Kolkata - Early Morning Walks


The morning sun reflected in the small lake within a park in central Kolkata.




On this visit to Kolkata (January 2001), I stayed in the Ramakrishna Scholars Residence in central Kolkata.   Earth morning I got up before dawn and walked for one hour out and one hour back on one of the major roads that intersect in that location.   This is what I saw everywhere I walked.




Whether in small groups or larger groups, thousands of people were sleeping on the streets everywhere I walked.   




People's entire life's possessions are stored in these plastic bags that are piled on the cement step behind them for protection from possible robbery while they sleep.




Here and there small tents like this one on the right would be erected around the sleepers, perhaps for very old or sick people.  Here extra possessions and clothing are draped over the fence, perhaps to dry.




People who have subsistence "businesses" during the day, have the materials of the business, whether pots, or shoe shine equipment, or a rickshaw, with them while they sleep at night.  Here, these people's mode of living is likely under the white cloth behind them.  They may earn enough to barely live by the business, but not enough for a home.




As dawn arrived, people began to awaken and emerge from under their blankets to begin the day.  This woman has a cup of something to drink in her hand as she emerges from a night on this sidewalk.




This young couple, with two children, have just emerged from the make-shift blanket-tent behind them.   They appear to be a young family just starting out in life, probably hoping to some day have a home that is not on the street.  

Just ordinary people, who, by the hundreds of millions worldwide, are victimized by the immense poverty that you and I allow to exist on our planet.


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