Absent Friends ~ The Hidden Dangers of Being an Indian Girl by Mark Helyar

Absent Friends ~ The Hidden Dangers of Being an Indian Girl

byMark Helyar

Kobo ebook | May 11, 2015

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Absent Friends is a 5,500 word article that places the reality and impact of gender discrimination in the context of daily life in the Himalayan foothills, told through the stories of the girls and women who live there.

"India is the most dangerous place in the world to be a baby girl," reported The Times of India in February 2012.

According to a report published by the United Nations in 2011, an "Indian girl aged 1-5 years is 75% more likely to die than an Indian boy, making this the worst differential in child mortality for any country in the world."

Official data from the 2011 Census of India reveals that, despite an increase in the number of females over the last 10 years, the number of girls under the age of seven has declined.

Although some commentators argue that this is due to natural changes in the demographic, the predominant causes are more likely to be female infanticide, a practice that has existed for centuries, and foeticide, a rapidly escalating social evil. As scientific procedures for detecting the gender of a baby in the womb have improved in recent years, so the situation has worsened.

In 2005, Mark Helyar travelled to India. He lived with street kids in South India, became caught up in a post-tsunami orphanage intrigue and visited some of the remote villages of the Garhwal region of the Himalayan foothills. Feeling compelled to share something of the spirit and determination of the people he met, he wrote Rising from the Dust ~ India's Hidden Voices.

Seven years later, many of the issues remain pertinent. Some have become even more pressing. So Mark decided to update and publish parts of the book as a series of articles. Absent Friends is the first of these. At the heart of each one are the tales of people featured in Rising from the Dust, framed by updated references and links to other relevant news stories, publications and online material.

About Rising from the Dust

'A quest for adventure becomes a labour of love as Mark Helyar gains intimate access into the heart of a society rarely experienced by the western world.'

Rising from the Dust is perfect preparation for gap year students, volunteers or anybody else planning to travel to India. By raising awareness about tough issues through humour and personal anecdote, it will also appeal to anyone who wants to read ‘behind the scenes’ stories about development and education in India from the comfort of their own armchair.

Praise for Rising from the Dust

“Without any shadow of doubt the finest and most enjoyable piece of non-fiction that I have ever read.” Jack Kelsey, a founder trustee of SKCV, an internationally-renown project working with street kids in South India.

“Beautifully written, utterly compelling, this is a book about economic and educational challenges in India, set in the context of one man's physical and spiritual journey through it. Funny and shocking in turns, it's a deeply honest and unpretentious book. Backed up by well-researched notes and sources, this book should be compulsory reading for anyone who needs to learn gratitude for our free, accessible education system and welfare state.” Heather Tracy, London

“A really great read. Very well written, readable & enjoyable. A review of travels through India from a very personal point of view. I particularly enjoyed the mix of travel writing, history and direct contact with all levels of current Indian society.” R Trigger, Bristol

Other Readers’ Comments:

“Insightful, inspirational, honest and entertaining.”

“A fascinating insight into a world I shall never see, but your book has enabled me to do it from the luxury of my armchair.”

“Finished the book and enjoyed every word... Never enjoyed another person’s journey so much.”

“Soul-searching and well-researched... useful preparation for anyone planning on volunteering in a developing country, especially India.

Title:Absent Friends ~ The Hidden Dangers of Being an Indian GirlFormat:Kobo ebookPublished:May 11, 2015Publisher:Mark HelyarLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0955943035

ISBN - 13:9780955943034

Appropriate for ages: All ages

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