Friday, 25 January 2013

On visiting the Ejipura demolitons, by Yasmine Claire

My wife and I went to Ejipura yesterday to hand over warm things a generous friend had donated. This is her impression of what we saw:

Just reading about people being made homeless because of a city municipality's callousness keeps you cushioned. All you need to do is sigh over how terrible it must be for 'those people' and carry on with the stuff that fills your day. Going and seeing what it means to lose everything, now that's something else. It is something that should shake you up. Make you see that it is not just the BBMP who is the bad guy here but each one of us. We have failed these people. We have failed them. They are out living on the pavement, their lives on display. Lakhs pass that way on their way to glass covered offices, glitzy malls and fancy homes. How many stop to help? Too few. How do they make it from day to day? Where do they bathe? Do they have toilets? Do the women have access to sanitary towels? Where do they all sleep? Is there enough food? What happens to their animals? I can assure you they are fiercely protective of their animals. Some have refused to move unless their dogs can come along. They are victims of the city and its peoples unending need for more. Another mall? Really? Where shanty homes of people whose life savings amounted to Rs. 5000 once stood? There will be people in plenty who will go to that mall and crib over its many limitations. Will they remember or even know about the people made homeless because of it? We cannot give them homes but we can surely show them that they are not alone. Please people, go visit. Get out of you comfort zones. Go help. Go. Go now!

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