Coconut Generation

The Next Generation of Asian Indians

Missing Children in India January 28, 2008

Filed under: Family,India,News,Resources — Sam George @ 5:01 pm

Bangalore may be the nerve center of technology companies in India. But did you know some 4500 children went missing in Bangalore last year! I was shocked at this report in Times of India.

Sadly police does not even take any complaints and there is no support system for heartbroken parents. Some of them runaway from home, some are drawn by their “dreams” to a job/breakthro into movie industry/gang leader. But many of them end up in living on street, some in forced prostitution or some are trafficked out of the country. All of them drop of school and cut off from their parents. Often they are nipped at the bud, never get to bloom.

How can a society that does not care for the little one excel? Who will speak up for the voiceless? Exploitation and injustice of any kind require our thoughtful and intentional response. Speak up, don’t think your voice will drown in the noises of the world. As I was researching on missing children in India, I came across a National Center of Missing Kids in India, which reported some 1 million kids went missing last year in India.

Families, churches and NGOs need  to focus on reaching these missing kids. Jesus goes searching for the lost, so we must too. Remember the parable of lost sheep? The joy of finding a lost kid will be ours and who know what he or she is going to grow up to be. Our compassion will help future generations, not to mention impact of caring for such kids will have on our own kids!


No Sex leads to Divorce January 22, 2008

Filed under: Culture,Family,India,News — Sam George @ 3:52 pm
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A new court ruling in India – married couple who have aversion towards sex is enough grounds for dissolving their marriage. After 13 years of marriage, the couple got divorced citing wive’s denial of sex. Read entire report on TOI and CNN-IBN.

Is absence of normal sexual relations sufficient reason for dissolving a marriage? What is normal, anyway? What if the husband was sexually abusive toward his wife? What if he is a sexual addict? Or what if there is plenty of sex, but no relationship between the husband and wife?

According to the High Court judge in this case, the denial of sex by the wife lead to mental cruelity and which was enough ground for divorce. Should there be any reason for marital annulments? If any one of the parties in the marriage do not want to continue the relationship, should they be given divorce? Or should they be forced to stay in the marriage superficially? Is this leading to no-fault divorce?

No-fault divorce has only created a culture of divorce and marital instability in the western world. Newly married couples keeps the back door open and exihibit higher inclination towards calling if off without any societal pressures. Marriage is more than sex. Marriage is make us holy, not simply to make us happy.


Why Abortion in US is declining? January 18, 2008

Filed under: Culture,Family,Ministries,News — Sam George @ 3:47 am
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Abortion in US had the lowest level since 1974 and everybody is trying to find out why? The study was done by Guttmacher Institute and it was a nationwide survey to back this abortion trends. They are involved with many sexual and reproductive health studies. See also news report at ABC News, Associated Press etc.

The study reported that in 2005, there were 1.2 million abortions in US that comes to 19.3 women in 1000. Highest in DC, New York, New Jersey, Delaware, Florida and California. Lowest among Wyoming, Kentucky, Missippi and Idaho. 60% of abortion happens within 8 weeks of pregnancy. 

Both pro-lifers and pro-abortion groups are claiming a victory. Pro-lifers are saying more women are choosing to keep their babies (even in case of out of wedlock or pregnancy teens). Pro-choicers are saying their safe sex message or pills are keeping women out of unwanted pregnancies. Some have condemned the study saying ‘abortion numbers are bogus.’ Some even attributed to the shift in culture as a result of a movie called Juno, where a pregnant teen decides to keep the baby and give it for adoption.

America’s abortion rate is one of the highest in the world. In spite of the drop, on the global scale US abortions are still very high. Who will claim the responsibilities of millions of babies whose life has been stifled in the womb by ‘professional’ doctors all for the sake of an ideology?


Outsourcing Pregnancy – American women looking for Indian wombs January 14, 2008

The latest trend in outsourcing, not call center, software development or research; not computer industry or animation or engineering. But it is pregnancy! Increasingly childless American women are looking to Indian woman for their wombs. Of course, at a price. A win-win for all they say, American woman get a baby without hassles of pregnancy and at a fraction of cost. Womb donors makes more than what they would have made in their entire adult life, all within 10 months.

Read the story in New York Times,   MSNBC, and Marie Claire. This is also prevalent in UK – Daily Mail. Also check out Chuck Colson’s comments.

Can this be seen as miracle of modern medicine or exploitation of poor woman of India? It is much like controversy surrounding organ donations or right to sell one’s body (prostitution). The experience of American infertile woman or the surrogate mothers in India is not easy or explainable. But everything cannot be reduced simply to economics and global free trade. Ethics and morality does matter for the world order. Diginity of commoner is worth fighting for.

