I love India – I love the people, the food and the crazy ass way they drive using their horns rather than their brakes without killing themselves, or doing a Kenneth Noye. That said, although I have been here a number of times, I still cannot get used to the absolute grinding poverty.
I want to write on this in more depth later but today, I would just like to share this brief, non humorous thought. India cannot be viewed as a shining example of a “Tiger Economy” when it does nothing about the endemic poverty that so obviously afflicts the majority of the population. If I close my eyes as I leave my hotel and then open them when I reach the office, I could be in any western country. But I cannot close my eyes and neither should the corrupt government that hosts international sporting events yet ignores those dying on it’s streets.
Each time I come here, this affects me more. Usually by about the end of the third day, my enthusiasm for what I am doing wanes and in floods the reality of what surrounds me. Today was day three.
If I see one more homeless person lying on the street, one more begging child or one more dog with missing or grossly deformed legs hopelessly dragging itself down a street that would not look out of place in Kabul, then I swear I’ll cry. Those who know me will also know my hatred of animal suffering. I’m no big fan of people suffering either but the human heart is not big enough to hold all the pain we see in this world and tonight, mine’s about full.