The Hunger Project -3. What Do You See?

Tell me, my friends, what do you see in this picture? It is not a random shot, in case you are wondering. 

What Do You See?
What Do You See?

In my last post I mentioned that India turns 77 on the 15th August. We have grown as a nation. We have become wealthier, much wealthier. The number of BMWs and Mercedes-Benz on the streets have increased, and this is fine. No quarrels, no arguments with that.

We also have an Annual Union Budget. The State Governments also present their budgets.

As part of the exercise, industry is invited to give their views on what they would like to see in the budget, and there is a lot of hectic lobbying that does go on prior to this.

Yet, unless my eyes deceived me, as per a statistic I read, India is home to 78 million people. That is about 7 times the population of Belgium and close to 5 times the population of the Netherlands.

We are home to 1/3 of the world’s hungry, and it seems that 7,000 people ( I am sure there are more ) people die daily because of starvation. In India.

We launch grand schemes for the poor, and all our politicians talk of pro-poor policies. And yet, we have statistics that damn and shame.

I read this morning, that Lakshmi Mittal wants to buy a mountain range in the UK. Presumably, he needs more space to wiggle his toes. He is rich and needs to spend his money well! This does not mean that Indian corporates aren’t doing their bit. Many of them have programs on Corporate Social Responsibility, and this is good. There is good in the world as well.

And yet, and yet, and yet, as the population grows, so does the problem of hunger and homelessness. We do produce enough grain and food to feed the population, and 33% is wasted and rots every year.

One passerby did try to feed the old lady. She refused. I assume that she knew she could not digest the food. This is one of the critical tenets of taking people out of starvation – can they digest the food that is – or not – provided to them?

We know the problems. I don’t need to list them out.

Yet the time has come, for a young country and old civilisation, to introspect and really think hard about how it treats the old, the poor, the starving and the damned.

Tell me, my friends, what do you really see in this picture?

75 Comments

      1. I see dark, musky, dirty streets. I see sadness, fear, no remorse. I see a seemingly well to do man walking through quuckly. I vision his eyes not making contact with anyone else’s eyes. Probably stepping on fingers as he strolls away nit looking back. I see nothing positive. I don’t like what I see. I want that to change, Indian Cowboy. Show me hope.

  1. My God, 7000 people *a day* die from hunger in India? 😦 Wow, you taught me a lot from this post. The look of hopelessness is written all over her face. I wish I could bring her home to me 😦

    1. King of Muslim Astrologers, Black Magic Removal Expert.
      Whose One Magic Spell Can Change Your Fate. A Renowned Name In The World Of Astrology And Palmistry.
      Get All problems solution within 72 hours and with 100% GUARANTEE.
      My Qualify is : Psychic by Tarot Card, Astrology & The Art Of The Umbanda- white Voodoo and spells !
      * MOLVI ABDUL KHAN JI*
      * True believe can solve every problem.
      * Fulfillment of desires is the fruit of man’s struggle.
      All Type Of Problem Like Service:-
      * Any problem (e.g) of HEALTH and PROGRESS,MARRIAGE and PARTNERSHIP,LOVE AFFAIRS,LOTTERY,DOMESTIC DISPUTES,BIRTH or DEATH of CHILDREN,FOREIGN journey,PROMOTION and LIVELIHOOD.
      * Solve your any problem only by one telephonic call.
      * Every problem will be solved with complete guarantee and secrecy in 72 hour.
      * We Offer The Following services.
      * Free Online Istikhara. Love Marriage.
      * Horoscope, Make Or Match For Marriage.
      * Online Free Zaicha, Nori Amliyat.
      * Problems In Love, Domestic,Husband & Wife,Business Etc.
      * Services,Employment,Etc.
      * Black Magic Remover.
      * Get Your Ex Love Back
      * Husband Wife Relationship Problem Solution
      * Free Contact For Any Problem.
      * All of your problems are solved under the guidance of HOLY QURAN.
      * Help For All, For Any Problem (ETC) 72 Hours.
      * MOLANA ABDUL KHAN JI
      Call Now :- +91-7727850825
      Email :- molviabdulkhan786@gmail.com
      Website :- http://www.duatogetmyloveback.wordpress.com

