Monday, August 29, 2005

Wanted Children

When Bangalore gets bad press, it seems to get it awful prominently. Must be a dull day world over if NYT could not find another story to feature in the International section of Page 1.

As an Indian, I find a very different way to look at the story about outrageous bribes demanded by hospital staff to let the parents hold their babies. In a country where the poor are as poor as they are and have as many offspring as they do, it is amazing that they can still be so desperate to hold their newborn.

I would read that as an enduring testament of love that poverty does not diminish. For someone making $1 a day to give up $7 to hold their child is a sacrifice that the affluent cannot even comprehend. Without denying the sordidness of the whole business, I still find something amazingly uplifting about the story. At some very basic, intangible, immaterial level those children are lucky - they are truly wanted.

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