19 March 2011
Living with less ?
"I am learning to live with less" has become a fashion statement made by all and sundry who live in mac mansions, own yatches, airbuses, and who keep up with the Milan fashion color and styles.
More than half of India lives in poverty and thanks to the recession,poverty levels have increased multifold in the US.
In the last 2 years alone 2 million children have joined the ranks of poverty !! Which means they do not have to make an effort to live with less. May be they are homeless and live in a shelter, their parents struggle to make a wage, they were evicted from their house, rely on food stamps for food, clothes and supplies from thrift shop a norm and the list continues.
In India, one does not have to make an effort to have less- Poverty stricken kids do not get a chance to go to Muncipality schools either(for US readers - Read as public schools in the poverty capital of the US:Newark, New Jersey) and if they do dropouts are common when the kids reach class 7 or 8, because parents cannot earn enough to put food on the floor(they have no table either) and cannot afford to buy books.
A piece of ladoo (an indian dessert)is luxury. They sleep outside in the summer because there is no electricity at home. Their shacks leak during rain and the dishes are washed in a bucket of water.Going to the Hospitals/clinic when sick - means giving a pound of your flesh to the Doctor or they die sick. They cannot afford to buy a disposal syringe,because it is expensive and public clinics in India are dismissal! Sometimes when free medicines are given, without consent of sharing information,they are considered as guinea pigs for US Pharmaceuticals.
Sanitation is very poor and Drinking water is a rarity and is priceless.footwear is something that you can do without. If they have one,they share among family members or with their neighbors.The political leadership of India gives a damn, because they consider people under poverty level menial to their pets at home. However, the politicians buy votes from them, by handing over bunches of currency notes and making sure that they have a week of drinking water in the public taps, a few days before and a little after the elections. Thank God, air is free, because they definitely cannot see themselves buying that!
Does all this read a grewsome picture? But that is what "Living with Less " really looks like. You have to make an effort to get through the day and sleep exhausted. Hope does not exist in their dictionary of life. The secret of the universe is not known to them.
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