This is the height of medical tourism – by the way it is a booming industry in India recently where they attract Western patients for superspeciality medical services like heart surgery and organ transplants. Now they have extended the idea to “renting” woman’s wombs. The surrogacy is estimated now to be a $445-million-a-year business in India.

Will such developments a result of legal hurdles of surrogacy within US or high cost of the procedure? Why are they forced to look outside? Why not these infertile couples go for adoption? Or what does it take to remain as a childless couple and invest your life and resources for other’s kids or even other parts of the world.

What happens when the child has birth defect or any abnormality? Will the American couple still own such babies? Why do we want pefect babies? Is this a step toward designer babies? Is anything wrong with “baby farms” or assembly line in baby making – industrial effienecy coming to pregnancies?

See photos here.


Drinking problems among youth January 12, 2008

Filed under: Culture,News,Youth — Sam George @ 4:20 am
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Teen binge drinking is nothing new. But a recent report from BBC made it clearn long term impact of teen drinking habits. The study reported that teen drinkers are more likely to turn alcoholic, use drugs and have criminal conviction by the time they turn 30. Didn’t we all know that intuitively! Now research have proven what we all have always known.

They are 60% more likely to be alcoholic, twice as likely for conviction, 40% more likely to use illegal drugs, 40% more likely to suffer mental health problems and 60% more likely to be homeless. They were also 40% more likely to have suffered accidents, almost four times as likely to have been excluded from school and 30% more likely to have gained no qualifications.

Under age drinking is a problem for parents and teachers as well. Inspite of public awareness campaigns and restriction of sale of alcohol to minors, one can always get it when they want it. There seems to be inbuilt system loopholes. Best way to contain this problem is parental involvement with teens. Parents who can model and educate their teens about long term implications of their life choices.

Parental pressure upon children should be more than peer pressure or pressure from popular culture to conform. External pressure can only go some distance. Unless we create a inner conviction among teens against such behaviors, parents and youth workers are up against a nearly impossible task. Unless there is inner power to say no to tempations, they stand no chance to get over them. They are bound to fail.

Prevention is better than Cure!


Sex ed for teens delay onset of sexual activity January 9, 2008

Filed under: Culture,Family,News,Youth — Sam George @ 5:08 am
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Youth sex education programs works only to delay teen sexual activity according to a new study by Center for Disease Control. See reports in USNWR, Reuters and others. See the abstract of the report in Journal of Adolescent Health.

According to the study teen girls in the nationally representative sample were 59 percent less likely to start having sex before age 15 if they had received sex education, while teen boys were 71 percent less likely. That is impressive. But no way it guarantee sexual abstinent life afterwards, especially in late teen and college years when sexual temptation is the maximum.

But the study does not distinguish between sex education approaches among teens. Abstinence by far has produced more favorable results. Most public schools and liberal curriculums still promote contraceptives, which may not have much success overall, particularly in late teens and college years.


Parents more Active in Raising Teens January 2, 2008

Filed under: Family,Leadership,News,Youth — Sam George @ 10:23 pm
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Parents of teens are more involved in their children’s life today than 10 years ago. A new US census study reported this new trend. Is this new generation of parents interfering with children’s freedom or children welcoming parental involvement?

For example, in 2004, 47 percent of teenagers had restrictions on what they watched on television, when they watched, and for how long, up from 40 percent in 1994. In 2004, 53 percent of children younger than 6 ate breakfast with their parents every day. That compared with only 22 percent of teenagers who ate breakfast with their parents each morning. Those percentages increased at the dinner table, where 78 percent of children younger than 6 ate dinner nightly with their parents, compared with 57 percent of teenagers. Children 1 to 2 were read to an average of 7.8 times in the previous week of the survey while children 3 to 5 were read to an average of 6.8 times in the previous week. About half of all children 1 to 5 are read to seven or more times a week; 53 percent for 1- to 2-year-olds, and 51 percent for 3- to 5-year olds.”

I am amazed that someone studies families that closely. It never occured, though cominng to think of it is very true, that some parental routines have long term implication of next generations development and future of nations. The study addresses children’s living arrangements, family characteristics, time spent in child care, academic experience, extracurricular activities and more. 

Believe it or not, I know of another study about parenting that asked children if they want more of their parents time with them and majority of kids desired for more parental involvement. Kids need parents and other adults to develop into healthy adulthood. Absense of father or abusive adults cause permanent damage into adolescent psyche that cannot be easily repaired.