Dear Church Leader,
Given the recent high profile of “Slumdog Millionaire” and its graphic depiction of the lives of the poor and needy in India, we hope you will find this month’s good news article interesting.
We also hope you will be joining us for the upcoming Remember the Poor Sunday sponsored by the International Churches of Christ benevolence committee. You will find a variety of church leader resources, including a video, sermon notes, personal bible studies and a small group/bible talk study at www.HOPEww.org/rememberthepoor
We would appreciate your sharing these monthly updates with your congregation.
Any comments, questions or suggestions you may have are welcome. Thank you for being a voice for the poor.
HOPE worldwide Vice President of Development
“Slumdog Millionaire,” this year’s Oscar-winner, accurately portrays the hardships and violence that are part of everyday life in India’s urban slums. Unfortunately, while millions of poor and needy people are drawn to India’s major cities by the potential for better jobs, the sad truth is that their experience will be far different from the film’s “rags to riches” story.
Indian cities are bursting at the seams with individuals like Raj Kumar. Raj’s life has been a struggle since he moved to Delhi from the countryside seeking a better job. At first, he lived on his meager earnings in a manufacturing job. After his marriage and the birth of two daughters, Raj had a dream of working from his home supporting his family with a start up business assembling transformers to sell to an electronics company – until he fell ill.
Forced to use his limited savings for living expenses while he was sick, Raj had no means of supporting his family. He was unable to purchase materials for his business. His family was at risk.
Then Raj heard about a micro credit program called “100 Seeds," operated by HOPE worldwide
’s India affiliate. He applied for a $120 loan that would make it possible for him to purchase the necessary materials for his business. His family was overjoyed when he was granted the loan and was able to start his business. Once again he is providing for his wife and their girls.
Currently, Delhi’s slums are home to countless workers and their families who have relocated there in the hope of improving their lives. Every day thousands more move in. Families endure these hardships because they hold on to the hope that they can find better jobs which will help them repay debts, care for their parents or provide a better future for their children.
, is providing micro-loans to entrepreneurs like Raj as well as health education and services to women and children in the slums of Sonia Vihar outside of Delhi. Through the 100 Seeds micro finance program hundreds of families will be empowered to make a lasting change. For the community, the hundreds of new businesses will be just the beginning, stimulating a vision that with some effort anyone start a business and change their lives.
Although Raj will never be a millionaire, he and his example now provide his family and families in his community with the priceless gift of hope.