    1. King of Muslim Astrologers, Black Magic Removal Expert.
      Whose One Magic Spell Can Change Your Fate. A Renowned Name In The World Of Astrology And Palmistry.
      Get All problems solution within 72 hours and with 100% GUARANTEE.
      My Qualify is : Psychic by Tarot Card, Astrology & The Art Of The Umbanda- white Voodoo and spells !
      * MOLVI ABDUL KHAN JI*
      * True believe can solve every problem.
      * Fulfillment of desires is the fruit of man’s struggle.
      All Type Of Problem Like Service:-
      * Any problem (e.g) of HEALTH and PROGRESS,MARRIAGE and PARTNERSHIP,LOVE AFFAIRS,LOTTERY,DOMESTIC DISPUTES,BIRTH or DEATH of CHILDREN,FOREIGN journey,PROMOTION and LIVELIHOOD.
      * Solve your any problem only by one telephonic call.
      * Every problem will be solved with complete guarantee and secrecy in 72 hour.
      * We Offer The Following services.
      * Free Online Istikhara. Love Marriage.
      * Horoscope, Make Or Match For Marriage.
      * Online Free Zaicha, Nori Amliyat.
      * Problems In Love, Domestic,Husband & Wife,Business Etc.
      * Services,Employment,Etc.
      * Black Magic Remover.
      * Get Your Ex Love Back
      * Husband Wife Relationship Problem Solution
      * Free Contact For Any Problem.
      * All of your problems are solved under the guidance of HOLY QURAN.
      * Help For All, For Any Problem (ETC) 72 Hours.
      * MOLANA ABDUL KHAN JI
      Call Now :- +91-7727850825
      Email :- molviabdulkhan786@gmail.com
      Website :- http://www.duatogetmyloveback.wordpress.com

    1. King of Muslim Astrologers, Black Magic Removal Expert.
      Whose One Magic Spell Can Change Your Fate. A Renowned Name In The World Of Astrology And Palmistry.
      Get All problems solution within 72 hours and with 100% GUARANTEE.
      My Qualify is : Psychic by Tarot Card, Astrology & The Art Of The Umbanda- white Voodoo and spells !
      * MOLVI ABDUL KHAN JI*
      * True believe can solve every problem.
      * Fulfillment of desires is the fruit of man’s struggle.
      All Type Of Problem Like Service:-
      * Any problem (e.g) of HEALTH and PROGRESS,MARRIAGE and PARTNERSHIP,LOVE AFFAIRS,LOTTERY,DOMESTIC DISPUTES,BIRTH or DEATH of CHILDREN,FOREIGN journey,PROMOTION and LIVELIHOOD.
      * Solve your any problem only by one telephonic call.
      * Every problem will be solved with complete guarantee and secrecy in 72 hour.
      * We Offer The Following services.
      * Free Online Istikhara. Love Marriage.
      * Horoscope, Make Or Match For Marriage.
      * Online Free Zaicha, Nori Amliyat.
      * Problems In Love, Domestic,Husband & Wife,Business Etc.
      * Services,Employment,Etc.
      * Black Magic Remover.
      * Get Your Ex Love Back
      * Husband Wife Relationship Problem Solution
      * Free Contact For Any Problem.
      * All of your problems are solved under the guidance of HOLY QURAN.
      * Help For All, For Any Problem (ETC) 72 Hours.
      * MOLANA ABDUL KHAN JI
      Call Now :- +91-7727850825
      Email :- molviabdulkhan786@gmail.com
      Website :- http://www.duatogetmyloveback.wordpress.com

  2. There might have been a party earlier, looking by the plates in the bin. And I see an old woman with arms sizing as much as my 8 month olds. Clear contrast. Some party and some are malnourished.

    I also see a man with fake nike shoes!

