Education is Everything

Happy New Year! After taking a break for two weeks over the holidays, today I am back with another installment of Good News Wednesday.

I would like to share an update from some boys featured in the book, The Weight of Silence. These are the young boys from the CCD Muktaneer Home in Calcutta – Sahiful, Rinku and others who were once abused child laborers, but after being rescued went on to become award-winning filmmakers! You can read their inspiring story here.

The day after Christmas, I received an update from Swapan Mukherjee, the incredible man who runs CCD and who rescued these boys from their horrible lives of slavery. Swapan has dedicated his life to investigating traffickers and bringing them to justice, and he has spent twenty years doing just that, rescuing more than two thousand child laborers.

Swapan wrote to me that two of the CCD Muktaneer Home boys have recently passed their school examinations for the Board of Secondary Examinations, meaning that they have officially graduated high school. Congratulations to these young men, who were once not only denied an education but even a childhood. And thank you, Swapan, for making their educations and future possible.

Me and Swapan in 2007

In fact, Swapan was honored in December with The Frank Corea Memorial Award, for the Educationist of the Year 2009. I feel very privileged to have shared Swapan’s work and the story of these boys in my book; it was a true pleasure meeting them and I hope to visit them again one day. Way to go Swapan! I love good news like this!

Take a moment to think about where some of the goods you purchase might come from – you’d be surprised at how many items are made using child labor. Go to the Free2Work site before you buy at a store, to check the merchant’s rating and see if the merchandise you are buying is child-labor free. I’d also like to share the eye-opening video below, by one of my favorite bands, Radiohead. Here they use their amazing song, All I Need, to visibly show the difference between children who are put to work far too young, and those who are able to enjoy a childhood. Thank you for caring.


About Shelley Seale

I'm Shelley, a journeyer and learner of the world, freelance journalist and author, yoga chick and dog lover. I pound the keyboard from home barefoot every day, and while my boss is demanding she also occasionally lets me have the early afternoon cocktail. I think not going into an office or collecting corporate paychecks are very good ideas, though not always profitable. I have written for National Geographic, USA Today, The Guardian, Texas Monthly and CNN, among others. Neither the New York Times nor Johnny Depp have answered my letters yet. I love yoga, indie movies, wine, and books, though not necessarily in that order. I believe in karma. Mean people suck. If I could have any dream job I would like to be a superhero. I have performed a catch on the flying trapeze, boarded down a live volcano and was once robbed by a monkey in Nepal. But, I don't know how to whistle. My mantra is "travel with a purpose."

Posted on January 6, 2010, in India and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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