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September 10, 2004

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I visited Chennai (previously called Madras), India, in June 2004. While I was there, every morning I walked around the city to get a sense of the place, people, culture, and social interaction.

One morning, I came across the CMS Children's Home, an orphanage set up by a Christian "father." The manifest and primary functions of the institution are to provide the children with food, schooling or vocational training, and a shelter for the night to protect them from the dangerous street life. What I learned from my conversations with the staff, children called "inmates", and the local neighbors, was that the institution was quite successful in achieving its important goals.

Many of these Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) fill the responsibilities often taken up by governmental institutions in other societies. These charity-based NGOs are not without their own agenda. The CMS definitely succeeds in exposing these children to the Christian faith. However, regardless of their religious agenda, the result is praiseworthy because Indian streets are full of hard working children who cannot afford a meager warm lunch and a proper shelter at night.

Staff in these institutions are often dedicated individuals who devote themselves to public service and care for their fellow citizens..Next>>>

Ali Akbar Mahdi >>> Features in iranian.com

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