Earlier this month, New York Times did a feature on Gurgaon highlighting how slums are intermingled with expensive societies that have come up in Gurgaon. It’s titled: Inside Gate, India’s Good Life; Outside, the Servants’ Slums. While I don’t totally agree with the way the article is written (I feel it’s too criticizing in pieces), there is one point that I have always felt to be true myself and it is highlighted in the beginning of the article.
I have always felt that those of us who live in gated communities with water and power backups do not realize the gravity of the situation for these basic amenities (water, power, sanitation, etc.). The only time I didn’t have water in my home in the last 5 years is when I was getting my overhead tank cleaned. And so, whenever I hear about how bad the water situation is in Gurgaon, I think it’s not that bad. I don’t have a power backup facility where I live, and so yes I do feel the impact of whenever the power goes out. There have been summer nights when even our Inverter gives out and me an my wife had to go and sleep in the car.
The point is that if you don’t feel it, then you seem not to do too much about it. A lot of us don’t live a life of conservation. The reports for water levels in Gurgaon are frightening; yet there is no large scale coordinated effort to install water harvesting units. A lot of people aren’t even aware of what water harvesting is, and a lot of use plain don’t care because we are not affected by the scarcity of water.
If all of us started putting together a lot of effort towards conserving water and electricity, I bet we could overcome a large amount of deficit that is faced by our city. Of course the problem doesn’t stop here; there are a lot of little issues that need to be tackled and it really does seem like an impossible task. Healthcare for the poor; there are not nearly enough facilities that people can go to. I can drive up to Max Healthcare whenever I am in need of medical services, but there is so little for the people dwelling in the poorer sections. Education: there are GD Goenkas for those who can afford it, but there are not enough schools where the economically challenged can send their children.
The point is that since we do not experience these problems ourselves, we seem to forget that they exist.