Saturday, June 30, 2012

Out in the open

Mumbai is one of the few cities that manages to shock and awe every time one visits. Even if one has lived here and visited frequently, it is quite an experience to get back. What is sad though is the extent to which stark poverty can be observed so close by and so out in the open. 

From the slum roofs which are inescapable as one lands in this city to the shanties that intermingle with tall skyscrapers, Mumbai is a city of contrasts. At night, one sees an innumerable number of people who sleep out on footpaths or roads, right next to the cars whizzing by. In day, it is sad to see individuals performing their daily ablutions right in public view while living in houses the size of a mid-size cot.

Why doesn't it galvanize us better off citizens to change the situation? Is it because when one lives amidst such disparity we get so benumbed by seeing it daily that it does not sting? Or is it because we think there is no apparent solution to it? Or is it because we believe it is a problem for somebody else to solve? When we can manage to send rockets to outer-space, why can we not develop the initiative to resolve this disparity.