Beyond the glitzy and luxurious lives of the rich and famous, beyond the world of limousines and mansions, beyond shopping sprees and credit cards, their live a group of people who are not card for by any save their kin, who are looked down by society, and who can't even afford the basic necessities of life. Unemployed or with low income jobs, landless, hungry, illiterate and living with misery, they have collectively, been given a name by their more profitable counterparts, the 'Have nots'.
The word literally means 'those without anything', or in other words it denotes the poor. They are people who are not able to send their children to school, who cannot afford treatment when sick, who do not have access to clean drinking water and sanitation facilities, and are ill-treated in almost every sphere.
The ratio of poverty in India is approximately around 26%. The number has remained constant for a fairly long period of time, as the population also rose. However the proportion of poor people is not uniform in the whole country. States like West Bengal, Kerala Punjab and Haryana have successfully reduced their poverty rate whereas it is still high in states like Bihar and Orissa. Similarly, certain social groups like the OBCs (Other Backward Classes), scheduled tribes and scheduled castes have more umber of 'Have nots' than other groups. On the global front, South Asian countries like India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Bhutan, as well as some Latin American countries are comparatively poorer the rest of the world.
In an era where the rich dominate, these 'have nots' often have a hard going. We only have to walk out of our homes and we can see hundreds of beggars lined up on the streets. Does anyone help them? Here, in the National Capital itself there are hordes of people, cooking their meager rotis under the flyovers. There are people who have to sell their children so as to earn a few handfuls of money- this is the condition of the 'Have nots', inspite of all the poverty measures taken.
Mother Teresa once said "The most terrible thing about poverty is loneliness and the feeling of being unloved". Which is exactly what the hundreds of pavement dwellers must be going through. Isn't it about time we all stopped thinking about ourselves, and paid more attention to the heart wrenching saga of their lives?