Two minute read. Written by Sahana Kumar – a grade 5 student of Hiranandani Foundation School, Powai.
When I visited El Salvador (a small country in central America) a month ago, I saw a migrant camp, dirty and old, even ancient. My heart sank at seeing the little children and I felt grateful for the life I was leading. Their clothes were covered with mucus and urine, were worn and torn, and had not been washed for months. They told me that rarely, when they were allowed to play, they just couldn’t, to conserve the energy to stay alive in camp.
In this post, I will be talking about the terrible plight of the children dying on the way across the border and why the cause of these deaths, the border walls – should be wiped out forever. I am writing about this topic because I want to give a voice to the silent migrants and their families and end the cause of their suffering.
The number of deaths of the people along the border is phenomenal. The
U.S. Border Patrol reported deaths of a whopping 294 migrants in 2017 and
322 migrants in 2016. Such is the plight of the migrants. Human Rights volunteer group, Border Angels, estimates that since 1994, 10,000 migrants have died crossing the border.
I believe that border walls should be destroyed because of the number of deaths trying to cross them. In 2005, 500 people died. In 1997, 147 people died. In 2000, 499 people died. These deaths were caused mainly by sunstroke and hyperthermia (when the body temperature rises too much). What is even more shocking is that these statistics only reflect known deaths and do not include those bodies which have never been found. Isn’t this enough reason to point out that border walls should be destroyed?
The number of migrant deaths has increased exponentially over the years, slowly rising until Donald Trump’s regime. But there are many exceptions.
Just as the Berlin Wall rose, it fell. I want to tell you about the Berlin Wall and the story of this success.
The Berlin Wall divided a democratic West Germany and a communist East
Germany, controlled by the Soviets. East Germany was in a much worse
shape than West Germany because of its communist regime, while West
Germany was progressive and liberal. The wall was built on 13th August
1961, after the order was given by the Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev.
Because of extreme poverty in East Germany, 2.6 million out of 17 million
East Germans fled (ran away) to West Germany from 1949 to 1961. This is the reason why the Berlin Wall was built, though many people thought that it was because the communist government was so terrible that it had to contain its people by force.
On June 12th 1987, Ronald Reagan – who was the President of the United States that time – delivered a rousing (very moving) speech in front of the Brandenburg gate challenging his Soviet counterpart Mikhail Gorbachev by declaring,
“Mr. Gorbachev, tear down that wall!”.
After years of suffering, the demolition of the barrier between
the people of Germany started in the summer of 1990. It took almost two
years to remove all the border fortifications and even after that, there
were still thousands of landmines to be removed. But the tide had turned.
Crossing borders is illegal because people violate (break) the immigration laws of that country, and since they are too poor and unconnected, do not have the documents ready for legal passing. What saddens me is that each
year, the people crossing, or trying to cross the border in the hope of a
new job and a better life die in thousands and every year, more take their
The demons tearing down the pathway to their dreams are the
border walls, so hard to cross that people die at the first effort. This is why
I think that without borders, the world would be a better place.
Written by Sahana Kumar
Sahana is an avid reader, likes politics and history and geography. She swims competitively. She loves art. She is a student of Hiranandani Foundation School, Powai and is currently in Grade 5 and would mostly move to Grade 6 without writing her exams!