The Things We Take For Granted

Think about the care you and I have received since the moment we were born right up to this day. We were born under proper medical supervision by trained hands. We were put to sleep in cradles, wrapped in the softest cloth available, washed with the lightest soap, and of course, who can forget Mamy Poko Pants? We have been splurged at by our parents. As we grew up, we were given regular doses of vaccination. We had nutritious food to eat, served to us in clean plates. We were admitted to the best schools of our time. We had uniforms. Three pairs. Ironed. We had school shoes. Black ones and white ones. And these were different from our casual ones. We had school buses who picked us up right from our doorsteps and dropped us outside our school gates, be it summer, winter or rains. Oh and for some, our parents would drive us to and from school, every single day. We had books to write on, and pens to write with. And some other books to read from. Fast forward to college where we spent money more than our annual tuition. And to top it all off, we had coaching, outside of out academic set-up.

My mother is a homemaker. She would be there 24*7 to take care of my needs. She would pick me and drop me to my school bus stop. Cook me some of the best food I will ever have. Teach me right from wrong. Tell me when to study, how to study, and when to go to play. I always had a hand to show me the direction I should go towards, until I was able enough to walk the right path. If both your parents were working as you were growing up, you may have had your grandparents to look after all this.

Now think about this. If you are living in a metropolitan city, there is at least one slum within a 20 km radius from your home. There are lakhs of people living in that slum. The living conditions in these slums are pathetic. Women deliver babies without institutional support. Children do not get vaccinated. They might or might not have the chance to go to school, let alone be the best school in the vicinity. They live in unhygienic conditions and are prone to life-threatening diseases. They might be even involved in menial labour at a very early age because of financial pressure from families.

India claims to be the fastest growing country in the world, and aspires to be the world’s largest economy soon. However, in reality, only a part of India is growing. This is the India you and I are part of . Probably because I can write these 750 words and you can read them. There is a whole part of India that has fallen way behind the curve. And there are multiple agencies trying to solve this problem. How do you get the backward 60% to catch up in speed with the forward 40%, roughly speaking.

This is where the Government plays, or should play, an eminent role. Everyone deserves access to basic education and healthcare, irrespective of their economic or social status, only to enable them to lead a reasonably decent life. Which is why the Government should provide these services free of cost to everyone. Though some significant steps have been taken here, a lot remains to be done. SO how can we help?

Do you work at any small/big? Does that office employ individuals from a backward socio-economic background? Does that office employ physically challenged individuals? Does the office take care of that individual’s dependents basic needs? The answer to the question ‘Will poverty end in India?’ depends on the answer to these questions. The thing is, the kind of employee I am referring to will barely have a chance to make it big in life. But he has kid(s). And they deserve a chance. If they are fended for, there is a good chance their kids will not end up poor. Poverty in an inter-generational phenomenon. I saw a carpenter’s three year old kid fearlessly striking a real hammer on real nails, without hurting himself. This depicts a hundred different things. Everyone has a role to play in the end of poverty. The question to ask ourselves is how? We may feed people, educate them, give them jobs, but it is necessary that they do not their children’s education and health for granted. They deserve an equally fulfilling life as we do!

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