Recently I was watching a TV-serial based on recent real life incidents. In that episode a child servant was shown eating leftover food of their masters. This immediately reminded me of a very emotional moment of my childhood. While on a NCC camp tour during my school days, our train stopped at a station named ‘Akola’ in Rajasthan. It was the afternoon time around 3.00 PM. We all cadets had just finished our lunch, served by the Railway pantry. Those days, the lunch used to be served in rectangular steel plates with pre-divided sections. The serving waiter took all the plates out of our coach and piled them in a heap on the platform. To my utter surprise, I could see lots of young children flocking towards those plates. Within seconds they started eating all the leftover chapatti’s and vegetables from the plates. Leftover Dal was something they were really searching for in each plate, as if it was something they had tasted after a long time. I still remember that at that time tears trickled out of my eyes. Even when I am writing this paragraph on my laptop, the situation is no different. Incidentally, I am writing all this while on a train journey, when the dinner is being served. Today each pack of dinner costs Rupees seventy. At that time it was about Rupees five. But how come, even today some children of this country are devoid of food as their first right. How come even today TV serials have to show children going through the same trauma.
Are we a society that adopts the Darwin’s principle, “Survival of the fittest”, too much like the animals do? We do not have a right to be called a society when we cannot balance the rights over basic needs. The way we are moving towards an unthoughtful herd of people rather than a well knit society, the day is not far, when only resourceful people will breathe the air first and others will have to thrive on air left out after their exhalation.
I am a little sorry, if I could not remain positive while writing this episode. I don’t blame this on the situation. I do not have words really to blame anyone. I as an individual do not have a readymade solution. Although as a society we do need to find a permanent solution. We are truly standing very near to one of the great transition periods of history. A great change is overdue.
Dr. Sunil Ji Garg