Friday, October 4, 2013

Privileges of the Under Privileged

I get to meet some of the very poor people in this bustling little city of Dehradun. As my auto-rickshaw stops at the signal in Prince Chowk, we get some of the very poor filthy clad women and children lining up to collect the change one may get from the auto-rickshaw driver. Again similar thing happens at Khenak Chowk, hardly 50 meters from the four star Pacific Hotel. I see these people living on pavements with half-naked children, getting wet in the rain, with one of them having severe wound. There is another lady who lives almost opposite of the Tirupati restaurant on the Rajpur road where the pavement from the famous St.Joseph's Academy ends and takes a curve to the left. I saw her fighting with the dogs today, as the dogs were fighting for her food. I just shooed away one of the dogs and came away.

On return to my room in the guest house, I began to wonder - we are talking about rights based approach, human dignity, vulnerability of people who have been affected by the disaster, and those in risk, people who find it difficult to yearn their daily bread because there are no religious pilgrimages. But what is the status of these people? Do they really count in a society where even half a plate of rice without any curry or vegetables (just plain) comes at 15 rupees ! Often it shatters one's heart, but some times, over a long period of looking at these social evils, the heart becomes harder, and we take it in its own stride. Someone had said, "A long habit of not thinking a thing wrong gives it an appearance of being right!". 

This is what has happened to happens to happens to humans. Alas, how can the under-privileged speak of privileges. They can just keep mum till they drop dead. Privileges? Those are for the super rich who visit the affected population for two hours and get reported with photographs in English, Hindi and other vernacular newspapers for three days! Long live the privileged class of India!

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