January 21, 2010


I have to admit being overwhelmed by the entrapment that devours this society. It seems that everyone I meet is either trying desperately to get out of India, or has successfully done so already. Dola is one of the only people I have met who seem happy, and she has all of her relatives abroad supporting her. I already mentioned about Padma and Vicki, who literally both asked me personally for help to get to America (on the same day), and specifically to stay at my home there. Now, the person I am paired up with at CR, Ruma, also seems to hate this country. She explained she feels underpaid and overworked. She receives the same salary (4000Rs/month, about $80), as the skilled laborers who have only completed some years of grade school. Then, she showed me her extensive CV that shows her massive educational training and experience with public health, community development, elderly care, maternal/child health, and health education. She is extremely qualified for the job, but is not paid nearly enough, or even as much as she would at other NGO's. She has been at CR for 15 years, gaining immense experience, but is treated and paid like any counter worker, getting minimal wages, minimal respect and often blamed for things she should not be responsible for. Though she likes the patients, she is searching for a position elsewhere. And not just any other job, she is looked abroad (in Iceland!) and says she would definitely take a different job.

There is this sense of dissatisfaction and impossibility that pervades all life here. The only option for "making it" is to, in fact, leave.

1 comment:

  1. A very recognisable observation Emma and one that often saddened me too in India. We all need hope of something better to keep us going but I feel that often this perception that moving to the west and having more money would equate with a better life is often a rose-tinted one. Perhaps I'm not really qualified to make such a judgement having always been fortunate to have access to food, money and resources, but in a similar way to many westerners taking these for granted perhaps some people striving to escape India only realise when it is gone that parts of Indian culture entail a great richness of community and family support that money cannot replace.

    You write beautifully and I hope it helps you make sense of the myriad of emotions India can evoke.

    Looking forward to meeting up,
    Take care