Lindsay Lohan’s Indian Journey Review: The Poverty Trap
LINDSAY LOHAN’S INDIAN JOURNEY: Thursday 1st April, BBC3, 9pm ALERT ME
Sitting in a village two hours from Kolkata, Lindsay Lohan asks a woman how she felt when her daughter called from Delhi to tell her she was being abused by child traffickers. “In the beginning you’re bound to get beaten, otherwise how would you learn anything?” she replies.
The craziness of this explanation may have been augmented through translation, but the message is clear enough.
Dismissing this programme as a grab for good publicity from a maligned megastar seems easy but Lohan handles the subject with all the dignity and it deserves. Apart from the extra publicity and contrast Lohan’s involvement demands, the fact that she is a global megastar is largely irrelevant. You don’t have to live in Beverly Hills to be shocked to hear of 11 year-olds being beaten regularly, working for 15 hours a day and earning nothing into the deal.
There are more child workers in India than in any other country in the world and the charities which try to stem the tide of child trafficking come up against brick walls everywhere. The police appear to have little interest and even lawyers in the country are unaware of modern child labour laws. Unsurprisingly the root of this is the utter poverty which grips much of the Indian population and many of the kids we encounter have been sent away by their family.
She may have her detractors, but Lindsay Lohan makes a pretty good job of bringing this story to us, especially when you consider that she is not famed for her charity work. As she listens to ex-traffickers, child prostitutes and charity workers, her horror quickly turns to anger.