Note to readers: EL PAÍS 2030 provides the future planetary part for its daily and global information contribution on the agenda. If you would like to support our magazine, Subscribe here.
In early May, information on the spread of Govt-19 was focused on India. The Asian nation is experiencing a second wave than its first, overflowing hospitals, Lack of oxygen Y With non-supply fuels To burn the bodies of those killed by the epidemic. The region has reached its highest peak so far: More than 20 million infections, 400,000 positive and 4,000 deaths daily. Now the eyes of the world have ceased to see there, and the curve has been reduced to 43,000 cases and 2,000 deaths, which are social and economic consequences, in addition to the dramatic situation prevailing in childhood, which worries many of the subcontinent.
“The second wave has led to another frightening experience for children, especially in this part of eastern India. The epidemic has put them at risk, with some being forced to engage in transsexual sex, i.e. they are being used as barter for food and other basic products … child abuse and trafficking have increased” Video call Franklin Meniscus (Mangalore, 1951). The Catholic priest has been a director for nine years Seva Kendra Calcutta, Center for Social Services of the Diocese of Calcutta. From this organization, which employs more than 200 people, religion meets the needs of the poorest and most vulnerable, and leads a program United Hands To prevent human trafficking in border areas.
But the warning that the meniscus will begin is not new. Since last May, UNICEF has been warning many children and adolescents They lose their parents to Govt-19, Leaving them in a completely helpless situation. With the increase in the number of orphans in the country and the demand for illegal adoptions appearing frequently on social networks, the situation puts children at high risk for abduction and abuse.
“They give very attractive sums to poor parents who have nothing. They promise to take them to Delhi or Bombay and give them a good job. These mafias make them believe they are their savior, but what they are doing is destroying their family and taking the children away,” laments the priest. , Lost more than 15 million jobs in India last May, mainly affecting migrants, street vendors, informal and rural workers. ” The plight of immigrants who have walked thousands of kilometers home, Carrying their babies on their shoulders, carrying some of their belongings on their backs, to withstand the heat and hunger. Many died along the way. These films will haunt us for years to come, ”he complains.
These mafias make them believe they are their rescuers, but what they are doing is destroying their family and taking the children away.
The mental health of minors due to imprisonment is another element that worries the Catholic priest, who is also the secretary of the Education and Development Association in Calcutta. “Because they are locked in small houses without going to school, they experience social isolation, they have no routines, they can not play. All of this has deeply affected his psychological well-being,” Meneses explains. Have strategy, through WhatsApp, where they send advice and techniques so that they know how to deal with their children’s prison.
Information and awareness, key factors
Franklin Menisse knows that the work he did from Calcutta, a service center to prevent the abduction networks and child abuse that are witnessed daily in Calcutta and India, is a drop in the ocean. However, he considers the work of raising awareness carried out by his organization to be “important” so that all vulnerable people, especially children, living at high risk of falling victim to these mafias are informed. They can tell the difference between what is good and what is not and whether they are involved in something illegal. “We recently learned of the case of a woman from a cottage town called Childline – a helpline and telephone help for children, because some of the kidnappers wanted to take her sister and report it. The agents of this phone reported all the details to the police, and they brought her back. Done, “the priest explains happily.
But despite the enormous implications of speaking out, Menisse, who was appointed in 1977, describes himself as “more Catholic than the pope” and, after six years as professor of theological university, never thought he would work. Department of Cooperation and Development. “We make something clear to the people: we work for social justice, we do not engage in politics or religious conversion,” he says.
The Menisus-led organization offers courses in renewable energy for women, most of whom are uneducated so they can get an alternative lifestyle by constructing solar lights. They have already trained 440 people
Recognizing the interest in environmental sustainability, Religion has been involved in promoting renewable energy, organic farming and water conservation programs for over 20 years. Most recently, since Seva Kendra took the lead, similar strategies have been put into practice in a number of projects. She is one of the most proud and will train women as technicians in renewable energy. With this knowledge, she explains, women can earn a living and learn to create everyday useful items like sunlight. “Many of them were uneducated and found an alternative way of life. That is why it has become the primary project of our organization. Through this we have trained 440 women. Our confidence is in them,” Menisus explains.
“Beer fanatic. Bacon advocate. Wannabe travel junkie. Social media practitioner. Award-winning gamer. Food lover.”