Seeing the new India through the eyes of an invisible woman
Not far from the place I once called home stands one of India’s glitziest shopping malls. By day, the massive building dwarfs every structure around it. At night, a dizzying display of lights cruelly exposes the surrounding shops and houses grown green, brown and weary from pollution and rain.
Inside this shining behemoth called Quest, Kolkatans with fat pocketbooks spend their rupees on luxury foreign brands such as Gucci and eat at Michelin-star restaurants.
Outside, life’s cadences remain much the same for people like my friend Amina. She lives in a slum in the shadow of Quest.
She is part of a faceless, often-cited statistic: About 60% of India’s nearly 1.3 billion people live on less than $3.10 a day, the World Bank’s median poverty line.
And 21%, or more than 250 million people, survive on less than $2 a day.
Like other middle-class Indians, I grew up knowing little about poor people’s lives. We moved in separate worlds, which, in my mind, only grew further apart as India lurched ahead as a global economic power. The rich got richer; the poor mostly stayed poor. And the gap widened. Read More
Related news: Women and representative governance in India. Read More