MUMBAI-PUNE EXPRESSWAY: AN EYE OPENER TO INDIAN INEQUALITY

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India ranks 130th amongst the 188 countries on the Human Development Index, however, once inequality is factored in , we drop even further to rank 150th. In addition to employment strategies, the report calls for the government, civil society and private sector to work together and help to reduce inequality.  

One such incident we would like to put to your notice is whilst on the way to Mumbai driving from Pune to the second food mall beside the petrol pump. We witnessed two housekeeping ladies sleeping in the bathroom. Needless to say, this is a public toilet and the condition of the toilets added to our discomfort and shock. Considering the numbers of vehicles passing by daily on the Mumbai-Pune expressway would surely imply a staggering amount of visits to these public toilets. We noticed various people pass by in ignorance as if these housekeeping ladies were just meant to be sleeping in these public toilets. Adding to our shock further, we inquired further about these ladies only to find out they belonged to a village close by named Khopoli, and the salary they drew was a mere five thousand a month. We were also told that they had a strict 12 hours shift of tremendous hard work hour with a total of 45 minutes break. 

Yes, we could provide them with a temporary solution by providing them help for those moments, but the point we are trying to make here is imagining similar working conditions throughout the country. We are not here to point out just one specific incident which massively impacted us. If the government could set a basic standard of living which will enable every citizen so that the survival of them and their dependants is acceptable it can address the situation. We cannot define the numbers but are sure that inflation and standard of living figures will be able to help as an estimate.

What we are unable to figure out is if and who are the middle agencies who handle this, or the direct government system or the private sector who handles it. 

We would not seek to point fingers at anyone in specific. 

Our point is that we need a system which can work on more details in this sector and make sure that at least the basic rights a human deserves are being provided them. This can help ensure that overall our India’s issue of inequality can slowly and steadily be addressed. 

Yes, we have passed the official message to the state and national government systems. 

You could do your bit by liking, sharing and spreading the word.