Tag Archives: India

Cost of Living in India

*******

Dear Brother Mick Canning had posted on his blog, and ‘this’ is by way of my ‘Remarks’ on a Re-blog. As has become usual in my case, of getting a lot of thoughts and writing quite a lot at such occasions, am making a separate post of it, and am giving a link to his, as under:

Stereotypes and Misunderstandings

Very happy to get those figures as to Incomes, and particularly the Rent, in the West. And Yes, We in India Do think that Westerners abound in Money, and I too was one of them, though now I have seen reason, so to say.

This post is by way of Understanding India. I share my  thoughts on:

  1. Salaries or Income,
  2. Food,
  3. Housing and Rent,
  4. NGO’s [ Non Governmental (Charitable) Organizations ], and
  5. A Caution on (the Absence of) Cleanliness, particularly in Eateries.

*****

1. INCOME or SALARIES

We are going to talk about the Middle and Lower income groups. We have to keep in mind that these things themselves are hard to define!

Starting from The Poorest, I would not hesitate to say that a Full 1% of People are Homeless, Abandoned, On the Streets, literally.

Just a few days ago a Poor Woman aged about 72 came to me and shared how she had gone to Church on Christmas night with her daughter, (the Daughter is Catholic, the Mother is a Hindu), and at the end of services they were all given a small piece of ‘Cake,’ which would have cost about 10 rupees…

pastries

What are pictured are probably of a much better quality. But the people in general go in for the 10 rupee kind, as evidenced by the large number of bakeries offering these same. But frankly, the 10 rupee pieces taste like Sawdust and Mud. Excuse me.

…And a little ‘Mixture,’ known as ‘Namkeen’ in the North. This last is a Savoury, prepared mainly of Roasted/Fried Pulses with Salt and Chilli powder.

mixture

Now You know. But not that the Poor woman got this quality or this much.

Going back to that Poor Woman, she stated These two things were the Tastiest bits of Food she had eaten for a Long time!!! …She and her daughter have been subsisting on the few Kilograms of ‘Free Rice’ issued by the government of Tamil Nadu. This, by the way, is a Political ploy to garner the Votes of the Electorate rather than any Love for the Populace.

The people of this level get by by taking their rice with Chilli and Salt, and at times, with Rasam, the ‘soup’ of Tamarind, salt and chilli again, costing very little. They pluck the leaves, particularly of the Drumstick, which can be found easily all over, and add these to the rice.

drumstick-tree-with-flowers-and-fruits-s

The top of the Drumstick tree, with Flowers and Fruit, really a Vegetable.

drumsticks-s

Drumsticks

drumstick-leaves

Drumstick leaves, used as Greens.

The owners of these trees do not mind the leaves being plucked by the people, (except they would not allow it to be sold by that person!), but plucking the drumsticks is not allowed. The owners do share it with their family and neighbours of course, as also to the poor at times.

Social Security in India

This does not exist in India per se. There Are ‘Old Age Pensions,’ ‘Pensions for the Disabled,’ Assurance for work in the form of ‘100 day Scheme,’ whereby the Poor are supposedly assured of at least that many days of work at Rs. 100 a day, (unless the rate is revised), increased to 150 days in drought hit areas, Free Medical care (upto a point) at government hospitals, etc.

But the execution of all these schemes are totally laden with CORRUPTION.

Out of, let us say, a 100 announced as eligible for a scheme, only 50 would get it, for about 6 months. A few do keep getting it in full for ‘Show case’ purposes.

Many schemes, when they reach the lowest, let us say Village level, get the money deposited in short term ‘fixed deposits,’ which Interest is pocketed by the politicos and the officials.

The people with names on the 100 day scheme list find that they are not called up, but the books would show full implementation, of course.

Can I prove any of these things, to the satisfaction of a court of law? As much as a Dog can Prove that it had been kicked.

kicking-dog

Altogether too many Shop Assistants work for Measly wages, often Less than Rs. 3,000 pm, which works out to $ 1.60 a Day. The dollar is going at about Rs. 66 each these days. I am talking about ‘Starting’ salaries.

