Sudama and poverty Line : Living on 26 rupees per day!

English: Auto rickshaw in Polonnaruwa, Sri Lan...
Image via Wikipedia

“Poverty is the state of one who lacks a certain amount of material possessions or money.  “—(Definition taken from wikipedia)

Its a monday. Morning time and time for offices. Every working citizen has to reach office on time, 9 30 am is the deadline. From kashmir to kanyakumari, rush hour begins now for a rat race.

We are at Egipura Bus Stand, Bangalore.  It reminds me of my remote village Chalamkode, in Thodupuzha, Kerala.  Where a small crowd always waits for Buses.  Similarly we are waiting at Egipura Bus Stand.  Here buses have no importance but their numbers are important. No number in a bus means it is like a close friend without money or job. He will come and go, we wont mind. 

 Buses do come though at irregular intervals. They come with a sand storm effect, dust rises from the ground as the wheels eat away the dusty roads.  Bus driver and the Ticket collector inhale maximum dust produced by the bus followed by the passengers in the bus.  But our bus number 420 hasnt come till now.

This  is where i saw a set of pure goons,group of well fed mass balls standing and staring at ladies.  I wondered whether they had a deadline.  A junction where the BOLD (rowdies) meets BEAUTIFUL ….  Every junction of india witnesses this daily.

“Housewives don t prefer going to the public places, they stay at home. “, Mayawati is a beauty Parlour owner.  Her husband left her divorced with two girls.

“Husbands and friends, prefer to stand at the Junctions in the morning and evenings specially.”

“Working ladies and ladies better looking than their wife come and go at that time. Poor men, so they stand and want to get some drizzle in their desert life.”,

Moral Victim : One lady from NAGALAND was looking for an auto, 9 00 am 14th FEB 2012, suddenly this group appears and follows teasing her ….

Mayawati sprayed water over the scalp of Sonia. Sonia does facial every month. But this time she suffered from hair loss because of extreme cold and dandruff. So she came for a hair cut.  For every hair cut and facial Mayawati charges 200 rupees.  Gossips of Mayawati’s clients included the bad effects of city’s worse water supply.

“Even the pure drinking water supply of city Municipality is impure not with dirt but with chemicals. The long term effect of this water consumption needs to be proven with some clinical trial or research.”

“I believe most Indians have plenty of time in the day to bother about others. For most daily business means Socialising with social groups and digging on  “how to maximise anti social capacities in us?” .  The gossips at the parlour goes on.

It happens every where in the country and happens only through out 24 hours of the day…..

Because we need to get out to the Junction at least once in a day.  Buses are rare when you want them most.  Getting a good auto wala for a trip is highly luck driven like finding a good match for your daughter in matrimony.
“2nd block, Gandhinagar “, I asked a autowaala. He looked at me with a frown. Luckily he left without saying anything.  I kept on asking the same to every passing auto.
” Better ask them Dubai or Switzerland. shall be ready to take you there.”

We haggled with as many as 11 “autowalas” but nothing worked. And suddenly came the 12th one. It was an Old man. I mean the auto man was an Old man, he agreed for a ride to Chamarajpet.  The famous Bull Temple Road.  Astonishingly, he was my wife’s class teacher’s brother.  Ramesh sir.
He is a well mannered gentleman too good to be an auto driver. But he is one real driver.

“There are a lot of reasons for these issues. Poverty, Illiteracy, Fundamentalism etc that prevail in our society.”, Ramesh sir was sharing his ideas while driving his auto rickshaw.  He is driving for the past 30 years, mostly after his working hours.  A rick driving rich guy, in all senses.

Poverty makes us take more money from passengers. You have to make more money at the end of the day. I need to buy gas for the auto, buy ration for home, then pay my installments.”

“By hook or by crook, you have to get money…”

“Govt fixes a pricing system and salaries without really understanding the basic needs and market prices.”

“This area was known for its Rowdies. Rowdy Rathode, Rowdy Gowda, Rowdy Reddy. Even the banks did not open branches here till recemtly ”
“Banks were afraid of defaulters. People take loans in huge amount. But they never pay interests or anything. Because even the property documents are fake. They call it binami.”

A beggar came to me asking for money. “Even this is a lobby. There are big people behind it. Mafia”

“now you have metro coming. Real Estate Mafia is making most money today.  Per square feet land price in bangalore is increasing everyday.”

“Yep, the first ATM came just 2 days back. That too day time working only.”

“Can you live in this city for just 100 rupees per day? You know what is the income of an average poor Indian ?”

Indian Government says 4,500/- per month. They say 26 rupees is enough for a day to live in INDIA.” 

“Auto minimum charge is 20 per trip and poverty line is 26 rupees”

“Then why  this Kolavery? ” and he laughed.

“If I am honest then i will only earn lesser than this . Because the system is such that. People who loot are in the Indian Government, they make money”

“If you are in any of these 3 Ks ie, Kaavi, Khakhi or Khader, then your life is Safe. Otherwise you have to struggle.”

