Wednesday, 15 October 2008

Blog Action Day - Poverty

While visiting my friend Michelle 's blog in Ukraine I came to know that today is Blog Action Day on which bloggers worldwide a choose burning topic to blog about. This year 's theme is POVERTY. India is a land of untold wealth, natural resources and man-power yet she is in the vicious grip of poverty and destitution.

Illiteracy,the vagaries of nature, feudal and caste system, over population, corruption in society, lack of proper governance, unemployment, disturbances in society like terrorism and communal violence and colonial rule are some of the causes which have enslaved my countrymen into poverty.

We have made phenomenal progress in the past 60 years of Independence but we are hampered at every step by the above mentioned reasons.

Let me introduce you to some people from impoverished backgrounds.And tell you their stories

This is Jagarnath, who is the odd-job man for our church. He belongs to a poor peasant community. His large joint family struggles to maintain a small farm in a nearby village and Jagarnath has to come to the city to work in order to earn extra money.He can read a little bit and has learnt some city ways. But he turns to his village customs when he needs to remedy something.

Sometime ago he had pain in his eye. Mom and I sent him to a semi-govt. charitable hospital. He returned after a couple of hours and said he had to pay Rs 25 (about 50 cents) to see a doctor, so how could it be charity.

They took him into a room where a man vigorously washed his eye which he did not like at all.Then they made him read some writing on a chart (vision test). A man said his eyesight was weak and he had to buy eye-glasses for Rs 400 (about $10).

Jagarnath found this absolutely ridiculous and walked out of the hospital in a huff. He showed us a scrap of paper which we could not decipher.

We tried to send him to another place which was completely free but he refused . He took some leaves of the neem tree, heated them and bandaged them on his eye like a poultice and after a while his pain was gone.Good old village treatment!

This is Teerathnath, Jagarnath 's younger brother. He also comes to the city occasionally to earn money as a daily wage labourer when there is a financial crisis at home.We provide both brothers and other working visitors from their village free shelter on our church campus.

When he went home his wife made us some rustic sweets as a thank you present. I have seen that the poor are very large hearted.

This is our goat lady. She comes over to take grass and suitable leaves and greens for her few goats.We give these people our vegetable and fruit peelings for their animals. In India nothing is wasted.

The man and two women are daily wage migrant labourers from Bilaspur

They are prisoners of abject poverty so contractors hire them and bring them to the city to work on building sites. Sometimes they work as bonded labourers when they cannot repay their debts.

These are the children of one of the women.They can 't go to school as they hang around the place where their mother is working.

There are several NGOs and Govt. organizations who are providing education and help to children like these.

I could go on forever but let me end with this powerful video in which you can see the wealth and poverty of India rubbing shoulders. Yet the divide between the rich and the poor can be likened to the chasm between heaven and hell.

We are called to do whatever we can to provide succor to the dregs of society and show them the love of God
Check out Julia 's blog for a stirring post on the same subject

This is the witness
of Job who faithfully walked with God.
12 because I rescued the poor who cried for help, and the fatherless who had none to assist him.
13 The man who was dying blessed me; I made the widow's heart sing.
14 I put on righteousness as my clothing; justice was my robe and my turban.
15 I was eyes to the blind and feet to the lame.
16 I was a father to the needy; I took up the case of the stranger.
17 I broke the fangs of the wicked and snatched the victims from their teeth. Job 29 ;12-17 (Bible)

21 Fertilize my soul:

Gail W. said...

Amrita, thank you so much for your wise words and compelling photographs! This has helped me today, on the other side of the world. I will remember what I saw here.
May you feel His grace today,
Gail W.

Mel Avila Alarilla said...

Hi Amrita,
India, like the Philippines, is cursed by God because of polytheism and idolatry. Hindus worship all kinds of gods and demons and their belief system is totally opposed to the teachings of the Bible. They believe in reincarnation or transmigration, in karma and evolution which are all contrary to the word of God. They even persecute Christian churches in India. The rich has no qualms about social obligation since they could always have myriads of lifetimes to make amends for their errant ways. See what wrong knowledge can bring to people? The Bible says, "you shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free." Hindus are enslaved by demons and strongholds. Thanks for the post. God bless you always.

Sita said...

Both post and video are quite compelling...and my heart is so heavy...last Sunday, we had 4 people speak about Cambodia and the child sex slavery there...real children...loved by God...abused and neglected by heart breaks...what can one person do in the face of overwhelming need...we can all do our little part with how God has moved us..thank you...
blessings to you, dear sister...
(did not know of a blog action day..else I would have posted..)

Julia Dutta said...

Dear Amrita,
A very powerful post and it has been able to inspire me enough to do one on poverty myself, although it may not be today. So I will have my say on my out!
Yes, Adiga has made us proud but what is really terrific is he also lives in Mumbai, unlike Kiran Desai or Salman Rushdie. I am actually reading The Sea Of Poppies right now and will certainly pick that one up in time. Do please do a review if you read before me.

Felisol said...

