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I am so happy to be back in writing to you again. Well, let me provoke your thoughts for the day. Not all thoughts are so pleasant, but many unpleasant thoughts offer a leeway to a better view of facts. I am recollecting an incident which happened much earlier. It is recollected in anger which rather opened my eyes to see the reality of the people in the slum. Well, this incident would have been one of the reasons why I was very passionate to see humanity among the slum dwellers.

An evening, I took a stroll through a nearby street to enjoy the evening heat. The sun didn’t slump into his bed yet. The wind was blowing away from my face that I still perspired this evening. As it passed, I had to pass along a garbage corner of the road. Well, the typical picture of a garbage corner in the city of Lucknow is an half empty garbage trunk, doomed to bear a huge junk and filthy trash of rotten food, plastic, diapers, and every imaginable refuse. Well, this trash lies on the road just half way from the central white intermittent lines, which distinguishes the path as a tarred road. Our People wouldn’t waste time to throw their garbage way into the trunk, excelling in creating a wonderful circle of trash outside, around the trunk. It is only a saint who would cross the garbage to throw his trash in the trunk. The layman’s space for the garbage is outside the sactum garbagum! Nevertheless starving dogs find their paradise in the trunk. The alpha dog gets the trunk while the betas wait for the remains of the spoil. There is one other high priest who ventures into the holy circle of trash. This is the Indian urinator! Freedom is his motto and he is one who is licensed to make public that which is private and hidden!

Well, as my evening walk towards this trash saw the mighty urinator in his usual posture, frequently spitting onto the trash, which I am not sure if he was galled by the filth or the stench of his own urine. As I moved away from the trunk, revealed a hideous scenario; there was someone behind the trunk! It was woman who was searching the garbage for plastic and metal. She was there just in front of him! She went on with her work frantically searching for rags among the filth. The man had no qualms in coming to that area professing what he knows best: urinate! He seemed to have no understanding of the presence of a human being sagging into the garbage and nosing the filth. She, in her ragged Sari, was invisible to the man. She carried on with her work, as if it is all a usual patterns in her life- something not strange.

I stood there stunned and in dismay, witnessed the man leave the place completely oblivious to the human being in front of him. The woman too took no notice of the man, but went away in search of the next garbage trunk to rummage around. Thoughts came into true light before me. Who is at fault? We were never trained to see these poor folks as humans. They don’t exist or even if they exist, they must be equalled to the strays. The woman on the other hand accepted the indignity of her own life and lowliness of her status. It all looked natural; it all looked mundane.

This led to a thought, in my life years back; I just could not live with this anymore. This led to a passion which remains in me until now. I need to change how people think of these people. Aren’t they equally created in the image and similarity of God? How are they even lesser? How could people not see the dignity of human life?

Though I still hold the event grudgingly, the very event led to the vision statement of JanPragati namely “All see Imago Dei in all”. Allow and help people see the image of God in every person. As much as we can, we want people to see how in likeness every person is created. I hope you see the same.



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