Traveling every day to the work place by bus has once again given me the opportunity to feel the unhidden problems of the common people at grass root levels. While working at South India Aids Action Programme (SIAAP) in Chennai, I got the opportunity to meet people at the grass root level, the people who are living below the poverty line. These people are deprived of living a healthy, wealthy and hygienic life. Their utmost priority is having a morsel of food everyday. In spite of all their struggles, I found three types of hunger prevailed among them. Hunger for food, hunger for sex and hunger for power. There is no hunger of knowledge or hunger for money. The people who live at grass root level are open minded and ready to help anyone who need help. There is humanity with them, they respect people. As their daily life has become a struggle, death is not a pain for them and thought death to be a freedom that helped them to escape from troubles of worldly life. Hunger for knowledge also exists with every one. Yet, few people succeed in satisfying their hunger for knowledge.
Hunger for food: People who are at grass root level or low income group do not worry about taste or richness in their food. They need only food that can fill their stomachs and relieve them from the pain of hunger. These people are ready to do any type of manual labor that can earn few leaves of money for them. Spacious living place or a healthy surrounding to live does not have importance with them. Sometimes I walk from my work place to bus terminus at Saidapet. I can see people who live on the pavements at the roadside. Little kids get hot coffee or tea from the nearby tea stall in small bowls. The satisfied look on the faces of little kids reflects their happiness in getting something to drink.
Hunger for sex: While I was working at South India Aids Action Programme, I got the opportunity to work among eunuchs, gay men and commercial sex workers. All these people lived below poverty line and had a different opinion about sexuality and sexual life. These people earned their living by satisfying the hunger for sex. During their young age these people don’t pay attention to their health. Once they reach their middle age, these people encounter with both mental and health problems. Their nerves fail and they have to struggle their best to come out of all kinds of problems.
Hunger for power: The hunger for power also exists with the people who live below the poverty line or low income group. Money does not matter for them as they earn their money in whatever way they find suitable at that time. The hunger for power starts from bullying others who are less fortunate than themselves. These people don’t get the opportunity to be at school and they also don’t understand the importance of being literate. Corporation schools at Chennai have seen the maximum turnout of kids from low income group and middle income group. Yet, people who are below the poverty line are satisfied if their children have the knowledge to read and write.