One day I was walking through a garden. And I found this kid playing with that red ribbon, which is probably of his mother. That kid was wearing not a single cloth on his body. He was naked. He must be of the age 4 to 5 years. What would you call this? Nudity or Poverty?
I would call it poverty. What is the difference between nudity and poverty? I thought over this after watching this kid. I mean, this kid doesn’t even have clothes to wear.
He lives on a roadside. He doesn’t have any future, no school and so no education. All the favorite characters of being poor.
My mind was thoughtless for few moments as such uncanny thoughts started bombarding it. Subconsciously, I was comparing his future with the future of normal kids, and all I could feel at the end was severe pain in my heart.
I was wondering, why this much imbalance in society? At one hand, a kid of rich parents, play with expensive toys, where as at the other, this kid has no clothes to wear! Why this much imbalance?
The above two kids live on roadside on famous Race course ring road of Rajkot city, where on every Sunday, hundreds of people get to gather, enjoy having ice cream and food in cosy restaurants. I just wonder, what must be going through these kids’ minds when they see people having food in air conditioned restaurants? Forget the restaurants, what about their education, their health? Just look at the kid on left to you, concentrate on his face. He has so many pimples or some other skin disease. Can he afford going to a good hospital? Yeah, I know, there is Civil Hospital available in city run by Government, but can he really get good treatment there? Think with a practical perspective.
This old man was sick when I spotted him sleeping on a heavy traffic roadside. He was so sick that it took him few minutes to sit up and talk to me. He asked me “Are you from a newspaper?”. I was just speechless at that moment. I was just looking at him and imaging the difficulties he must be going through. Nobody to ask ‘How are you?” or “Do you need something?”. What a shame on society. He had this very old and dirty blanket. Hair unwashed in last few days. And so were his clothes. I helped him with few rupees, which could render him meal for the entire day. But then, what about next day? What’s the surety of having meal the next day? And the other side of the coin is that, our politicians spend millions after election, where as their fellow countrymen sleep empty stomach on a roadside platform.
This girl you are seeing came to me when I was at a Pan shop in Rajkot. She had this some injury on her forehead.
Had this bowl in her hand, which was empty. Totally dirty looking. Didn’t seem had a bath in last few days. Again the same questions. What about her education and health issues? Again, I gave her few coins with which she can have a packet of biscuit. But that is no where near getting her a sustainable life.
NGOs in my city and elsewhere, are very much engaged in humanitarian activities. We have this Bolbala Charitable Trust in Rajkot, who provide a very good service for such beggars and poor people.
They have this special vehicle van for providing food to them. They go to such common places where such beggars live and provide them ‘Khichadi’ everyday. Yes, food is the primary necessity of such poor. It should be served first. Then comes health issues and then education. I mean, having no food in stomach, how can someone think of education, health or anything else?
You will get severe pity if you look closer on the face of the child. He has this some diseases that on his forehead so many pimples are visible. Again, they live on roadside. No clothes to wear, and if they have, are so dirty. Now don’t you dare to advise that they should get them washed! Where the hell they would get water,huh? But still look at his smile. A camera was something very new to him. And I let him play with the same as long as he wanted. He was so much fascinated by seeing his own photo in camera, when I showed him preview of his photographs. That glaze in his eyes is a memory I will never forget. I just couldn’t even cry at that time. I just hate the fact that, they don’t get very basic life needs.
See, I’m not trying to project only such diseases children. Thing is that, they are there, and they were captured during my road trip in my city. This kid again has some skin disease. God knows what it is. I wonder, why don’t the local doctors spend one day for such poor people, where they visit all streets of the city and provide their consultancy for free for such needy kids? Giving them only cash doesn’t solve the problem. They need sympathy and a feeling that someone cares for them.
|The real Slumdogs, ain’t they? Look at the style of kid standing in middle. And the smile of kid on right side. My camera was a life time achievement award for them.
They even snatched it few times with excitement when they got to know that they could see preview of their photo. Also, they ordered me to take their photos in various styles! And I obeyed them with all my heart.
This was something more than money, we can give.
They were so much involved with camera that I wonder even If I had given them money for exchange of taking their photos, they would have surely denied the same. Don’t go over their clothes, look at their smiles and faces. I guess, happiest moment in their life.
“Ae apun ka style hai bhidu”. Let us all guess that when last they had their hair cut, and by whom? I couldn’t ask them this but I guess that their parents only be cutting their hair. And that is why they look so stylish!
In the video below, you will get to see my trip to various footpath of my city Rajkot. Question to all of us is what different WE can do, and WHEN?