Masons and Carpenters get upward of Rs. 500 a day, (more in cities), their assistants getting Rs. 300+.

So it might surprise us that Shop assistants work for so less. For them hard work is not customary, and they get assured work. The class stated above get work when it is available.

There are a Whole lot of who can only be called ‘Labourers,’ who also go in search of jobs, sometimes travelling far from their homes and states, for instance from Bihar to Punjab, Kerala, etc. They work for about Rs. 15,000 per month for practically the whole year, getting a few days off per annum to visit their families. Their work goes on for 12 hours a day plus. The hours over and above the 8 do not get Any Extra remuneration.

Sadly, being mostly Uneducated, they get duped by their bosses who list up Imagined expenses to their accounts, and by Railway staff during their travels, etc.

grp-vic-s

It is night, the train is the ‘Raptisagar express,’ which connects the North East of India with Kerala, via Gorakhpur in UP. The Ticket collector had demanded a goodly amount from this Young man in spite of his having had a valid ticket, and had threatened to De-board him unless he paid up. Unfortunately for the Ticket collector, I happened to need to go to ease myself, and found all this happening, near the Toilets, of course.

This and the next photo are mine, others are all from the internet.

victims-s

Two of the Young men, ‘Labourers,’ and the Looks on All their faces show Us just How Cushy a life they lead. God have Mercy on us.

Of note, before I conclude this section, are ‘government employees.’ Their Least pay seems to be Rs. 25,000 per month, for instance for Peons, etc. 30 to 60 Thousand a month is common for these people, Yet they think they are not paid enough.

Getting such good salaries, AND so many Paid holidays, a large number of perks, etc, it is Woeful that they are the Basis of Corruption. We are not blaming the Bus Drivers and the Conductors here. But Any office Clerk, and those above them, besides making the Citizen run from pillar to post, AND not getting his job done, are the Cursed lot. When Bribes are paid, the work does get done. All this from First hand Experience.

***

2. FOOD:

Long gone are the days when one could have had a meal for a ‘few’ rupees, if few means anything less than 5.

The Poorest can Eat in something like Rs. 10, (3 or 4 Idlis, – those Steamed, Rice-and-Pulse cakes, taken with Sambar or Chutneys).

idli-w-sambar-n-2-chutneys

What is pictured above would not cost less than Rs. 40, an estimate, since I never go to such ‘expensive’ places! …They would be tasty. So You can Imagine the ‘taste’ You would get for Rs. 10.

3 or 4 Tasty Idlis, prepared at Home, should cost around Rs. 7 to 10.

From First Hand Experience, (having run Eateries Twice in my life!), I know that the Ratio between Selling Price and Cost Price, for Eateries, is 10:4.

I have found eating 2 Parothas costing Rs. 20, which come with a ‘Kurma,’ as Most Cost effective, Enough for my Hunger, Tasty, and all that! Pictured below, these would cost nothing less than Rs. 15 a Parotha, not a bad deal actually. The Onions, – mixed with Chopped Chillies and Coriander leaves in ‘thin’ Curd, (the thin being the Economy measure of the Restaurant owner!), are served to ‘Cut’ the effect of the Maida, the Refined flour of the Parothas.

parothas

Coming to ‘Meals,’ which mean RICE and something in the South, where I am nowadays, would cost anything between Rs. 20 to 75, the second being OK for Visitors from abroad. (Think of Your Stomach linings!).

I appreciate the difference as shown by Mick, in that Meals would cost 2.5 to 3 dollars, which comes to about Rs. 165-200.

TEA means a rather heavily sweetened drink, mixed with Milk, Unless You specify otherwise. But nowadays they offer Green Tea, Lemon Tea, ‘Sukku Kappee’ (made of Dried Ginger and other things, a very good drink, actually), etc.

COFFEE, besides being mixed with Milk and Sugar by Default(!), is mostly made of Instant coffee powders. If You want Black Coffee, please ask for ‘Filter Coffee,’ and specify that You do not want Milk and/or Sugar.

