Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Unbalanced success

It is really unfortunate that we have been able to translate the success that corporate India ha enjoyed recently down to the poor. I am not sure what is the point of this success if 80% of the people don't benefit. How many of us have turned our face away when we have seen beggars on streets, sometimes saying that they were part of a "gang" who make a lot of money.

Amelia Gentleman writing in the IHT, talks about one such have and have-not story somewhere near her home in Delhi. Very touching but I guess most of us Indians prefer to look the other way then actually help. Specifically, we'd rather feed stray dogs than human beings:

There is a kind woman who parks her car near my gate once a day to distribute parcels of rice, neatly wrapped in newspaper, to the wild and possibly rabid dogs who roam the quiet street in this rich part of central Delhi. She caresses them and addresses them by name. One mangy yellow, malevolent animal she calls Bruno.

It is an act of generosity that I still find confusing. Around the corner, sitting by the traffic lights, is a family of four, which receives no rice parcels. The mother, Sayari, is bony thin, and the children's matted hair has a dull orange tint, a sign of the malnutrition affecting nearly half of all under-fives in India.

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