My ebook: Journeys with the caterpillar

My ebook
Journeys with the caterpillar: Travelling through the islands of Flores
and Sumba, Indonesia
" is available at
this link

Sunday, August 14, 2005

8% growth, 7800-sensex, Mumbai-Shanghai and ....

Yes, while all these have been happening, there are people who are oblivious (these are my own observations):

1) The middle aged lady who was urinating in full public view at S.V. Road, Goregaon (she probably couldn't afford a Sulabh)
2) The 5-6 year girl who ran after an auto-rickshaw in between full traffic; when the signal turned green, right at the moment when the rickshaw rider was about to give her a rupee
3) The family of 5 selling lime-chili talismans to cars and auto-rickshaws (Rs 5 a-piece, how much can the family make in a day?)
4) The 4 year kid first cleaning the car windows and then hoping that you will pay for it?

So how does 8% growth, 7800-sensex, Mumbai-Shanghai and IT exports effect them? Life of beggars and street vendors depend a lot on traffic lights. If traffic becomes more high-speed because of more flyovers, less signals and less jams- where will the beggars find their targets? If we all becomes less superstitious as we get more developed and educated, who will buy the lime-chilies? As faster growth is usually accompanied by higher inflation, will things (even Sulabh) become even less affordable for the poor?

OR will trickle-down effect be enough?

And by the way, for how many years will we keep on celebrating Independence Day?


Charukesi said...

Shivaji, ouch.
about 1. she could not afford? more likely there was no sulabh in her area - where there *are* toilets for women, they are taken over by the men. so women go out to the fields at 4 a.m. and in the process get raped. if that is delhi. if bombay, there are no fields to go to.

Shivaji said...

Actually, if i remeber correctly the scene was right next to a Sulabh (and thats how I found it so striking)...And she must be over 50..probably the family had less priority for her...
Also while its almost acceptable to see men doing no1 and 2 everywhere in public in "liberal" Mumbai, this was the first time in life that i saw such a thing...

Jayesh said...

The true irony comes when the same vendors at traffic signals sell Indian flags and similar stuff a day prior to Independence Day. Car owners either buy it as a tokenism or refuse wondering what the country has done for them. Patriotism still continues to be sold by the people who are the most afflicted by poverty,malnutrition and other problems plaguing India to the people who have benefitted by the globalized and relatively better India.

Shivaji said...

By the way, has anyone done any research on how the amount given to beggers change with annual increments in salary...My guess is each alms follow a step function, whereas salary increments follow a compound interest growth pattern. For instance 10 years bac, giving 25 paisa to beggers was its usually 1-2 Rs..