WATER:

It may be best to buy Bottled water, costing Rs. 20 per.

Best Mineral Water Brand in India

Shown above are some good brands.

But I have found these artificially ‘mineralised,’ tasting quite different (brackish?) than the Water I have at home, obtained by boiling and cooling water from my bore well. More on Water at ‘Caution.’

***

3. HOUSING EXPENSES:

Ready made 1 Bedroom, 1 Drawing room (c 15 feet by 10) Houses cost from around 4 Lakh rupees (c 6,000 USD), but people do not prefer them as the quality, by way of the life of the building, is not satisfactory.

The Lucky few build their own houses at better quality when they get available government helps for the same amount.

Except in biggish ones, rooms are not taken for Rent in Villages. In towns and cities a decent two room house with Water connection and Electricity would cost about Rs. 5,000 pm.

But Accommodation is Not a Problem in India, Unlike the West where altogether too many are literally on the streets for having taken loans from banks for that.

***

 4. NGO’s.

The question of NGO’s had cropped up in the comments in his post. …Many have indeed come up showing themselves as ‘Helpers’ of the (Poor) People. But for a Long time the thought has become prevalent in India that ‘NGO’s Help Themselves.’

It is understandable that Expenses, like salaries, office, travel, even food and living, incurred in the running of a society/trust aiding people, might/would need to be taken from the donation.

But what is frequently seen is that even 70% of the monies are taken by those running these ‘societies.’ This includes the in-charges of even such famous institutions like Caritas and Misereor. I speak from experience again.

Catholic Nuns for the Most part do Excellent Service. Catholic Charitable institutions work better in North India than in the South. So the Next time You think of sending Your hard earned money for Charity over here, keep these points in mind, Please.

***

5. THE CAUTION!

WATER: Even if You find a little board saying that ‘RO’ water is used for cooking and drinking purposes in restaurants, Please do not take it at Face value.

Except in very good restaurants, (called hotels in India), cleanliness, especially Clean Drinking Water, is hard to come by. Bottled Mineral Water, easily available, seems to be the best choice for Visitors from Abroad.

REST ROOMS: Please, Do not even Venture into Public Urinals, etc. They are Atrocious. You Can use those in good types of Restaurants.

***

Sincerely hope these points make Your visit to India a Happy one! Regards. 🙂

*******

Tweets on the Indo-Pak situation, as in Sep ’16.

*******

Indian Soldiers have died at Uri in India. India blames Pakistan for this, and Pakistan, in its turn, has gone to the extent of saying that the event was ‘Staged’ by India!!!

That Hardly seems possible.

In the meantime, modi’s government is of the opinion that ‘terrorism’ is India’s No. 1 Problem. I Strongly Disagree. Water Scarcity and the Damage to Farming and Farmers are the Real Issues for Us Today.

For all that, there is talk of trying to get Pakistan to stop aiding Terrorists. Economic Sanctions, Surgical Strikes, and Even Stopping Water to that country are being considered.

In the map below, of the rivers marked in ‘Blue,’ the three Southern ones are the ones in question.

indo-pak-waters

Map from the Internet. I DO NOT vouch for the veracity of the Borders.

Here are some Tweets I fired up on the subject. Tell me how much You agree with me on them.

***

1. #NoWater2Pak: Have already written about this Inhuman, Barbaric tactic, Unworthy of India.

2. #NoWater2Pak: The Pretext being generated is: India wants to ‘Fully Utilize’ its share of the Water.

3. #NoWater2Pak: And behold, We have the #CauveryDispute, as Yet on the boards.

4. #NoWater2Pak: Is it going to be, One rule across borders and one within?

5. #NoWater2Pak: If India can ‘Fully Utilize’ its share of Water in case of Pak, cannot Karnataka do that?!

6. #NoWater2Pak: #centre seems to be setting #Precedent for #Karnataka citing this. This can lead to #CIVILWAR bet K’taka and TN!

7. #NoWater2Pak: When #RajivGandhi had been PM, he was blamed for rasing the #ForeignHand to Hide Local problems.

