Monday, October 30, 2017

Teens run village in India

Today's crumb comes from a reader in Indiana. It concerns the remote village of Thennamadevi in the state of Tamil Nadu, in India. The adult men in the village are racked by alcoholism. Most participate in daily drinking sessions -- drinking themselves to death. So far, about 90 women and families have been widowed. But in the past six months, something has changed for the better. The teenage daughters of the drunken men took over the running of the town.

                                                                                           Mark Townsend for the Observer
A self-titled "Young Girls Club" has fixed the street lights, completed a health audit among residents, and insured that mobile clinics visit their village. Aid agencies and politicians across the state have taken notice. At a recent meeting, the club debated a petition urging better transport links, since no busses reach their village. After each debate there is a show of hands. Only when consensus is reached do the teens move on to the next issue. The president of the club is 16-year-old Says Sowmya. She explains, "We are tying to transform our village by this process. We are empowered to be leaders."

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