Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Notes on India -Where are the beggars?

OK so we didn't go to Mumbai or Calcutta but we were in Bangalore, (the information capital of the world, according to President Sarkozy, who was there at the same time.)
But no keeping the head down, barging through a dozen outstretched hands, no averting the eyes or handing out cheap coins to the maimed and old at our feet. All I can remember were two young girls outside a big temple, a dignified old man, like a monk; a girl, making faces, pressed up against the car window.
In fact, all the children we saw seemed to be coming home from school, the boys cheeky, the girls bashful. All in uniform, clean and tidy. And there can't be a more beautiful sight than a line of Indian school girls, slim and graceful, dark hair to their shoulders, walking home under those big old orchid-hosting trees, their uniforms a delight: deep blue scarves over pale blue tunics and deep blue trousers, cream colored tunics with vermilion.
I asked about poverty. The poor can buy rice at a special rate. That's one thing. Pressure to survive is obviously intense. In The Hindu Times: six lottery sellers have committed suicide because lottery draws were to be limited to one per week and "a number had turned to begging to make ends meet."

1 comment:

  1. Mary, in India beggars have their money stashed in private banks. Begging is a very profitable profession. It is the people who are classified BPL (Below Poverty Line) that are the ones who suffer. It is below their dignity to beg and like you said "Life doesn't come easy".