Saidapet – a place you may not find in the map of India, but definitely you might have come across even if you visited Chennai once. It is one of the busiest areas of Chennai, where the busiest Mount Road is.
Adyar River once upon a time river, now a drainage canal irrigates city’s concrete forests via this place now competing with Chennai’s fame Cooum river for its stench. Now people of Chennai even do not know the difference between Adyaru and Cooum. For my friends any river cum drainage in Chennai is a Cooum.
A sneak peak at history revealed that once on Cooum our honourable Chief Minister of that time Mr.Kalaignar went on a boat trip. “Can we do it now?” Not many centuries before, not even 50 years before, just few decades back the river gave abundant life to fishes. Now no fish even can survive in these rivers.
This Article is NOT FOR DETAILING THE FATE OF THE TWO RIVERS. It is a known storyline behind all polluted rivers across globe, at least in India. Then what is my intention?
I really have no clue whether our nation is well governed or badly governed. Whatever side the coin flips does not matter. Yet there are homeless and poor people who live in places, where we dare not even to step in.
One Slum Dog Millionaire might be cherished but not many from these slums are becoming Millionaires, than being a victim of poverty. I have emphasized more previously about the bad stage of Adayar River and Cooum River just to depict the condition prevails in the banks of these rivers (so called).
Even while crossing the bridges we see people closing their noses for escaping the smell. I just got down from the bus to walk over the Saidapet Bridge, to feel it. Hardly 15 mins I could stand there. I just changed my view to the same huts tilting towards and kissing the drainage waters, horrible even when I spotted some kids stepped into the drainage so casually and playing.
Another old man was washing clothes in that drainage. The conditions of their huts were horribly damaged. Those can badly make a good shelter which even a poor man deserves. Made an attempt to walk in to their houses on day one and I returned as I was totally an alienated human as I kept walking further to the old man.
I was saddened. I heard MGR Song in my ears “annandhu paarkindra maaligai katti.. adhan arunginil olai-kudisai katti… Singara Chennai endru peyarumittal… Indha bhumi sirikkum indha naadu sirikkum…” (means If you let people live in slums nearby where you built your multi-storey building and if you call it as a Golden Era of life, then the world will laugh at you)
No sky scrapers but there are buildings posh enough surrounding the area like Panagal Maligai, Tamilnadu Open University, some festoon gate to celebrate and the most questionable building nearby is Slum Rehabilitation Housing unit built by government are near by the same.
Every day we see them living in the midst of human feces, unhygienic drainage carrying most of the city’s pollutions. We see the same here in Saidapet bridge, while going in a bus or a bike or in a BMW. Why we lost the humanity to think about them once?
Why we become so selfish and rushing for our own problems? May not solve their problems at least think about them. Ok my fellow Common man, leave our lame excuses. But what happen to our elected representatives? Every day our politicians cross the same road, seeing them (may not have time), Even if they don’t have time, their cutouts and 30 foot flex banners will have time to stand tall and see the heartrending conditions they live in. The banners will neither close their eyes, nor solve the poor’s problems. I am unable to find any 6 differences between our politicians and their cut outs. If the banner and flex expenses of one political meeting would be spent, then it would be adequate for their rehabilitation.
I am not here to speak ill about them or a particular party or a group of people or any extremist thoughts. As an Indian, as a human I am feeling for my fellow humans. Want you to feel the same, someone may take it to someone who can bring change.
Have a look at the pictures… This is where they live. This is the same Chennai where you find hoardings everywhere for “Property Ads” saying just 1 point some crores. Hmmm… I am not speaking communism but we should feel bad to eat Pizza and Chicken Burgers for thousands of bucks, when a fellow human starves for hunger just beside us. Just the humane thought inside me questioned me. I answered it.
You too will feel the same I feel. But only thing is we feel, we can’t do anything as one person. If you can’t change anything good for them, fine. Just give some voice for them. Make people to know about them, enough. Someone who can change their fate good will do the job for you. Just do a small thing by sharing this article if it deserves.
“In a country well governed, poverty is something to be ashamed of. In a country badly governed, wealth is something to be ashamed of.” – Confucius.
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