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Sometimes at 12 years of age being tired of living becomes unbearable



It happened in a village 200 kilometres from Calcutta

29/09/2005: India

Sonia Khatun was an Indian girl of twelve years of age. She lived at Malda, a village 200 kilometres from Calcutta. She died because her mother did not have a rupia to give her to buy a snack at school.
Sonia and her mother lived in a jute tent, one of the many that the government of West Bengal, the state whose capital is the city of Mother Teresa, had given to the poor to repair. The two women had never had a house of their own and lived alone.
Sonia’s last day started like any other. There was nothing to eat and so she prepared herself to go to school. She had not eaten for days and the hunger had become so intense that she asked her mother for a coin to buy something. Her mother, a widow and without work, had nothing and could not even give her a rupia. She tried to console Sonia and convinced her to go to school where, perhaps, they might have something to give her.
The child apparently accepted this. She took her books and headed for school. On the way, however, bitterness and anxiety took over. Sonia abandoned her journey, reached a building under construction and hung herself on a bamboo structure used as scaffolding.
The public school in India, in various states of the Union, offer one meal a day to the students, but for Sonia and for the other desperate ones of her village this apparently was not the case.
According to a study of the Development Programme of the United Nations, despite the impressive economic growth of India, one half of her children are malnourished.

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