Author: Lasa Shankar
ISBN/UPC (if available): 0143100459
There are millions of children in India today who spend their childhood on the streets, in railway stations and jail-like shelters, living on the edge and taking each day as it comes. Some have been abandoned; others have chosen to run away from harsher realities at home; yet others have been born on the streets and know no other life.
In Midway Station child-rights activist Lara Shankar records the voices of eleven such children living in shelters in Delhi. We meet, among others, Mohan, who hopped on to a train in Chennai when he was four to escape from his stepmother; Allam, who sends money to his mother whenever he can and visits her in Bihar during Id; and Rani, who thinks life in the shelter is too comfortable and looks back with nostalgia on her days as a domestic servant.
What emerges from these narratives is a nightmarish world of poverty and neglect, rape and murder, Mafiosi-like gangs and police brutality. Yet there are redemptive stories of courage too, of friendships made and kindnesses repaid. Poignant and hard-hitting, these real-life stories of homeless children are testimony to their resilience in the face of adversity, their will to carry on and determination to build a life of dignity.
The author discovers a world most of us close our eyes to. It is the world of homeless children living rootless, incomplete lives. Midway Station is a work of care and concern and an effort to make all of us think of the invisible and underprivileged child, who is also the face of tomorrow’s India.
-Shabana Azmi, actor and social worker
Wisdom at Nine
Behind Closed Doors
Broken to Pieces
A Train to Nowhere
A childhood scarred with Terror
After Mother Died
Earning Back Lost Respect
The Friendship Trap
Addicted to Freedom
Anything Can Happen