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Now we have a new legislation called "Juvenile & Justice Act, 2015" replacing the JJ Act of 2000. In this new act, adoption has assumed a significant importance with an exclusive chapter. Subscribe and follow this blog for more information in the days to come.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Dare to be an Indian

Indian immigrant Mohan was a successful lawyer. Professionally, he made quite a name for himself. His fame and riches never deterred him from staying in touch with his country. Mohan always attended India reunions and kept in touch with fellow Indians in his adopted land through association memberships. He chose to live a simple life to set an example to many around him.

One day he was traveling in a train and was abused by a fellow countryman for him being Indian. Physically, Mohan was not gifted but he had verbal skills that are unmatched. He had courage as strong as steel that enabled him to think out of the box. This particular experience troubled him so much so that he chose to return to India, for good.

Rest is history……India became a free country from the clutches of British forces. Mohan is none other than Mr. Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi - Mahatma Gandhi. It was apartheid that troubled Gandhi to come to fight for free India but is it free? We may be free from the British forces but not from the social forces that still keep India in a state of apartheid of sorts. Look around and you’ll see abject poverty, illiteracy, unemployment, gender discrimination and untouchability etc.

It truly bothers me but does that bother you? If not, why not? We live in a land of Gandhi - an epitome of courage. He taught us that being courageous is not synonymous with confrontation but a catalyst. His out of the box thinking was ahead of his times.

I want to share with you a recent experience that taught me to be different. I became a father through adoption, twice. My family decided to do it for one more time. So I visited an orphanage. The setting was beautiful, next to a lush green park with big shady trees and cool breeze blowing across. As I waited, I looked around and my eyes caught a group of neatly dressed four little children sat across a kids table. They had two adults accompanying them to keep them engaged. One among the children was a beautiful little girl with curly hair, big brown eyes and sucking her middle two fingers. She looked just like my older daughter when she came home and I just couldn’t take my eyes off of her. She looked sad and was gazing into the sky and didn’t bother to be a part of the assigned activities. Perhaps she is looking for someone more than a paid worker to keep her engaged. Probably a mom or dad?

My thinking was why can’t this little girl have a home? Why can’t someone adopt her?
I decided to do some research about the adoptions and what I found made me a catalyst as Gandhi taught us. I found out that one of the reasons for fewer adoptions in India is the cost. Central Adoption Resource Agency (CARA) stipulated maximum limit
(Rs. 25,200/-) is higher than India’s per capita income (Rs. 20,734/-). That means an average Indian has to shell out more than his annual gross earnings to adopt a child. That is ridiculous. So I decided to submit a petition to the Government of India with a suggestion of a solution “Adoption Tax Credit”. I want to collect 100,000 signatures by October 31, 2007 before I submit this petition.

You can read and sign the petition at this link: http://www.petitiononline.com/atc26047/petition.html

I urge you to sign this petition but whether to sign or not is totally your choice. Before you choose to ignore, think for a moment if you’re being a catalyst. Catalyst is the one who makes a change possible.

Do you want to change that little girl’s life for ever? Forward this mail to others and ask them also to join in this campaign. Dare to be an Indian.

1 comment:

Lynn said...

On the note of 'expensive to adopt', I was quite taken aback to see that we have to show a Fixed Deposit of an amount thrice that of our monthly income before we get to the hearing stage. I am sure that most Indians will not have that kind of money laying about, we have all our money tied up in the home loan EMI.
There has to be a better perspective of things...