When thinking of the ill, illiterate, hungry, and hopeless in India’s slums, rural villages, hospitals, and red light areas, two words play repeatedly in my mind:
Righteousness is all about living right, and justice is about doing right. Daily, I try to live right. I have a family I love, values I hold in high esteem, and a cause that I am passionate about. But you know, not only do I need to live right, but I need to do right as well.
I think of the red light area of Sonagachi. By all estimations, the needs there seem insurmountable. Prostitution is illegal in India, but neither the law of the land nor humane principles operate in this open market. By all appearances, the police and city officials simply turn a blind eye to the trade.
But what about the daughters of sex slaves who cry out in the night for righteousness and justice? Now that I have seen their plight and heard their stories, I feel I have a moral responsibility to help them. “I don’t know what, but we need to do something more for Sonagachi’s women and their children,” I tell family members.
Since 2013, I have been volunteering with Mukti Volunteer Village (www.muktivillage.ca), a Canadian charity, provides education to children with little or no access to education.
I find purpose in my work when I see underprivileged children rejoicing in the simple yet priceless gifts of education, food, and medicine. Their happiness is worth all the work that goes into walking with the poor. I might take small forward steps, but every day I take steps.
That said, I know that the depth of poverty around the world is almost overwhelming. With twenty-two thousands of the world’s children dying daily, how can we not feel deflated? Can it really be that one in four children is malnourished due to a lack of clean water, fresh food, or regular meals? In our modern world with all its luxuries and advancements, these are stark statistics.
Children’s cries for food, healthcare, education and affection must not fall on deaf ears. Once our eyes are open to their very real and prevalent sufferings, we should not continue going about our normal lives without doing something to help them.
Do you sense the urgency in helping the broken, destitute, and hopeless? In the midst of the daily demands and pursuits that bombard your waking hours, can you hear their cry?
We have all been uniquely gifted by God to do something great for those who suffer. One less burger, one less movie, or just one less cup of coffee today can help a child see tomorrow. Think about why you toil on earth. For what end do you wake and work, then go to bed exhausted each day? Can your hard work have greater significance?