A typical auto-rickshaw in Hyderabad, Pakistan
Image via Wikipedia

*NOTE : Kaavi means Saffron, Khakhi is the indication of Police, Khader means Khadi clothing (politician’s white indian dress)

“Struggle or die, nobody cares”……… Our auto got stuck in a mini traffic jam at Banaswadi Junction, “You know what our problem is, we are not confident of ourself. And Nobody is perfect in their profession. They simply do it because they have no other choice”, He was pointing at the drivers of the two locked cars in the middle of Junction.  Even the traffic man(police) is sleeping during the turmoil. “Why he should worry or bother? He is given pay by Govt.  What checking. Rest of the work will be done by CCTV fitted at the Traffic Signal. They will record the number plate info.”

“We were three issues to my parents. Me and my brother were twins. Then we had an elder sister”,

“Our childhood was in difficulty. But my mother always did other people’s household for my upbringing.  It was difficult times,  not like today.”
“My brother went to Mumbai some 25 years back and he never returned. He went o my sister first then there he became a teacher.  He is opposite to me, very funny character.” 

……. Ramesh Sir continued the big story of life in the Auto during our drive………… (to be cntd.)

Indian IT : US or Dubai has still the money and projects

Last month Ram went to US. “Everything is mechanical in US, but I miss Egipura man.  ”

“In America, nobody bothers about you, first of all they dont have time. Rushing like anything.”

“Even the Sweeper comes in a car and she cleans the entire building in a clean manner.  In India, they will always come in a group. Leave work unfinished.”                                

“Here you can easily make out who is a sweeper and who is an officer.”, says Suresh. “In US, its difficult. The air and water is clean, so clothes remain more clean. So they can wear clothes without washing”

“The dollars which they give is not enough for half day meals. ”
“Idiots they are paying same what they paid for my manager when he came here 7 years back!!
“Seven years back, Local call per minute was 5 rupees and huge Alu gonda was only  50 paisa(Half a rupee)
 :” hmm”
 “in India Today smaller Alu gonda is rupees 5 and local call rate is  50 paise today.”

  He said,”Even our Tea vendor,  at Oracle sells 8,000 cups of coffee per day. He is doing better than our Manager.  ”

“Are there any poor in america, man. Why poverty only in india?”
“Here there are poor people but our governments definition of poverty doesnt suit here. ”

“Man indian rupee is getting devalued, but dollar has got its value. Here 1 $ (one dollar) means a lot.  But what do you get for 1 Rs(one rupee)?”

“In india Our limit is 26 rupees per day for an INDIAN HUMAN? Our  Minimum Auto Charge is also 20 rupees for a trip.”

And the discussion continues ……..



Absolute poverty or destitution refers to the one who lacks basic human needs, which commonly includes clean and fresh water, nutrition, health care, education, clothing and shelter. About 1.7 billion people are estimated to live in absolute poverty today. ( Statistics & definition – wikipedia)

The poorest people  have less access to health, education and other essential services. Problems of hunger, malnutrition and disease afflict the poorest in society. 

On the contrary, the wealthier you are, the more likely you are to benefit from economic or political policies.

The amount of money the world(rich countries especially ) spends on military, financial bailouts and other areas that benefit the wealthy, compared to the amount spent to address the daily crisis of poverty and related problems are often staggering.

 Problems of hunger, malnutrition and disease afflict the poorest in society.  The poorest will always be arginalized from the society and they will have little representation or voice in public and political debates.  Their say has no value. making it even harder for them to  escape poverty.

Sudama was an ancient concept. But today he cries to see the GOD!


News Item from Daily Newspaper:

This year, World Gold Council (WGC) report warned, there were fewer auspicious dates in the Hindu calendar, which may impact gold demand in India. It also said that the recent increase in import duty could hamper demand although consumers will be comforted by the recent government move that mandates hallmarking of gold jewellery.

China has overtaken India as the world’s largest gold consumer as buyers here shunned the yellow metal in the wake of spiralling prices.

 World Gold Council, (WGC) is the agency involved in Global Gold market development, showed that demand for jewellery, and gold bars and coins fell 42% to 173 tonnes during the fourth quarter of 2011.

At the same time, demand in China grew to 190.6 tonnes during October-December 2011, compared to 190.3 tonnes a year ago, marking the first time when India dropped to the second position in gold consumption rankings.

“Why Gold puts Indians in Second Position?

“While one group of Indians is enjoying with gold other groups are struggling to meet their basic needs including food, education, shelter, securities etc. if we want to see the prosperity of India then not only the groups of Indians but 120 crore Indians must prosper ….”

MBA Colleges shutting down across India

As many as 65 business management colleges across India are planning to close down; these institutes no longer see business sense in offering an MBA course, preferring to use the land for more lucrative ventures.


Author: apboss

I love to share and experiment with words, words for me are like olfactory senses, they wake me up in a garden of experiences, SOUL meets me

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