Thursday, June 4, 2009


At what age a person should start earning a livelihood? This question will be difficult to answer. Well, let us take a look. It was late in the evening and therefore the photos are not very clear.

Oh!! What’s this little girl doing! Is she playing with the hats? That’s what they are supposed to do. Be carefree. Be happy. Have a good time. Be loved. Be fussed. Given nutritious food in time.. Wear good clean clothes. A roof over her head. A nice bed to sleep with soft pillows.Toys and dolls to play with. Story books and fairy tales.

No! She is not playing. She is selling hats for her lively hood. She is sitting and shouting,” Hats! Hats! Hats!” She looks innocent. She is cherubic. She is an angel from heaven.
But people are walking past her. They have no time for her. Even to look at her and smile. They have their own problems. What have they got to do with this poor little girl!

She sits there like the most beautiful, gorgeous flower, enchanting, fascinating, breath taking, spell binding. No one cares!

You see, no one Kerala wears hats. This little girl is from North India and she doesn’t even know the local language, Malayalam. Only tourists will buy hats. But the place where this innocent, poor little darling is sitting is not the place for tourists. So she continues to keep shouting at the top of her voice hoping someone will buy

Her parents must be sitting somewhere else and selling hats. Probably they will come from time to time to check if she is sitting there selling hats and not playing.

We spend almost all our money and efforts in bringing up our children, giving them a religion, providing for them, educating them to the best of our ability and take care of them and worry about their future.

I stopped and smiled at this little girl. She gave me an innocent smile and she looked at me expectantly. I asked her for the price of the hat. She said that it was Rs.20. I gave her Rs.20. She took a hat and gave it to me. I told her I don’t need the hat. She wanted to know if the money was for her. I nodded my head and smiled. She became very happy. Her eyes brightened up with joy. I just can’t forget that look on her lovely face for a long, long time.
What is the future of this little girl? Will she become a business woman? Will she get an education? Will she fall into bad ways? I agree, she will become street-smart. She will be tough mentally and physically. She will have no fear. Will she survive to grow up?

My dear friends, I hope you can enlighten me!


Trudy said...

Hello dear Joseph!

That is a very touching story. My heart goes out to this beautiful child. I have spent some time in Mexico with my parents and have seen small children selling their wares. They are always the most beautiful children and I think their parents 'use' them for this very reason, in the hope that tourists will take pity on them and buy their wares. It worked for me.

Your kindness touches me deeply Joseph. I think if this little girl were to come across more people like you in her lifetime, she might not have such a rough go of it. You have shown her the love of Jesus and I hope she will not soon forget it!

God bless you Joseph!



Joseph this broought tears to my eyes, here we take for granted that children have a good education, get good jobs on leaving school, have a childhood to remember for all the right reasons, we as parents see they are safe from the big outside world, It isn't until One reads a blog like this and sees the pictures that we realise in other parts of the world things can and are indeed different.
How kind of you to give the wee little girl the price of the hat
you are a kind person.
I am proud to have your acquaintance.
Thanks for enlightening us of the plight of these children.
God Bless You.


Rahul said...

Truly a touchy and inspiring post. Like many of your others. It's good to see you took time off to spend some thoughts for this little girl. Happy to meet you again. Plz add my blog in ur blog list, so that u can see my new article as soon as I post them, I hav added urs to enjoy more soon!

venus66 said...

Dear sir,
Very touching. Brought tears into my eyes.There are many more out there doing the same.Poverty could be the reason but parents shouldn't use children for that very purpose.
You are very kind and thoughtful.
God Bless.

A New Beginning said...

Its a very touching post indeed.
We see children selling their wares, what the future holds for them cannot be said, but we can definately pray that lead a safe life fulfilled with the basic would a person study if he/she havent had anything to eat for days on end.
Nice post, Thanks Joseph! Great work:)

hpy said...

I don't know what this girl will become. She may get street-smart, or she may get smart. With a little luck she will grow up and become something envied by everyone. Who knows.
Just like we don't know what a little girl with parents who have plenty of money will become. Of course her chances are better, but she must still work for he future herself as well.
Because everything and anything can happen.

meerasworld said...

what you are saying is a fact,a sad fact. we were talking about this boy aout 13 who comes to our home almost everyday.he just comes home with our helper everyday and stay and help my mil sometimes with watering the plants,getting rid of weeds etc etc.she told him to come home everyday before going to school to have breakfast from here.he likes staying here and we like having him here too. his mother and father both takes drinks and we heared they even gave drinks to this kid.he promised my mil that he wont ever drink again.
8th std,he doesnt know how to read.but iam sure this kid will survive anywhere. he is a survivor.unlike the kids we have at our homes,who are living in a protected bubble world,these kids will live under any circumstances.

Mel said...

Greetings, Friend! :)

I think the story of this little girl seems particularly tragic to those of us who live in areas where those kinds of individual circumstances are more rare than not, and many times are chosen by those who live in them.

Did the little girl seem unhappy to you? She looks rather happy to me. If this is the only life she's ever known, I bet that she--with the characteristic easy going manners of a child--finds ways to have fun and enjoy the moments. I bet she enjoys watching the people around her.

I don't know what will become of her, but I know that God has a plan and purpose for her life, and I bet part of His plan was to have you find her and take her picture and share her plight with us. Just think of how many people will be praying for her now! And I know she'll never forget you for the kindness you showed her. God is good through you Joseph. :)

Many blessings to you and yours,


Kat said... heart goes out to that little girl. So much of our life is spent in selfishness, that even when we see something like that, we would rather look away than to identify with the situation. Your blessing will stay with her for a lifetime. Even just acknowledging that she exhists is doing the "will of God". You both have been blessed!!

Rhapsody said...

