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Children's Loss of Global Proportions

Almost one year ago (December 23, 2005) we tried to clear customs at Chennai port for a container full of donated items I had collected from my neighbors and the community for the children of Shanti Bhavan school. One of the items was one dozen small Globes donated by a crippled young lady I have known for years, and who is always thinking of our children at the school.

Well, the customs officer confiscated the Globe, saying that it doesn’t clearly show Indian and Pakistan controlled Kashmir. Well, India itself is hardly 2 inches in size on this small children’s educational globe my friend had purchased from a local school supply shop. There isn’t much space for such details, and after all, this is not about geo-politics. The officer tells us that he has been instructed to check all maps and globes shipped from abroad!

Are we a paranoid nation that doesn’t trust our own people’s judgment? To what extend do we go in such matters?

By the way, the items for which customs duty is charged include used children’s bikes, used classroom chairs, rejected paint in cans (when paint shops make mistakes when adding color, and customers reject), etc.

There is no use explaining that these used/donated items are for children from among the poorest families in the world. I guess the government (current and all past) has good reasons for these regressive policies. There are many crooks among us!

Further, we are a proud nation now to receive donations. Why can’t you buy them in India?

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