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Tuesday, May 06, 2008

In the dark of night...

...it is always 3 in the morning.

and this night is no different. The day started with a set goal of accomplishing the set targets, of which going to bed on time was on priority. But fate has something else scribbled, hidden behind the monotone of the day. Most of it happened as planned, until we set out to shape the KarmaYoga project. After not so much effort, we found a registered organization, near Saidapet, that works towards welfare of the needy. And as fate had it, they were on the brink of calling in help to support the effort in Atma Nagar Village (a slum area near Saidapet bus-stand) that charred down into scrap after the blazing fire yesterday.

The talks commenced amidst chirps of mynas, but ended with the wrenching cries of the few who endured the pain and were scavenging through the scraps in hope to get a glimpse of their belongings, which will never be their's again. It was heartening to see such a disaster; almost 200 people were left without food, clothes, shelter and the necessities, and with pain, anger, desolation and uncertainty. The Hindu ran an article on the disaster and comfortably pointed that everyone was provided with food, clothes and basic necessities. But the truth on the ground didn't agree with the beliefs of the common. Most of the inhabitants complained about not getting the proper attention from the municipality and the police.

What came out: people who owned the land in the village and whose houses were damaged were compensated with Rs. 2000, 1 saree and a few pounds of rice. Authorities seemed to be detached from the reality. I don't say that they wouldn't have tried to serve the cause, but that they didn't assess the situation completely and made the first judgmental verdict. We met a family who showed us a burnt down cup-board, which they used to store clothes and books. Everything else conceded, the family was heart-broken by the loss that its kids suffered - gift of knowledge. Mind you, it seemed an ordinary village, which provides maids and sweepers to the surrounding community, but the kids conversed in English. There were a few more issues that surfaced, which the authorities may never encounter, that is: families that were staying on rent and have lost everything that they possessed, but the government would be giving the compensation to the land-owners, who might not have visited the place in years.

At this stage, priority is to provide food and shelter, but the precursor to that, which we decided, is to arrange for plates (for food) and tumblers. There will be many other issues that need to be sorted out for village's rehabilitation, and I hope that we would be able to help them some way. It's quarter to 3 and I can't see nothing, but my pillow. And at this point, after digging the entrepreneurial roots and dissecting P/E variables, I got nothing but a drained soul. Gotta rush back to my house.


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