X

The Most Remarkable Newspaper in the World Is Written by a Bunch of Indian Street Kids

‘Balaknama’, or ‘Children’s Voice’, is a quarterly publication that’s completely written and run by children living in New Delhi’s slums. With a readership in the tens of thousands, the newspaper is being hailed as one of the most impressive in the world.

Backed by the Indian non-profit organisation Chetna, Balaknama publishes contributions from a federation of Indian children who work for a living and live off the street. It started with only 35 child-contributors, but the stories come from various Indian states like Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, and Andhra Pradesh.

Written in Hindi, the paper covers a range of serious subjects that highlight the problems faced by Indian street children. A typical issue would contain articles related to topics like police brutality, child marriage, and illegal child labor. It’s not what you’d expect from a children’s newspaper, but Balaknama is known for reporting hard truths and harsh realities.

Balaknama-newspaper

Read More »

Homeless Man Finds Baby Girl While Digging through Garbage, Raises Her as His Own

Seven years ago, a homeless man in China was scavenging in a garbage bin when he found something that would change his life forever – a tiny baby girl! He was so overcome with emotion that he decided to raise her as his own child. 50-year-old Xiong Jianguo now lives under a bridge in Nanchang City with his seven-year-old adopted daughter, whom he named Yanyan.

“I guess she was one of those children that was born to a family who didn’t want a girl,” said Xiong. “I had lifted the top of the rubbish bin and was looking to see if there are any plastic bottles I could sell to recycle, when I heard a baby. She was in a box in a blanket and I was absolutely stunned.” The box, apparently, contained a single note: “Was born on October 15, 2007.”

The baby looked so helpless that Xiong took her home; at the time, he lived with his wife in a tiny room. The couple bought a baby bottle to feed her, and that’s when he knew that he wanted to look after her for as long as he could. “No matter how hard it is, I intend to make sure that I raise her until she is old enough to stand on her own two feet. I don’t believe she would have had a good life in an orphanage,” he said.

homeless-daughter

Read More »

Bizarre School Drill Lets Children Experience Drowning

Around 70 primary school students in Luoyang, China were recently involved in a controversial drill that involved submerging their heads in washbasins and buckets full of water to experience drowning.

The Qianzhizhuang Primary School in Henan Province is located near a river where children often play to cool off during the summer, so, apparently, school officials thought it would be a good idea to let the kids find out what it’s like to be drowning in a safe and controlled environment, rather than risking it happening for real with no one to rescue them.

anti-drowning-exercise

Read More »

North Dakota Pharmacist Prescribes Monster Spray to Children Afraid to Sleep Alone

If sprays can get rid of household pests, then why not resident monsters? A North Dakota father-and-daughter pharmacist duo have hit upon an ingenious idea that could potentially banish the night-time woes of parents all over the world. Jeff Dodds and his daughter Josslyn Dodds are both employees at Barrett Pharmacy in Watford City. They worked together to create the potion – a bit of colored water in a medicine spray bottle with some very creative labelling. The small bottle contains 120 sprays and allows for one refill; it’s called Monster Spray and, as the name suggests, it’s meant to get rid of monsters under children’s beds. Surprisingly, the concept is a success!

So how does the Monster Spray work exactly? According to the label on the bottle, you need to ‘spray around the room at night before bed, repeat if necessary’. It seems that this simple routine has been satisfying kids for the past five years or so – Barrett has used it to cure a handful of children with monster-fears. “It’s 100 percent safe and it works amazingly,” said Josslyn. “It really seems to get rid of the monsters.” According to the parents who have used it, it’s the realistic prescription bottle that convinces their children.

Monster-Spray

Read More »

No Grownups Allowed at Japan’s Children-Only Magical Sweets Shop

Most teenagers can’t wait until they’re 21 so they can have a legal ID, but here’s one shop in Japan that will make them want to stay young forever – an ID proving that they’re a sixth grader or younger. Because that’s how young you’ve got to be to enter Japan’s Future Sweets Factory – a magical place filled with all things sweet and delicious. Kids get to enter the factory alone, leaving their parents behind in the lobby area.

Future Sweets Factory is located on the premises of the hugely popular Patisserie es Koyama (famous for its special roll cake), in Sanda City, Hyogo Prefecture. The entrance to the factory is through a large, colorful egg-shaped dome. Beyond the dome lies a waiting hall where children bid goodbye to their parents for a few hours. The kids proceed through a special kid-sized door to where all the magic happens, just like in Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory!

Inside the factory, away from their parents’ watchful eyes, kids are treated to samples of freshly made sweets. True to its name, at the Future Sweets Factory kids get to sample all kinds of sweets that are yet to hit the market. They also get to watch the chefs bake three special surprise sweets that cost only 150 yen each. The factory is decorated to suit the kids’ tastes – with cartoon characters and robots.

