9.20.2006

The Inequalities of Inequality

A piece of thetched coconut lining on a pair of stilts shaped like an X. Rough, stony floor beneath. Under the meagre shade the above contraption provides against the hot summer sun, sits a dark, hunched figure clad in a lungi and a blouse. Mounds of rock cut into big gravel pieces lie heaped up to the sides. The woman works the whole day breaking the hard rock pieces into small pebble-sized stones one by one...

The morning sun filters through the thick forests of the Vindhya. A block of huts stirs awake. A couple of men take water for breakfast and set out into the jungle, gathering wood. Afternoon, they walk fifteen kilometres barefoot over the hot cruel ballast that covers the railway line, to the market, to sell the firewood. Then it's the same trudge back to their homes, carrying the few food or money they were lucky to earn...

The hot, dry deserts of Sudan. A small dark bundle of flesh, slowly crawls towards a UN food camp, located one kilometre away. A vulture keeps guard over what is soon going to be his meal. This setting - the child and the vulture - was shot by a photographer, who won the 1994 Pulitzer prize. Click to view full size
No one knows what happened to the child, including the photographer, who left the scene immediately. He commited suicide three months later due to depression.

The slums of Chennai. The noon sun hits its annual-high. Huts with asbestos roofs literally threaten to go up in fire. The misery-stricken residents swarm out on the beaches, unsure of what is going to happen to them. And far away, in a cool concrete building, enjoying the chill draught of four Air-conditioners, sits a fat politician, chewing placidly on beetel leaves and completely oblivious of what his own 'makkal' are going through.

What have we done to deserve all what we have... and what haven't they done not to get what we get?

Oh the inequalities of inequality...

1 comment:

Me said...

How true!