I visited the Kanhai village for two continuous days. The village is near the Sushant Lok township in Gurgaon. The village has a population of about 500 people. Most of the residents are employed as wage laborers in several companies around the city. Some of them work as gardeners, security guards, sweepers as well as drivers. Other people are employed in animal husbandry, but farming, the main activity in and around Haryana, does not exist in the village. Another main source of income for the villagers is the compensation paid to them for the lands purchased from them in earlier times.
The population of the village is rather narrow-minded. There is discrimination. Women and girls are not often seen out of their houses. Only some children attend school. They visit the government secondary and senior secondary schools. Among those who don’t attend school, include mainly the poorer families’ kids and most of the girls.
The village on the whole the village is considered rich (relative to other Indian villages), but the reality comes forth, only once one visits it. There is extreme filth on the streets of the village and there are no ‘pukka’ roads.
On being questioned, the head of the village or the ‘sarpanch’ easily blames the administration for the poor state of the village. The people are however seem content with their condition.
“Saheb, the way we are is the best we can be. People out there (in the cities), are born privileged, we have to struggle to gather every penny,” Kamal Kishore, a butcher, says.
This is a clear example of the people of the village often tending not to care about their condition and their children’s.
“I have been going to school for four years now, but I don’t see myself even near to a city child of four years. Unki to kuchh aur hi baat hai (There is something special about them).” Payal, 14, a student of the neighbourhood government school says. “We are always neglected at school, and the school teachers don’t treat us properly”.
The village people thus often find themselves, discriminated on terms of not their castes or religion (thankfully), sadly though they find themselves discriminated on the basis of their clothing, hygiene and colour.
The villagers’ attitude towards the urban masses can be described by the following quote, “If you want to know what God thinks of money, just look at the people he gave it to.”
We must treat each human being alike, with dignity. We must respect everyone, rich or poor. We can help them to overcome unemployment, by employing them at factories and offices and related posts, by giving them opportunities. Instead of employing children in our homes, shouldn’t we support their education?
image © SelphieS, www.subafuruba.com/