Shared by Nidhi Singh nee Batra-PRIA
We were talking of territorialities in our last entry – and the epitome of that was in the article of today’s Hindustan Times: ‘Slums take sheen out of high-rises in Sector 54’
Inside the article you would find the following sentences, amongst other stench generating proactive sentences against the urban poor:
Amid swanky building touching the skies are rows and rows of grubby shanties…
The air stinks of disease and poverty…
Just behind ‘Summit’ — a shining beautiful high-rise building — one can see the mushrooming slum area…
“A few days back, an empty bottle of liquor was thrown at our building. We were shocked and scared as the bottle could have damaged the vehicles parked near the boundary walls,” said Sudesh Pathak, a resident of the area….
All of this makes you question about the ‘Right to Dignity’ that we are fighting for – middleclass/ the rich are so quick in ridiculing the poor. Poverty is not a choice, rather to end poverty IS !
Air doesn’t stink of poverty – It just gushes the guilt out of the ‘privileged’ who would like to close their eyes to those who are ‘unprivileged’.
As far as I remember – Cities were meant for ‘people’ and not for vehicles– that the rich suddenly now become scared of an empty bottle near the parking lot- least it might harm a vehicle- not to miss the rich do not really mind throwing empty beer bottles out of their cars when they indulge in all the episodes of drinking and driving. It’s amazing how the ‘poor’ are less of a citizen of this city in comparison to imported vehicles of the rich!
Who defines beautiful?! Why is a ‘swanky’ new building more beautiful than the struggle of the impoverished! Who knows this building might just have an illegal past, forced eviction of dwellers on the land, could have series of bribes passed for its foundation – but even then just because it now sits all tall and glamourous- it becomes beautiful that is losing its beauty because of the grubby shackles!
Instead of ridiculing poverty, had some action been taken towards ‘ENDING IT’, the whole world would have been a beautiful place to live in – and not just the swanky glass buildings!