My tailor is rich

Election time is looming large over us with almost daily rallies, shrill speeches that not say much more than one leader attacking the other in a perpetual cat and mouse game that turns annoying. Every party is blowing its bugle and enumerating its achievements and seeking our seal of approval that should translate in our vote on the right symbol. Some statements are so ludicrous that one does not know of one needs to laugh or cry. In a recent speech a young aspirant to the highest office stated: that when he had first come to the region, he had suffered mosquito bites and when he had consumed water in a village, it had got his stomach upset. "But I was happy. Politicians should know the hardships faced by people". I heard the speech and it made me jump. To many questions begged to be answered: why after 60 years of Independence when the said politician's party has been in the seat of power for decades does one not have clean drinking water for every citizen; did he know that it is this very water that gave him a stomach upset quickly cured by the best doctors, that kills 5000 children a day! And will having faced this hardship for one day make him do something to make things better. What he suffered for one day, millions have to bear everyday. Do our politicians realise how many of their voters spend their lives in survival mode in silence and dignity, pursuing small goals that they strive to realise? Not many, if any!

A well known magazine celebrates its 18th anniversary and in its special issue includes and article entitled: Eighteen yellow roses in a bouquet. They are the thoughts from 18-year-olds who have much to prove, to themselves and to the generations before them. They are stories of gentle and simple hope and I urge you to read them. I will profile the two that touched me the most.

Shamsher ( I chose to place his photo as his face touched me deeply), is a lad who had to drop out of school because of illness and poverty. He wants all Indians to be happy. His goal is to be a tailor and his idol the tailor master who is teaching him stitching.

Sunita was born in a Naxalite infested Gadchiroli and at 12 had to chose between marriage or forced employment with the Naxals. She chose neither and ran away and joined a boarding school. Her dream to be a police officer and her fantasy: to fly in the sky!

They are young Indians with simple dreams, dreams that could be fulfilled if anyone cared. Shamsher and Sunita are the true faces of India, the ones that have been let down but have not given up hope. The ones that build a life in spite of all odds. The ones we should all care for. But do we?