Om parkash is 40 years old, and a mechanic. He is also one of the?
Om parkash is 40 years old, and a mechanic. He is also one of the half billion indians to whom life is not an inalienable right...but a daily struggle to survive.
Each month om parkash takes home the equivalent of 34 dollars. With it, he has been able to buy a bicycle and build a two room mud and brick house where he lives with his wife and five children.
He also has a small vegetable garden which his wife tends...the luxury of a water pump in his yard...but no electricity for his house...
and a water buffalo which provide milk for the family.
Om parkash and his family live slightly better than some indian, but no better than most. By any definition...even an indian one...they live in poverty: the result of the staggering problems, which plague india, om parkash, and his family.
Om parkash and his wife have had six children...one of them died. Even five he says are too many for his income. But an intensive family planning drive was not started in india until two years ago, and even now it is believed to be having only minimal success in controlling india's population which is increasing at 12 million people a year.
The added millions, like their parents, will speak and write in a babble of 14 major language, and countless dialects, so that om parkash's children may learn to read and write hindi...but they will not be able to communicate with 370 million of their non-hindi speaking countrymen.
India's biggest, and most serious problem is x food,..or lack of it. The fields around om parkash's home are dry and barren. They are the same over most of india. For two years there has been a major drought which has led to food shortages for all indians, and famine for some.
Om parkash's family, and his mother who comes to eat with them are fortunate. They have two meals a day. But there are an 24 million indians who eat only once a day...if that.
The cost of living or subsisting...in india has risen 40 percent in 3 years, and it is still going up. In this years election...as before...om parkash watched the parades staged by the various parties, and heard the candidates as they came to the village promising a better life. But he no longer believes them. He is losing, if he has not already lost faith in his government.
On election day, om parkash, like over 100 million other indians, went to vote. He did it he says to exercise a right. But he feels it is just an exercise. He doesn't think that his vote will have any influence on the election, or that the election ??? will have any effect on his ??? future.
20 years ago om parkash had little, but he hoped for a better life. But the better life never came, ??? there is no sign that it is going to.
That is om parkash's fate. Multiply it by half a billion, and you get india's problem