    1. King of Muslim Astrologers, Black Magic Removal Expert.
      Whose One Magic Spell Can Change Your Fate. A Renowned Name In The World Of Astrology And Palmistry.
      Get All problems solution within 72 hours and with 100% GUARANTEE.
      My Qualify is : Psychic by Tarot Card, Astrology & The Art Of The Umbanda- white Voodoo and spells !
      * MOLVI ABDUL KHAN JI*
      * True believe can solve every problem.
      * Fulfillment of desires is the fruit of man’s struggle.
      All Type Of Problem Like Service:-
      * Any problem (e.g) of HEALTH and PROGRESS,MARRIAGE and PARTNERSHIP,LOVE AFFAIRS,LOTTERY,DOMESTIC DISPUTES,BIRTH or DEATH of CHILDREN,FOREIGN journey,PROMOTION and LIVELIHOOD.
      * Solve your any problem only by one telephonic call.
      * Every problem will be solved with complete guarantee and secrecy in 72 hour.
      * We Offer The Following services.
      * Free Online Istikhara. Love Marriage.
      * Horoscope, Make Or Match For Marriage.
      * Online Free Zaicha, Nori Amliyat.
      * Problems In Love, Domestic,Husband & Wife,Business Etc.
      * Services,Employment,Etc.
      * Black Magic Remover.
      * Get Your Ex Love Back
      * Husband Wife Relationship Problem Solution
      * Free Contact For Any Problem.
      * All of your problems are solved under the guidance of HOLY QURAN.
      * Help For All, For Any Problem (ETC) 72 Hours.
      * MOLANA ABDUL KHAN JI
      Call Now :- +91-7727850825
      Email :- molviabdulkhan786@gmail.com
      Website :- http://www.duatogetmyloveback.wordpress.com

  3. A very well written and powerful post. Many see the elderly woman but fail to see the importance of that image….they “wish and hope” good things to come, but those aren’t actions. Actions will be the deciding factor. The greater the actions, the greater the success – this applies not only to India, but many nations including Canada.

      1. Indeed. We have our fair share of problems. Albeit not as severe on the surface, until (for example) you go to some rural First Nations communities or city neighborhoods that all too often get overshadowed and forgotten.

  4. This picture just bring one thought to me that we might have got ourselves freed from British but there is a new kind of tyranny (i.e. Poverty) the country is dealing with.

    1. King of Muslim Astrologers, Black Magic Removal Expert.
      Whose One Magic Spell Can Change Your Fate. A Renowned Name In The World Of Astrology And Palmistry.
      Get All problems solution within 72 hours and with 100% GUARANTEE.
      My Qualify is : Psychic by Tarot Card, Astrology & The Art Of The Umbanda- white Voodoo and spells !
      * MOLVI ABDUL KHAN JI*
      * True believe can solve every problem.
      * Fulfillment of desires is the fruit of man’s struggle.
      All Type Of Problem Like Service:-
      * Any problem (e.g) of HEALTH and PROGRESS,MARRIAGE and PARTNERSHIP,LOVE AFFAIRS,LOTTERY,DOMESTIC DISPUTES,BIRTH or DEATH of CHILDREN,FOREIGN journey,PROMOTION and LIVELIHOOD.
      * Solve your any problem only by one telephonic call.
      * Every problem will be solved with complete guarantee and secrecy in 72 hour.
      * We Offer The Following services.
      * Free Online Istikhara. Love Marriage.
      * Horoscope, Make Or Match For Marriage.
      * Online Free Zaicha, Nori Amliyat.
      * Problems In Love, Domestic,Husband & Wife,Business Etc.
      * Services,Employment,Etc.
      * Black Magic Remover.
      * Get Your Ex Love Back
      * Husband Wife Relationship Problem Solution
      * Free Contact For Any Problem.
      * All of your problems are solved under the guidance of HOLY QURAN.
      * Help For All, For Any Problem (ETC) 72 Hours.
      * MOLANA ABDUL KHAN JI
      Call Now :- +91-7727850825
      Email :- molviabdulkhan786@gmail.com
      Website :- http://www.duatogetmyloveback.wordpress.com

  5. There is so much to be done on the grassroots level… 😐 And guess what, I read recently that people wasted kilos of tomatoes (good ones at that) to replicate the ‘La Tomatina’ fest !

  6. hi, Rajiv, I read this post the day you put it up, and we see this almost every single day. I saw it and did not know what to comment – for those who see it from the outside, it is sad and shocking. But me, well I am part of this picture, it could be me walking past that woman with the bag, figuratively.

