The Portuguese, Dutch, British and French started trading in India in the 16th century but it was the British who dominated and in 1857 India became a British colony and Queen Victoria became the Empress of India. However Indian people did not like the oppressive British rule. India won the independence from British in 1947 and this was thanks to the
efforts of one man in particular: Mahatma Gandhi. Gandhi was born in 1869 in India. His family were Hindu. He studied law at London University and then went to South Africa to work. He saw how badly the Indian community in that country was treated and he started defending the rights of Indian people.
He spent 20 years in South Africa during each time he was arrested many times. When he was back to India, Gandhi encouraged the people to oppose British oppression by refusing to use British goods or instruction, but he taught them never to use violence. He led a “March to the Sea”. People walked with him to the coast and symbolically made their own salt from the sea water in a peaceful protest against British taxes on salt. Gandhi worked for peaceful coexistence between Hindus and Muslims. Gandhi was not interested about material wealth. He ate simply and he slept on the ground and his only clothes were a simply garment made from himself and a pair of sandals.
even had black-only buses and bus stops. Nelson Mandela and President De Klerk won the Nobel peace prize for bringing an end to apartheid. In 1994 there were democratic elections and Nelson Mandela became the president of South Africa.
India is the 7th largest and the second most populous country in the world. It has multilingual and multiethnic society. It is a beautiful and ancient country with great geographical, cultural and economic diversity. Modern India is home both to very poor and the sophisticated urban jet-setter. The country suffers from high levels of extreme poverty, illiteracy levels and malnutrition, but its mountains and beaches have superb superb sports facilities for the rich. Economic reforms have transformed the country into the second fasted growing large economy in the world, and industrial development has brought the country to be one of the world's top ten nations, were technology in advanced and nuclear power in produced.
India is a country of contrasts. In Bombay, for example, there is an enormous film industry and it is also the home of many important computer technology companies.
Bombay also has big problems with poverty and homelessness, particularly affecting children and teenagers. The last calculation was that India has 11 million homeless children. The "railway children" are just one example of these terrible problems. There are 125 train stations just in Bombay and hundreds of children live in them. They have run away form home because of poverty, hunger or problems with their families. They have come to Bombay because they think it is a big and exciting, the Los Angeles of India. But then they arrive, there is nothing for them to do. They have to carry bags for rich passengers, clean the trains, sell water and ask for money. The only clothes they've got are the clothes they are wearing and they haven't got any shoes. At night they sleep on the platforms in the station, if the police don't move them.
Many Indian and international chariries are now trying to solve these problems. They try to protect the children and give
them food, clothes love and respect.