Namaste Joseph, this is a moving and sad story. I would like to say this is new to see unfortunately it is not. Thank you for sharing and you are right she is a beautiful little girl.

Hope to see your footprints on my blog, take care and stay blessed my friend.

Joseph Pulikotil said...

Hi Rhapsody Phoenix:)


Many thanks for your comment.

I am not able to open your comment box. I tried several times yesterday and today. I have even left a message with Trudy to inform you.

Google is playing tricks on me. I am getting frustrated in not being able to reach out to you.

I hope the problem will be sorted out soon.

Best wishes:)

Krishanu said...

I just don't know what I should be saying that would tantamount to such a poignant post...!

Rajesh said...

Yes, this is a sad state in most of the places. Kids in the age where they have to play and learn end up as the bread earner due to financial constraints.

Funky Art Queen said...

Precious little girl, she should be playing with barbie dolls and having fun in her backyard. This is sad but something we need to open our eyes to. We live in a protected world and often forget how fortunate we are. I have to imagine she will grow up to be a business woman who does very well for herself; otherwise it is too painful to think of other outcomes. Thanks for sharing Joseph!

Anonymous said...

What a bittersweet post to start this early Sunday morning. You are a very kind man, Joseph, but I believe you must have been told that many times. So many people, seeing certain things all the time, become a little numb to them. I don't want children, truly, but I believe I would have the urge to steal the little girl....
I don't want to venture a guess as to how her life will turn out, but I will hope....~Mary

msatheeshkumar said...

I am unable to control tears flowing from my eyes. What's their sin??? Why should they have such a life??? Whom to blame??? Obviously,thats not the age to earn their livelihood. Why are they burdened on both their shoulders at this tender age??? This is not just the only problem to be solved. They are innumerous. And its not just their problem,its our problem equally as well. We are one,although not born to same mother.We must feel ashamed of our reality,sir. The other problem which continues to distress me all my 22 yrs of life is that of Beggars. Sir,you are very elder in age,should have experienced many hurdles in your life,and should have learnt how to solve those problems. I request you to tell me from the best knowledge you earned in your life,how we can solve these problems. Definitely there should be a solution for every problem. I'll have it as my life-time goal and work for it with all the efforts I can do. Atleast, I can sacrifice a drop of my sweat for a good cause.

Joseph Pulikotil said...

Hi Rahul:)

I am sorry I am not able to comment because your comment box is not opening. Kindly look into it.

Wish you all the best:)

magicpolaroid said...

hi joseph, im very sad reading this post and see these photos!

Amrita said...

This is the sadest situation in our country in which our future generation is robbed of its growing up days.
Child labour is banned but because of extreme poverty children are forced to work. They have no motivation to go to school.
Hunger drives them to the streets.

My adopted sister Sonia was a domestic servant at the age of 5 or 6 and we rescued her from her dreadful condition and brought her home.She was an abandoned child.
She was so starved of food that she even after eating plenty she stole food from the kitchen the first day.

Now she is happily married to a fine man and has a son of her own. She is a great asset to our family.

Danielle&Hannah said...

Hi there Joseph!

What a sweet girl! You are very thoughtful and I bet she was delighted you stopped to converse with her! That was a lovely gift for you to give too.
I think on how selfish this world is when I see this little girl.
I also think on my little Hannah when I see this darling! My darling Hannah is getting an education, also she is now in her own bed, snug and sleeping well. Earlier today I made a post reflecting on how a child should be carefree and not have to be mature like us parents.
This little darling has not that opportunity. Rather she must mature fast so that she might even survive?
I know, when I see this post, that I am blessed! Thank you Joseph,



Mark in Spokane said...


I have no wisdom with which to enlighten you -- but I want to thank you for continuing to enlighten and educate me about the world in which I live, and of the challenges faced by all sorts of people in this wide world.

I am heartened by your compassion, my friend, and your ability to see the dignity and value of each person you run across. Thank you so much for that.

God bless, Joseph.

FCB said...

Hi Joseph,
This story grieves me to consider all the things you listed about childhood will be missed by this precious little flower. She is just beautiful and as you shared your many thoughts about her life and future I was so moved. These are difficult sights to see, one wishes we could rescue each and every one. It must be very difficult to face these scenes on a regular basis. Here I see so little of poverty, not that it isn't here, but it is tucked away in places most of us never go.
I know God's heart bleeds through yours and thank you for posting these most important stories. They encourage me to do more.
God bless you Joseph, your camera speaks,

Merle said...

Dear Joseph ~~ What a shame that lovely little girl cannot play, but has to sell hats. Thank you for your comments and I am glad you enjoyed the post about Irena and the jokes etc. Have a good week. Best Wishes,

Rema said...

Really nice. I am sure, this girl will for ever remember your kindness if not by face. Its sad, children of her age plays whereas she has to make a living.

I think I left my comments thrice each time different and got washed off. Any way good day sir.

Joseph Pulikotil said...

Hi Rema:)


Many, many thanks for your lovely comment. I am thrilled.

As explained to you on the phone sometimes blogger plays mischief and some comments don't appear. I can understand that it is very upsetting for you. I am also equally upset when this happens because I know you have commented and when I okay it, the comment vanishes mysteriously which I am unable to understand.

Perhaps this could be because you don't have a blog. But this is only a guess. I am not sure.

What I normally do is to type my comments in word document and save it. If my comment doesn't appear on a blog it is easy for me post it again without taking the trouble of typing it again.

It is easy to start a blog and you can post what ever you want as long it is not offensive. It is an excellent way of sharing your views on various things and make life long friends all over the world.

As I published your comments I was eagerly waiting to see whether they will appear. I heaved a sigh of relief when both your comments appeared :)

Have a lovely day Rema:)