Wednesday, November 14, 2007

one of the things we don't know in india is that we don't see it. meaning, we don't know because do not want to know. we'd rather be happy and merry on fake data rather than wanting to know the real data.

for instance, india's urban rivers (and most of rural rivers) are polluted and dead with sewage. the urban elite of india, a nation that is challenging america in 'development', does not care anything about why the rivers have been turned into sewage as its zips past the sewage pools in latest cars and fancy portable electronics gadgets.

because as urban elite, we do not care who does the dirty job apart from why it has become dirty. for instance, let's take the case of removing the human sewage, sewage clogs, cleaning up the sewage lines, etc, etc related to the sewage we flush everyday from copious flush toilets that flush a huge amount of water along with sewage.

this bbcnews story puts it eloquently how the caste system is playing brute fate on the lives of many people who are forced to continue scavenging.

i am quoting some lines from the story,

Most of these scavengers are Dalits - the lowest rung of Hindu society who continue to face discrimination and prejudice. And an overwhelming 80% of them are women.

"For the past 20 years I've been cleaning toilets because this is the only way I can feed my children. Everyone considers us dirty and stays away from us. If I was able to find another job, why would I do this?"

Visiting about 40 houses and working for more than 12 hours a day, they earn just $15 a month - barely enough to support their seven children.

Initially, I tried looking for a job in a school or nursing home, but no one would take me. The first question they always ask is your caste-system."

"There has not been a single prosecution for violating this law in India, so who will obey or implement this act? Most districts are not even aware [of the law]," Mr Wilson says.

"Because of the practice of the caste system in India, people have been forced to do such menial jobs. Focus should now be given on how to liberate scavengers from this."

and although manual scavenging is banned by law, the sorry tale continues daily. amdist talk of development, growth, gdp, india shining, india rising, one sad and brutal fact is that, the people who are in the lowest sections do not matter for they do not participate in the gpd that is being powered up by a tiny section of the society.


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