    Yes, it is sad, it is shocking to read the statistics, not like we don’t know, more like how do we solve this. Your post got me talking to a senior friend and I wanted his take on how he felt this problem could be solved. He gave me an example of temples in rural India long ago where they would feed the hungry from 8.30 am in the morning right through 6 pm in the evening: rice, daal and buttermilk. Any one could walk in and eat – no questions asked. The food came from the lands owned by the temple trust and were used for the care of the temple priest’s family, the temple’s upkeep and the rest was donated to the poor by feeding them.

    This made me think of urban temples, they are all rich, but they sell the prasad, nobody that i know of feeds the poor, definitely not on a daily basis. Maybe, that is where the problem lies, where religion and our social institutions have been commercialised, and all effort and responsibility is weighed only in terms of returns obtained. Maybe it is time that we as individuals start doing our bit in our own blocks, feed the poor, when we can. Maybe that may save a few lives at least on that one day….

    1. You are right. If you walk in to the langar of a Gurudwara, you can eat for free. I am doing a year long project on the streets of Shahjahanabad in Delhi, and I have seen restaurants where they get contributions from rich – better off – people, and they feed the poor through the day. While there is sadness, there is hope. I hope that, with the upcoming Independence Day celebrations, we take the time to introspect and better ourselves as people and as a nation

    2. My Dear Bharti, Thank You for Your Comment on my post, the Root of the Problem, in my Blog. Wanted to reply to You there, but the reply button not found!

      Your words: ‘ I think there is a need for more of us to step back and find a way to include compassion in our lives and in our actions,’ are very meaningful.

      About: ‘Giving money to families in the city encourage laziness esp among the men?’ That is Why I have said that We have to MAKE time to visit those families. Once there, if Not on the first visit, and from the neighbours, We can make out the real situ of the family. I would go further and say, if We find lazy and drunken men there, We should start by giving them them some hard talk, get the Women police involved, etc.

      I even recommend that We go as a small group and put some fear of God into lazy and drunken men.

      ‘Giving money’ is very easy. Esp when We have enough money for ‘Chaat.’ Real Compassion would mean KEEPING IN TOUCH WITH THE FAMILY. If We stop visiting them, the men would take out their new anger on the family again.

      Kindness, Compassion and Love are Long Drawn out subjects! Love and Regards.

  7. Rajiv, this is an honestly thought provoking post. And it got me thinking… As a young American with little knowledge of global socioeconomics, is there much I can do, in your opinion, physically and empathetically separated from these people as I am? Besides pray?

    1. Maybe, at this time, pray and hope. Later, who knows? You may travel this side. Or, you may become a thought leader in your part of the world. We all do what we can..

  8. A very, very powerful photograph. I see it as symbolic of class struggle, Rajiv. One class going ahead ‘developing’ the world (with their Nike shoes on) while the other, the majority, is displaced, dislocated, exploited.

    1. Hi Uday, thanks. Yes. This can be interpreted that way. Class and caste struggles are an integral part of the world and India. The question is that, when we talk of progress in our country, can we forget those who don’t have?

  9. Had at first wanted to Reblog this, my Dear Rajiv. But there were So many thoughts in the mind… Have written a separate post, and given full reference to Your article. http://lovehappinessandpeace.wordpress.com/2014/08/08/the-root-of-the-problem/

    *******

    What is there to be Shocked in this particular photo? This is Instance no. 1,000, if not more! Good to see the word ‘APATHY’ mentioned, twice, in the comments. Yes, that is the Root Cause.

    Temples offering Food… It still happens. But if We consider, We shall see that the problem cannot be solved that way.

    As to What WE can do, Let me give some small, Practical Points:

    1. Give the Old Lady some 30 rupees at the least. 50 or 100 would not go Unappreciated. These sorts of People often support more Hungry Souls at Home.

    2. At a Deeper level, Take time, MAKE Time, and Visit the Family, and offer some rs. 1,000 on a Monthly basis. Make a commitment. It brings Blessings! This should be Practical for Us, and would make Very Great Differences in their lives.

    3. Get our Friends interested in Such things.

    …More thoughts offered in my post. Regards.

