Poverty in Afghanistan

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Dear friends, I would like to share with you an incidence that I witnessed few days back & which left me restless…

Trains are the ‘Lifeline’ of Mumbai & travelling through trains is a part & parcel of my daily life… Sellers of snacks, bangles, key chains & other such accessories, beggars singing for money, small poor children performing acrobatics 2 attract d passengers for alms, is a common site…

A few days back, in the crowded ladies compartment, I was waiting to get down at the Dombivli station… Just then a small beggar boy, who too wanted to get down, started singing n hanging from the bar near the door. For these kids, performing such ‘stunts’ is a source of excitement n happiness. At the very next moment, a lady scolded him & this was what she said- “Hey you!!! Why are you doing such Monkey tricks??? You’ll lose ‘you’re life’ & we would have to suffer… If you fall off the train, we’ll have to pull the chain… The train will stop in middle wasting everyone’s time unnecessarily …” And saying this, she looked at the fellow lady passengers and started laughing at her own words as if she had cracked some joke! Other women followed her and to my surprise also the little boy! The innocent child did not know that the woman was making fun of his very own life! Was his life so cheap and worth a delay of just few minutes? Often even a slight fever of big film stars, industrialists, etc makes hot news… But even if the poor lose their lives, nobody is bothered…

True, the boy was endangering his life by hanging out from the train. But he was an innocent child! The woman could have explained him the dangerous consequences in a warm manner. Making him feel that he too was a Human Being and although poor, his Life too was important… Unfortunately, he was insulted… Just because he had been cursed with ‘Poverty’! And that day, I learned the ‘Value’ of ‘Poverty’…

Snehal Mayekar

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