‘Mother India,’ is a documentary style film from Word Films. The documentary is narrated by well-known Christian artist and child advocate Rebecca St. James. The DVD follows the life of 25 children ranging in age from 3 to 25 years old that live as a family group on the streets of India. They choose the city of Tenali to live in because with it being a railroad hub makes it a good place where they can beg to get enough to live on.
On the DVD you’ll find interviews with several members of the group telling their story of how they ended up on the streets. The common problem found in most of their stories is they ran away to escape terrible abuse. One of the main interviewees is the leader of the group named Reddy, who is in his early 20’s and acts almost like a father to the other children in the group.
At times the DVD is hard to watch as the kids tell about the abuse with one young girl being sold into the red light district and forced prostitution. Also the living conditions on the streets are terrible often sweating hot all through the night with the children being bitten over and over by mosquitoes. In one part of the DVD it shows the children using broken crushed pieces of bricks as toothpaste. The children often turn to drugs, everything from chewing tobacco and huffing ‘whitener’ to taking injections of drugs that they have no idea of what it is their shooting into their veins, they are so desperate to find any short relief from their pain that they’ll try anything to help it. With the widespread use of shared needles and often forced sexual activity that the children face over 50% of the group is HIV positive and 100% of them face some sort of addiction problem.
The DVD does take a YEA! moment when the filmmakers talk with a friend of theirs, Suresh Kumar, who runs Harvest India, a place that helps children to get better lives about taking in two of the groups youngest children, 7 years old Koteswari and her 3 year old brother Polayya. Kumar and his wife agree to help and the long process needed to adopt them gets started.
While the DVD is hard at times to watch knowing all of the suffering that the children must face each day, it’s needed if there is every going to be an end to the tragic situation that India’s orphaned children have to face each day.
The people behind the film said it started out as a project to document the life of the 25 children they followed but turned into more wanting to help not only the children found in the DVD but also the other 31 million orphans that are found in India today. In that regards they have setup a website where you can go and learn more about how to help or sponsor a child for just $35. a month. The filmmaker’s goal is to get every one of the 31 million orphans a sponsor. The website to visit to learn more is: http://www.31million.org
A lot of the movie does have subtitles when the children speak but don’t let that turn you off. Just make sure that you view it on a normal size screen. I watched the DVD on my small 10″ netbook screen and that while giving it a quaint feel had my eyes squinting for awhile afterwards. But it was still well worth it to open my eyes to the tragedy happening involving these children in India.
Mother India Website: http://motherindiafilm.com