Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Dark side of India

I was reading the article "The great Indian darkness" by Grace Boyle, who has traveled from London to Bangalore to work on a project by Greenpeace about climate change and how it is affecting India. The article reminded me of my Engineering days in a small village of Mailoor in Karnataka. The village is adjoining the city of Bidar which is known for its Bidri Handicraft and is a pilgrimage site for Hindus, Sikhs and Muslims. Mailoor village is one of the poorest places I have seen in India and that in a state which is boasting itself as the IT hub of India. Infact, most villages around Bidar (which is one of the biggest district of India) are extremely poor. The level of poverty can be judged by the fact that I met a person there who once boasted to me that he had bribed a police constable 50 paisa, which he had gladly accepted and this was less than 10 years back. In a city like Bangalore even a beggar won't accept this small token of money.

The article by Grace Boyle took me back to the darkness of the villages in that district of Karnataka . I am not sure if anything has changed in these nine years but there is hope as in the article Grace mentions that even though villagers (which she visited) do not have electricity they do use mobile to keep in touch with their children who live in bigger cities. If only we can find a mobile application that can light these villages out of darkness.

PS: I had written a previous article "Stench of Poverty" about a train ride through the same district.