Japanese-sweets-shop

Read More »

Military Kindergarten Toughens Up Preschoolers with Marine Drills

At the Albert Kindergarten, in Taichung, Taiwan, children aged three to six don camouflage outfits and take part in a mandatory exercise program modeled after marine drills. Their parents hope the rough training will prepare them for the hardships of life, but there are those who criticize the preschool for pushing the kids too hard and exposing them to injury.

For one to two hours a day, the children enrolled at Taichung’s Albert Kindergarten perform a series a series of physical exercises inspired by military drills. Principal Fong Yun believes Taiwanese kids lack confidence and courage compared to youngsters from other countries, so over 10 years ago she teamed up with pediatric professor Chen Yi-hsin to develop a special program that combined military drills and gymnastics to boost their physical and mental strength. Yun is convince her training will help the students deal with hardships like tough college admission exams, job hunting and even marriage. Many Taiwanese parents seem to share her beliefs, as all the classes at Albert Kindergarten are full and parents drive from over half an hour ever day just to drop their kids off here. The children climb ladders, do handstands, backflips and all kinds of other exercises that even hardened marines sometimes find difficult. In order to graduate, they must prove they’ve mastered the entire routine by passing a challenging test.

military-kindergarten

Read More »

This Is How They Harden Kindergarten Children in Siberia

The kids at the No. 317 kindergarten in Krasnoyarsk, Siberia are making themselves immune to flu viruses and winter colds by walking outside naked at temperatures as low as -15 degrees Celsius and pouring buckets of freezing cold water over their bodies.

Ever since photos and videos of the extreme hardening process were exposed in the media, the Siberian kindergarten has come under fire from parents worried about the children’s well-being. But caretakers like Margarita Filimonova insist the practice is totally safe, as the children are only allowed to go outside in the freezing weather after three years of slow training and medical testing. It might seem extreme, but the staff insist the practice makes the children fitter and improves their health significantly. Kindergarten No. 317 has been hardening its children for the last 13 years, and some of the kids who went here went on to become Olympic champions in various sports. It’s the only institution of its kind in the region which uses this kind of extreme exercises.

Read More »

Banking Is Child’s Play – Indian Street Kids Create Efficient Financial System

They say the banking system is very complicated, but try telling that to a bunch of Indian street kids who set up a model bank with tens of branches all over South-East Asia.

In order to save money for a brighter future, a group of Indian children have created their own bank, where they can deposit their money and take advances whenever they need to. A branch of this unusual financial institution is located in a shelter for homeless runaway teens in New Delhi. It’s here that street children who work come to place their money for safekeeping, and take out development or welfare advances to start a business or invest in things they need for school. The most impressive thing about this bank for kids and teens is that it was initiated, implemented and is operated by children. In fact, Satish Kumar, who was elected bank manager for the New Delhi branch of the children’s development ‘khazana’ (Indian for ‘treasure chest’) doesn’t look a day over 12.

Read More »

11-Year-Old Boy Leads Church as an Ordained Minister

Is there anything kids nowadays can’t do? Well, there may be a few, but becoming an ordained minister and leading a church isn’t one of them. 11-year-old Ezekiel Stoddard recently made headlines after he was ordained a minister at the Fullness of Time Church in Maryland.

We’ve featured a few prodigies on Oddity Central, like the world’s youngest computer wiz, the 9-year-old Monet, a 10-year-old sake expert, but we’ve never had a child minister. That changes today, as we introduce Ezekiel Stoddard, an 11-year-old ordained minister who has apparently been writing his own sermons since he was seven. “It doesn’t matter the age that you can be licensed. It just matters … how much word do you have and how much God has called you,” the enthusiastic child of God told the Washington Post. Still, he admits sometimes adults don’t take him seriously and “look at me like I’m a joke and I need to sit down.”

Read More »

Alexa Fisher – An 8-Year-Old Poker Prodigy

Alexa Fisher, from Texas, looks and talks like any other 8-year old girl. However, she has a skill that is most unusual for girls her age. She can play poker fabulously well. In fact, Alexa is so good at poker that she can take on card sharks seven times her age. She was introduced to playing cards at the age of three by her father Justin, a 35 year old poker enthusiast. He says he taught her the game to help improve her Math skills.

Justin began by having ESPN and other poker game shows on TV playing in the background all the time. He also used playing cards as a way to teach her to count and learn math skills before she began school. And his efforts payed off. Alexa slowly began to understand which cards were higher and recognized poker terminology, like a flush, a pair and three of a kind. He then went on to get her poker chips. By the age of four, when other kids are barely able to hold an entire pack of cards in their tiny hands, Alexa was could shuffle, deal and also knew the basic strategies of bluffing. When she reached five, she could play No-Limit Texas Holde’m like a pro. She slowly began to learn more games like Badugi, Double Flop Hold’em, and many other WSOP (World Series of Poker Tournaments) games.

