?

    sonia_sarkar@hotmail.com

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  44. Its horrible.....after reading your blog i feel so terrible and ashamed of maself and this societ i am a part of.....I would really like to make ma bit of contribution ...but dnt knw how....where to start how to start.....if you could guide i will be really thankful to you.

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  45. Ma'am, My name is Parvathy. I am from kerala, and I am a psychologist. Right now, working as a research associate in Blore. Kindly tell me how I can be part of this movement. During my postgrad in Mumbai, I had worked with children at Dongri children's home briefly. Every child had a story, I was able to have group therapy sessions with them which created some positive change. Kindly give me some guidance about what I can do and where I can start. My friend Pratheeksha started a website to discuss women's issues www.viewsofwomen.com . Currently I am writing articles to spread the message and to say things as they are. Kindly mail me at theparueffect@gmail.com .

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  46. Please let nme know if I can make any significant help to your organization. my email id is rangaroy@live.in

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  47. Speechless...I'm ashamed to call myself as a Malayalee...I'd wriiten blogs on this, plz go through it
    1. http://voiceofavillagegirl.blogspot.com/2011/04/beware-of-gurus.html
    2. http://voiceofavillagegirl.blogspot.com/2011/01/secure-and-insecure.html
    I'm ready to help on you in this.My email id is roopanamboodiripad@gmail.com

    Regards
    village girl

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  48. Dear Sunitha..

    I saw your talk in TED today.No words can express my respect for you for the work you are doing.And i am not able to get rid of the innocent faces of those kids and the tortured women from my mind.I feel extremely sad ,and truely wish if i could do something towards this problem.

    I m basically from kerala but staying abroad.
    Please let me know what i can do.

    Contact me:

    su.worthliving@yahoo.com

    God bless you..

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  49. dear sunitha maam,
    i am a 2nd year psychology student right now.i`d like to share something with u.i took this subject as my main after ma +2 because i was greatly inspired by your works.i always long to see u.would like to get in touch with.not because of mere hero worship or stuffs.i`d really like to work with you!!! the reason why i want to do that....i hope i`ll b able to tell that to you,if ever i would get a chance to meet u sometime.madam,i`ll be honoured if u`d be kind enough to contact me!!!
    ma email id: similysab@gmail.com
    longing to get in touch with you...

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  50. OMG!! sometimes its so scary 2 lead a gals life.. at a vry tender age they go thru so many difficulties.. nd maam m greatly inspired by u.. nd i ll do my best 2 help u.. its high time dat v people bcome sensitive 2 such issues

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  51. Just wanted you to know, Ma'am, that I will be glad to help.

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  52. Frankly speaking i really cant stop crying....!
    im so speechless!
    i would be part of your mission i want to help out those people in any possible way...!
    why are we "Female" gender always taken for granted... dont we have right to live our life's.... men need us for everything and anything...why cant we treated normal human being's... why cant we....!
    what did those kids do...what's their mistake that they are been tortured for their whole of life and can never forget what actually happened to them! when will men respect women why cant they!?.....wish we could get an answer....


    ma'am... i live in Hyderabad
    please mail me:
    priyadarshini.polepaka@gmail.com

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  53. Hi Dr. Sunitha,
    Good to be here,
    Its really shocking to note that such incidents
    are taking place in our own states. How to put
    a full stop to such incidents is the urgent need now.
    We cannot just blame Kerala alone for such things,
    Its not an isolated one, its happening all around and
    in each states in India and in abroad its happening
    in its variance. So we can't just blame a group or state alone.
    The need of the hour is to make more awareness among
    our little ones, this can make a great change in such people.
    We need to make our little ones about its seriousness.
    This do through by their school by the initiatives of
    teachers and other awareness groups also can teach them to make
    alert when such things happening, sometime back
    i have watched a You tube video clip of a young doctor
    taking a class on this issue in a wonderful way,
    the video is a must watch and children and parents
    can acquire many things from it, here is the link. http://youtu.be/6aH8Rwax09A
    Thanks Dr for the note, and I appreciate the readers tremendous concern thru their responses.
    Any activity in this regard i am willing to spend my time, my id is pvariel At Gmail Dot Com
    Thanks

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  54. I was ignorant about my duties and responsibilities, neglected the plight of the victims always, but the day I met one such victim, my conscience was hit so hard that I was shattered so badly that I hardly managed to eat. Since then I always look out for every opportunity to rescue such kids and sometimes women, from the horrible situation they are in. even if I succeed in rehabilitate one such person I consider myself fortunate. I will continue to help such victims through out my life.

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  55. I don't have words to say...
    Kerala is not a safe place for women,not even at their homes!
    alarming!

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  56. And that is the condition of the most literate state in India! So I cant even begin to imagine what is the situation in others!!! :(

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  57. This is exactly the truth of Kerala Mam. I am from kerala and I know how hard it is to stay away from these wolfy eyes. I am studiying in Asian University for Women, Chittagong, Bangladesh right now. Frankly says even though this is a foreign country where I even dont know anyone and I don't have any relatives here exept my friends,I feel more secure to be here. I remember one of my uncle saying dont come back to Kerala. Its not a good place for girls. He even asked me to take my sister from kerala. No one can belive anyone. I dont know why people still call it "God's own country"

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    Replies
    1. thts sad when some one consider kerala which is suppose to be pride of india worse than bangladesh

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  58. Rajesh Bothra was born in Mumbai 1968, in Marwari family from a Rajaldesar village in Rajasthan. When he was aged about 16. He decided to quit his further studies, because his ambition was to become an excellent businessman. After quitting his studies he decided to start his business. In Present days his Business is popular by brand name Mercury, which is sold and uses his product Worldwide by common people.

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  59. Heinous reveletion !! Is there any social security for these children in neo liberal globalization that is a new face of capitalism.Where is security in this system ? girl children are rapped , molested and sold out for prostitution due to economic insecurity .Charity will not help them. State must show its guts to do something better at economic front for offering these children security..I ask those who is in favour of capitalism why comrade Fakru Ahmed Bashu should go there and help them. Why not supporters of capitalism go there to help them out from inhumane state ? If a communist does any thing in favour of them, you start bombarding upon communists, giving exaple of past regime of communists in world. Now they do not exist, you as capitalists survive in the world,rectify it. bring the world from disorderness to orderness...

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  60. i read this blog, very nice article and content..i like this page.

    Recycled Paper - The Green Directory has the most comprehensive selection of Green, Eco, Sustainable, Fair Trade and Environmentally Friendly Companies, Products and Services. Use the eco directory to find green, eco, fair trade, recycled and sustainable businesses, services, news, events, articles and guides.

    ReplyDelete
  61. asha radhakrishnanOctober 6, 2013 at 12:23 AM

    Dr Sunitha,GOD bless you,,,,,hope you start a centre in kerala soon.....

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