Giving Up Oneself for The Greater Good

Kaila - Beachwood, Ohio
Entered on March 2, 2009
Age Group: Under 18
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I believe in helping people.

Daya hasn’t eaten in two days. She works long, fourteen-hour days in cramped sweatshops making firecrackers for $2 a day. After work, she wanders the streets, for she has no home. Daya is seven and a half. Her mother died in childbirth, her father abandoned her when she was just a year old. This is not an unusual case. 4 out of 5 children in India are below the poverty line, many of which are orphaned and live on the street.

You may ask how I started to care about this; I’m a fourteen year old living in the suburbs of Cleveland with a Mac, an iPhone, and a spot at a $20,000 a year private school. It all started when I was seven, just as old as the fictional character I just described to you.

My biological father has phases. At the moment, he’s a personal trainer in California with a wife and two kids, all of which fit the stereotypical “Cali” mold. When I was younger, he was Hindu. He lived with and took care of his guru, Babaji, an old silent monk who wrote on a chalkboard. He lived up in the mountains of northern California, and it was one of my favorite places to go. It was so grand, yet modest at the same time. Every year his group went to India to help an orphanage called Sri Ram Ashram. Babaji gave up his life for this orphanage, and while I didn’t realize it then, he helped to shape my strong believe in helping people. I had forgotten about this until a few months ago, when I saw Slumdog Millionaire. This spiked my curiosity, so I went searching for Indian orphanages to donate to. That’s when I remembered Babaji. After getting in touch with the person in charge, I decided to do something about this travesty. What I found blew my mind.

Poverty is a problem everywhere. I care about people everywhere, it’s just my past that pushes me towards India. No one, especially children, should have to suffer unnecessarily. Kids have to grow up far too soon in order to survive in the slums. America as a whole has done nothing to stop this. Is this the example we want to give for the rest of the world? If it’s not hurting us directly, why should we help? Children are dying everyday because of starvation, lack of clean water and health issues that can be easily prevented. We must help because this is an injustice that cannot go on any longer. This, I believe.