While our shameless leaders will be happy if the Common Wealth Games are spoilt, I revisited some of my recent archives where I found this bunch of people who live by the road and work as daily wagers in Delhi. They all are from the state of Bihar, one of the under developed and poorer states of India. As usual we have a few criminals and politicians to blame for their condition, but what I really like about these men is – They live in a foreign land – far away from their homes, in-touch with their families once in a month through letters because some of these people come from such far off villages where phone is a luxurious dream! Back in the village, they have to walk for hours to reach the nearest phone booth, hospital, road or railway station. All year long they work hard, save every possible paisa, by eating less, working over time, sometimes double shifts of over 16 hours, sleeping by the road, sharing a 10 ft x 10ft room with 10 more people, wearing same old and torn clothes for months, eating unhygienic – unhealthy – cheap road side food etc. etc…. and all this to ensure to keep the shelter they have left behind in the village for their family. For the hope to give a better life for their parents, wife and children.
Some of them will be working hard on numerous CWG projects as well. The living conditions for poor people is not any better even in this rain, with insufficient infrastructure for migrant citizens and night shelters for homeless in the city, govt. has better agenda of wasting money on the so called beautification of the city which is already causing several accidents on the road and killing the heritage of this city… let’s see how many more lives these games will claim.
Seen above are some daily wage workers, sleeping outside a closed shop on a Sunday morning. Reminds me of a line by the famous poet Sahir, Rehne ko Ghar nahi, parr sara jahan humara. I wonder, where do they get their letters delivered?