Read More »

9/11-Themed Kids Coloring Book Proves Big Hit

We Shall Never Forget 9/11: The Kids Book of Freedom is a coloring book about the tragic events of 9/11 2001, featuring pictures of the burning World Trade Center towers and the execution of Osama bin Laden.

Although Wayne Bell, publisher of Really Big Coloring Books Inc., in Saint Louis, says the book was never meant to be controversial, and that it’s simply based on market research, on what people are looking for, the fact that it contains scenes like Osama bin Laden being shot by a Navy SEAL has sparked some controversy. Bell goes on to describe the coloring book as “a simplistic honest tool” to “educate children on events on 9/11”, but do kids who still like to color need to see scenes of mourning, burning buildings, and the execution of a Muslim man portrayed as hiding behind his veiled wife? may

Read More »

Naaman Amer – World’s Youngest Pepper Eater

20-month-old Naaman Amer, from the city of Nablus, West Bank enjoys eating hot peppers and is considered the world’s youngest pepper eater. The young Palestinian boy has been gobbling down green peppers since he was just 14 months old, and his parents are quite proud of his appetite for the throat-burning veggies. Naaman eats them at every meal, and so far he hasn’t had any health issues, but I still think it’s pretty weird for a boy this young to eat so many hot peppers.

Read More »

Indian Toddler Plays with Deadly Snakes instead of Toys

It’s not everyday that you get to see a six-months-old girl playing with full frown pythons, but for Sidhi Siddharth Sinune this kind of snakes are everyday toys.

Because he can’t afford to buy his young daughter any toys, Sidhi’s farmer father, who tries to make ends meet as a snake catcher, admits he brings the dangerous reptiles home and lets her play with them. So while he and his wife are working in the fields, Sidhi spends her days in the lovely company of a creature that could kill her by constriction, or by swallowing her whole.

Sidhi’s father says she develops an unusual bond with the snakes, and that the reptiles love to play with her just as much as she loves playing with them. They let her squeeze them and even bithe on their tails with her gums .

While I completely understand how costly children’s toys can be, couldn’t this man carve or make something for his young daughter, instead of leaving her with a deadly python? Read More »

Samantha Young – The World’s Youngest Alligator Wrestler

Growing up on a farm, with 350 alligators has made Samantha Young take up alligator wrestling at a very young age.

The 9-year-old was also inspired by her parents, both professional alligator wrestlers. Samantha began wrestling alligators when she was just 6 years old, but says her father beat her to it, starting the dangerous practice at age 5, after he was bit by one. She admits being scared, at first, but her dad was always there watching over her, ready to intervene if things got out of hand.

Now, this girly version of Crocodile Dundee teaches grown men how to tackle eight-foot alligators, at the Colorado Gators Reptile Park, and has even trained US marines, in this deadly art. She says all you have to do is position yourself on the alligator’s back, in such a way that you have its mouth and neck under your control, then pull its head back and voila, you have yourself a tamed alligator.

Erwin and Lynn Young started their alligator farm, in 1987, when they brought in 100 one-year-old reptiles. As the news spread, people began poking around the gators’ pools, and to avoid any accidents, the Young family began charging people to see the alligators. Nowadays, 25 of the original 100 are still around, and visitors pay $104 for the chance to see Samantha tackle them, and even try it themselves.

via Zimbio

Read More »

2-Year-Old Kid Smokes 40 Cigarettes a Day

Seeing him rest on the steering-wheel of his toy truck, smoking a cigarette, you might think he’s a truck driver stuck in the body of a toddler, but Ardi Rizal is really just a two-year old boy who loves to smoke.

The 56 pound toddler, from Indonesia’s South Sumatra province, smokes 2 packs of cigarettes a day and sits on his toy truck all day long. There’s hardly ever a moment in the day when Ardi isn’t puffing away on a cigarette, and that’s the main reason why he can hardly move by himself anymore, let alone run along and play with other children.

His mother has desperately forced the toddler to quit, but he always got so angry that he started screaming and banging his head against the walls, saying quitting makes him dizzy and sick. He also asks for a specific brand of cigarettes, that costs his family $5.50 a day. While his mother is set on somehow getting Ardi to quit, his father says: ‘He looks pretty healthy to me, I don’t see the problem.’ Now this is what I call a “great” parent.

Although authorities have even offered the Ardi Rizal’s parents a brand new car, if they convince him to stop smoking, the parents don’t dare ask him anymore. Read More »