Every Five Minutes...
Updated: Jul 28
A CHILD ARRIVES ALONE ON A PLATFORM IN INDIA
In my last blog I wrote about why I decided to tell a story about street children in India. There are some shocking facts.
Over 11 million children live on the streets of India.
Children regularly runaway from homes where life is just too difficult for them.
Many families are trapped in generational cycles of poverty, neglect and abuse.
Children use India's extensive railway network to get to the cities, where they hope to find a better life.
Thousands of children arrive at India’s vast, chaotic railway stations and find themselves lost, alone and scared, with no idea where to go or what to do.
Their dreams brutally shattered, they end up living on the platforms.
Having decided to write my book, I contacted Railway Children to ask if there was somebody I could talk to for more information. I was thrilled to bits when I was told David Maidment himself, founder of the charity, would be coming to London and would I like to meet him?
Yes I would!
I spent a fascinating day with David who told me all about his background on the railways, the charity, some of the children’s stories and also about the many books he has written himself.
What an inspiring man! I came home even more determined to write my book.
If I can raise awareness of the extreme poverty and courage of some of these children, it might make a tiny difference.
David has kindly advised me all the way through. I feel a bit of an imposter, writing about children in a country I never visited, so to have his advice about how to make the story as authentic as possible has been invaluable. The best I could do was to watch all the films about India I could find. I have cried my way through:
“The Life of Pi"
"The Best (and Second Best) Exotic Marigold Hotel" "Slumdog Millionaire", and the incredible, true story, "Lion".
Most of these films star Dev Patel, possibly my best (or second best) actor. Would you believe he’s a patron of Railway children! I found a message from him which was recorded during lockdown.
Dev, if you’re reading this I’m free to talk about film rights!
I'm planning a trip to India. "The Railway Children of Mumbai" is ready for publishing (please take note all literary agents), but it's left wide open for a sequel and I need to see the country for myself.
I can feel another blog coming on...
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