(Click to enlarge)
The young girl is a member of the 300 million people-group in India known as the “Untouchables” or Dalits. This people-group is considered subhuman, impure from birth, and worthy of nothing but contempt. Anything a Dalit touches is then considered impure and contaminated, and must be thrown away.
Dalits work at the most degrading and menial jobs in India. They clean out the open-air toilets, latrines, and sewer lines with their bare hands. They work back-breaking twelve-hour days as laborers on farms or carry firewood from the forests. All for only pennies per hour in wages. Crimes against Dalits, such as rape or kidnapping as slaves, are seldom reported because the police turn a blind eye when they hear the whole story.
The Dalits are the least of the least and the poorest of the poor.
So, you can understand why it’s acceptable for the young girl to dig through garbage. She is, after all, already contaminated and who knows? Maybe she’ll eke out a few pennies to help feed her family that day.
Let’s say you were walking down the street and happened on the scene shown in the photo. What would you do?
If you don’t have a good answer, check out Gospel For Asia’s Bridge of Hope Ministry.