Dear Amrita,
I am proud to have such a well spoken, well educated and yet empathic burning woman as my friend. Your blog speaks volumes, It really mean a difference to all of your readers.
Thanks for constantly reminding us how wrongly wealth, law and education are distributed.
The faith of the two women, practically slaves, rented out to work.
Oh, my God. My God.
From Felisol

Joyfulsister said...

Hi Amrita..
It was so good to see you when you came to visit. Thank you for thinking of me today. I pray you are doing well and feeling okay. This was such a powerful post, it truly touched my heart in such a special way. The photos I think bring it all together and the children grip my heart as I look into their eyes. Lord bless each person who Amrita has introduced us to today. You know their life and their needs touch them right now where they are sweet Jesus..Touch them each one.

Hugz Lorie

Janet Jeyapaul said...

We all come from humble mother told me my great grandfather was just a mutton shop vendor..but with education and imagination we managed to break the vicious cycle of human deprivation. Christ is the answer to true freedom from the tentacles of poverty.

Kimmie said...

Hi Amrita;

The picture of the children grabs my heart...oh, that they would meet my Jesus. May the hand of God draw them to the truth and may their poverty be replaced by his glorious presence and spirit.

Love you;

mama to 6
one homemade and 5 adopted

Rebecca said...

I am touched by thecreative ways you are able to give people a little bit of help and yet allow them to maitain their rightful dignity. When I look out of my window and see people sleeping rough underneath it, I am at a loss when it comes to helping them - other than, of course, doing the usual which is give money to a charity..

Michelle said...

This is a great post. Thanks for sharing about this subject. I hope one day to visit India. I love how Mother Teresa ministered to the people there.....

Felisol said...

Good morning Amrita,
God bless this particular day for you.
From Felisol

K M F said...

Hi Amrita,
both picture and video are very good and i love your new look
Have a nice day

Roo said...

amrita -- your post touched my heart. thank you for writing it.
xoxo shalom to you my friend.

Renae said...

Thank you for the video, Amrita. I showed it to my children, and we discussed it. We will pray for the poor in your country, and around the world.

Julia Dutta said...

Hi Amrita,
For sometime now I have been reading from The Imitation Of Christ by Thomas Kempis, a stanza every night before bedtime. I specially liked this one which now I am about to share with you. Pardon the space taken:))

Of Prudence In Action

We must not believe every word nor follow every suggestion, but carefully and prudently weigh the matter according to God. Alas! Such is our weakness that we often more readily believe and speak that which is evil of another, than that which is good. But perfect men do not easily believe every report, for they know human weakness is very prone to evil, and very subject to fail in words.

It is great wisdom not to be rash in our doings, nor to persist obstinately in our own opinion. It is also wisdom not to believe every man’s word, nor tell immediately to others the things which we have heard or believed.

Consult a wise man, and seek rather than be instructed by one who is better than to follow your own inventions.

A good life makes a man wise according to God and expert in many things. The more humble a man is and the more subject to God, the more wise will he be in all things, and more at peace.


The intellectual nature of the human person is perfected by wisdom and needs to be. For wisdom gently attracts the mind of man to a quest and a love for what is true and good. Steeped in wisdom, man passes through visible realities to those, which are unseen.


Grant, O my Saviour, that I may observe with the greatest care your percept of charity towards my neighbour, to love him as you have loved us. Amen.


A good life makes a man wise according to God and expert in many things.


Practice humility and you will grow in wisdom and holiness

From: The imitation Of Christ by Thomas Kempis. Chapter 4.
Published by: Thomas Cheruvil
Imprimatur Alfred Fernandes, Bishop Of Allahabad
Printed at: Saint Paul’s Press Trust School, Allahabad
Year 1983

Sita said...

I love Thomas a Kempis...his words comforted and counselled my heart in a wonderful way..

Amrita said...

Thank you for all your comments my dear friends. I know you all are reaching out to needy people in your communities and also all over the world. The Bible says true religion is to help the orphans and widows and those in need.

Yes Julia and Sita, Thomas A Kempis has given me a lot of comfort and wisdom. His book was given to me by my late pastor 's wife on my 13th or 14th birthday. I was too young to understand it then but i read it again with understanding and sometimes read excerpts from it for my devotions.

The St. Paul 's bookshp is walking distance from my house and I buy a lot of books and cards from there, Julia

Tori said...

How easy it is for us to forget that there are unseen peoples in the world living and trying to live without Christ.
These pictures are so convicting, wow!

Love the new look!

Amrita said...

Hi Tori all the way from Croatia.
I visited Nina 's blog to see if i can win her lovely give away.

Thank you for visiting my blog.

~Robin said...


Julia Dutta said...

Hi Sita,
I too am finding solace there. In fact, I just came across it lying in a remote corner, dusty and uncared for. And look what a wealth it is!

Amrita, you are blessed. How fortunate to be where it was printed. I truly envy you.

And while on the matter, I think India's Zubin also produces sould moving music. Thank you putting up that post.