FIGHTING FOR THEIR DREAMS
Kerre McIvor travelled to India and Myanmar with visual journalist Mike Scott to discover how young girls’ lives are still blighted by forced labour, under-age marriage, child prostitution and sex trafficking
NZME radio host and columnist Kerre McIvor travelled to India and Myanmar with visual journalist Mike Scott to discover how young girls’ lives are still blighted by forced labour, under-age marriage, child prostitution and sex trafficking. Here is a glimpse of what they found ahead of the Herald-World Vision campaign Not For Sale which starts next week.
‘I hadn’t taken into account what it would be like to meet the young women of India and Myanmar who are directly affected as a result of poverty. I wasn’t expecting it to be that tough. I wasn’t expecting to see the harsh reality of real poverty and what that can do to a family.’
‘These girls have to come out of school and work or their families do not survive. There is no roof over their head, there is no food in the bowls.’ ‘I met some extraordinary young women who, because of the circumstances of their birth, because of their families’ positions, they were either working as child labourers or were married off before they were ready.’
Kerre McIvor stands above the Kolkata red light district, Asia’s largest brothel. In the alleys and streets are girls whose mothers work the streets and who themselves are at high risk of following them into the sex industry at an early age.
Above: A young boy hangs on to his mum's sari at a public meeting.
Right: Kerre McIvor talks with Devi Singh 38, and Jitendar Singh, 35, of a men’s group in Agra fighting against traditions that discriminate against girls and women.
Left: Latika works as a prostitute in Kolkata’s red light district. She lives in the area with her teenage daughter but the pair want to move away and set up an alternative business. They hope to get some economic assistance.
Below: A prostitute working in Kolkata’s red light district.
Below: Change is in the air in some parts of India. This adolescent girls group in a village near Muzaffapur, Bihar, is rallying against issues such as child marriages and they are fighting to realise their dreams of becoming doctors, engineers and teachers.
Right: Thanks to World Vision, 14-year-old Kiran now goes to school full-time in Agra. Her mother, Mumta, couldn’t be happier with her daughter’s aim of becoming a doctor.