Gegen den Strom

Nur tote Fische schwimmen mit dem Strom

Living at the Howrah Railway Station

There are extraordinary children living at the Howrah Railway Station, near Kolkata, India. I was especially moved by their ability to generate a community and to survive ? these are very young people, taking care of themselves and each other in an uncaring world ? but the tremendous potential that they represent is being wasted from day to day, and in danger of being lost altogether.
Drug usage among minors is spreading like a plague through many societies, creating a global generation of addicted and often abandoned children, bereft of crucial education, family support, and social skills.

Most of the kids at Howrah are addicted to Dendrite, a rubber-based glue that provides a quick, powerful high, and that is both cheap and readily available. The kids squeeze Dendrite onto a rag; the fumes are huffed (inhaled) through the mouth. Huffing Dendrite affects the brain almost immediately, altering behavior and frequently producing hallucinations. Solvent fumes can cause extensive damage to the brain and nervous system, liver, kidneys, and heart. Some users will die without warning from an abrupt, acute disturbance of the heart?s rhythm ?

Without help, the outlook for these children is bleak. Thankfully a handful of organizations exist to aid the kids, yet none has adequate funding or facilities. My purpose in telling this story is to help bring the needed attention and funding for the creation of a safe place for recovery, readily available to any child who is ready to leave the streets.
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