I was sitting on the steps of Kaushambi Metro Station and talking to friend of mine. As we were chatting away about our life, its problems and possible solutions, we were also observing 4 kids and a woman, possibly their mother, begging at the entry point of the same metro station. The kids, younglings, of poverty have been trained now to behave in a certain way. They know whom to beg to, how to beg and what all tactics to use when they don’t get their alms at one go.
Those are the things that they have learnt from their childhood and those are the things they will excel at as they grow up.The smile on the girl’s face with each ‘earned’ 10 rs which she receives is unbelievable. She doesn’t know the value of money as yet, I hope, but she knows that the ‘green papers’ do add something to the family and makes her mother smile.
These scenarios are not uncommon in our day to day life. We are accustomed by the presence of beggars. We are “ok” with giving them alms or may be we are not, and ready to call them off as nuisance. Poverty and its existence is a paradox in itself. The society in its wake creates situations, mindsets and realities where some people for major part of their lives would always be poor and on the top of it pay the penalty of being so. It is a paradoxical society where you lose because you don’t have enough. The absolutely sad truth about our society is that being poor one can’t look forward to good healthy meals, proper medication and good education for oneself or one’s children. Poverty cripples not only the current but generations after generation.
But the saddest part about being ‘poor’ is the inability to make informed choices. Informed choices that will help them decide for themselves as to what kind of life they wish to have and to do something about it.
Whether it be the poorest of the poor or the a middle class who earns a 5 digit bracket salary, the market driven people also by the ‘vice’ of it behave by its rules. People are running behind their ideal of ‘roti’ ‘kapda’ aur ‘makaan’ without even questioning its worth. That little girl and many like her will continue to touch feet of others for years to come till we as a society decide to stop evading a problem by handing down tenners but actually get involved enough to solve it.