  10. So unspeakably sad. I see another example of a person discarded like so much trash. Hopeless and helpless and dependent… overlooked.

    I know kindhearted thought does not bring about the necessary actions to realize change but it is all i have to offer.

  11. I saw the clean plates in the bin. They’re scraped clean, no food left uneaten. Too many times I’ve thrown out half a plate of food because i took/bought too much. But these unknown eaters couldn’t afford to waste their food like that and therefore only discarded the plates, having licked it clean first.

  12. The photo is composed extremely well. The contrast of the woman begging for food, and the trash can where food is being wasted away. The passing gentleman wearing and carrying items that cost enough to feed the woman for a week. It is illustrative of a global condition. While millions starve, tons of food is destroyed or thrown out everyday. Money, to the tune of billions, is directed towards non-essential purchases that have absolutely no value in the effort to end the diverse forms of Human suffering.

    Well done, Rajiv….

  13. I knew this. I saw her immediately. When I read Mother Teresa’s book The Giver of Love one of her stories was about someone like this and I cried when I read it. She said the man she found was on the side of the road covered in bugs and she took him to their mission and cleaned him up and he said to her today I die looking in the face of an Angel.
    So having shared that I will share this with you, I think you are amazing in that you open people’s eyes to things and subjects that really I avoid. I was thinking about the monkey, the rape story and now I see this and I think what makes someone post such things? Why? There is so much suffering in this world this is huge to me. I realize that you passion is to tell a story with your photos and also your words to bring awareness so that people see things outside their own small little worlds. I am over whelmed because my plan was to come to India one day and help the poor, my friend and I had already discussed it and I thought to myself when he died that a maybe that wasn’t the plan for my life. Plus I’m still here taking care of my sick daughter so really it’s not my time yet but maybe one day. I don’t even know what else to say. Your blog and posts make me think and I feel very small in my desire to help other. I think back to what Mother Teresa said in her book when a young woman came to her wanting to help the poor and she said, “Go home and love your family because love starts at home.” I find myself sharing things with you that I normally don’t but you moved me I just want you to know!

    1. P.S. If I had seen this woman I would have picked her up and taken her home with me. I wonder what she thinks? She a person just like you and I and all I can think about is what must be going through her mind as she sits there and people walk by her? Forgotten? I have felt forgotten before but not to the gravity of this. I’m going to pray about this it is quite overwhelming! Makes me feel helpless actually!

      1. And, this is the issue with India. There are so many poor people that, to keep your sanity, many of us just blot them out. We want to be a world power, but we let the poor and the hungry grovel.

      2. It breaks my heart! There are so many people in the US that live under the poverty level and it is hard to know this! So I do help those that come across my path and that will have to be enough for now! One day those I will do something more! Wonderful post!

    2. Hey, thanks. For me, it started (in a sense) many, many years back when I was crossing the bridge. There was this little girl who I used to see every day. Except this time I saw her, I saw that her ‘owners’ had plucked her left eye out and I could see right through to the white of the bone in the socket. Then, i went very corporate and I kinda forgot about life outside my coccoon. At this point, strangely, I don’t know what life has in store for me, but I am glad that I have rediscovered the streets.
      There is no need to feel small. This is my belief. If your daughter needs you, your place is with her, and once she turns out to be a great adult, then you would have done the world a great service! We win some, we lose some.
      I do love telling stories.

      1. I agree! But still when you see something like this it makes me want to take her home with me but I know we can’t but the desire is there! I love what you are doing it’s beautiful! Truly! You touched me way over here in Oklahoma! 😄

      2. Thanks!
        You know I have been to the US a few times, and I always wanted to get away as quickly as possible. You live in a beautiful country, but my issue always was that the news is so full of the US (and Iraq) that there was no room for anything else. I felt so cut off from the world that I always wanted to escape. Despite their more insular nature, for this reason only, I felt more at ease in Europe

      3. You know I think it depends why you are here! If you come here for business then you will only see that view! But a more personal visit I feel would be interesting maybe! I know when I travel for business I can’t wait to leave and get back to familiarity! Amazing time we live in! I’m headed to bed! Good night!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s