This is the beginning of the expectantly long journey that I have taken up to experience one of the most known phenomena about India, also one that we are greatly ashamed to publicize– Poverty. To a layman, this word would translate to the beggars and hawkers that one commonly sees around every corner of the road. In India, every road doesn’t lead to Rome; rather every road brings you before at least one social, economic, political or cultural problem.
Every nook and corner of India gives you a different but worthy experience. If you have not come across all, you have not seen it all. On the 7th of July 2012, I along with many of CSA’s volunteers went on an exposure trip to Rajendranagar, a slum in the south-west end of Bangalore. This is not a neglected area in the eye of the government; it has seen a large amount of development over the last ten or so years. And the process goes on ceaselessly. We saw many few-storied buildings, packed with people living in spaces that we would have allotted for our toilets. And this was not the end of our worries. To gain control over the situation by even a tiny amount, some volunteers from our University and abroad had started a small school for teaching under-privileged toddlers from all ages.
Their mode of study is as good as it could be with the available monetary and human resources. Their libraries are not huge stacks and shelves of thousands of volumes occupying every inch of the walls, rather they have just one wooden plank hung on a painted wall with not more than a hundred books to read. Everyone’s wish would be to see themselves one day in the galleries of the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C. But unfortunately, the children are not so lucky to even see the inside of an aeroplane in their lives. They are provided with education from the state and are learning more languages than even those with which I am familiar. The children appeared quite bright and highly ambitious; they have an eager want and need to learn. They don’t want others to change. Instead, they want to become the change that they want to see in this world. God bless them all!
A lot of people depend on us; a part of our country depends on us; humankind depends on us. We should be ready to take on this responsibility. We do not have to take huge leaps for that, we just need to make successive steps in bringing up some small changes in the beginning and carry on with a hope, a belief, a pint of faith that the world will change one day, people will realize the truth one day, things will go a different way in the future… only because we took a small step today.
-Samip Velani, I PCM