8. #NoWater2Pak: #modi‘s govt doing the same; raising #ForeignHand and#Ignoring #Problems of #Farmers.

*******

Why Rape is a Joke in India*

*******

*Very probably Also in Most parts of the World. …Well, this Video that I give You a Link to, speaks or mentions Only the situation in India.

As I have already mentioned elsewhere, this my Free version of WordPress does not allow me to post videos.

I FOUND, AFTER POSTING THIS, THAT THE LINK DOES NOT OPEN UPON CLICKING. SO, DO TAKE THE TROUBLE TO COPY AND PASTE, PLEASE. YOU WILL FIND IT WORTH IT.

THAT WORKS. I CHECKED IT!

***

QUITE a Good one. And that, for me, is High Praise.

VOGUE seems publish Many such good ones.

Here goes:

Over to You. It is WELL presented. …Regards.

*******

India, Part IV: The Little Tout

[ Monica has too much Heart! A Very Sensitive soul. I just hope and Wish she had a good time. I do wish those from Abroad a Hearty Welcome to Our Dear Country; not like the artificial and bogus ‘welcome’ to the maharaja express, but a Real one. ]

Frankly, India is NOT a country for ‘holidays!’ The ‘whole’ is So mixed with Pathos, that one cannot really relax, unless one decides to just block things out. For relaxation, Switzerland might be a right country, without the very poor, or so I imagine.

Monica is right about the 97 or so billionaires. But, in a country of 1.25 Billion souls, 70 % are poor. These cannot be lifted up by donations or Charity, though that ‘would’ help. The trouble is that the ‘haves’ have No interest in lifting up the rest.

Just joining up rivers, (this ‘has’ been done in Andhra Pradesh), not wasting water by giving up rivers on lease for soft drink companies, etc, would bring changes.

P•O•S•T•M•A•R•K•S

It’s hard to feel connected to a country when touring by train. You’re separated from most of it by glass and speed. And when you finally disembark—from the Maharajas’ Express, at least—you’re greeted with enough fanfare to make the Queen of England blush.

View original post 934 more words

Birbal’s Son, and the Roses

I had shared the anecdote of Birbal’s son and the incident of the Roses quite a bit earlier, in my Facebook page. Actually it not so much about Roses as the Mouth, or even more specifically, About Opening the Mouth!

King-Martin-Luther-on slience

gulagbound.com

To read about the little story of Birbal’s son and the Roses, Please click on the link below:

FORCED worship to a goddess!

In modi’s Ahmedabad in gujarat, Students of all schools, irrespective of Religious background, Muslims and Christians included, were made to perform ‘Puja’ to the goddess saraswati.

saraswati

www.santabanta.com

However, the Board claimed not a single school opted out of the event. Reference below.

*******

My thoughts on this, a bit cryptic, as this had been shared on Twitter:

1. Man holds Your Daughter at Gun-point, taunts: ‘Anybody is Welcome to Try!’ Later says: ‘Nobody Protested.’

held hostage rt flickr.com

Image from flickr.com

2. This is exactly what has started happening in the #bjp rule.

3. They Boast that Even Urdu medium schools complied with circular for #saraswati vandana.

4. First, #Re-conversion, now Forced #saraswati vandana!

5. Anybody who refuses to comply does not get his Licence renewed; Does not get Sanctions for Expansion or New Appointments, etc.

6. They say NOBODY PROTESTED. But If You protest, At the Very least You would have Your School Windows broken.

7. They will say: ‘Christian schools MAKE students recite ‘Our Father,’ etc. THEY DON’T HAVE TO SAY IT!

8. What is their difficulty in prosecuting the Christian schools if they are forced to recite the Our Father? AFTER ALL THEY ARE THE MAJORITY.

*******

And a little more:

1. What do they hope to gain except an EGO SATISFACTION? MERE ATTENDENCE at events like these does not become ‘vandana.’

2. I would even call this an Insult to saraswati. I accept that such Insults have been paid to Christ by Christians.

3. Though I respect saraswati, as a Christian I would not perform ‘vandana’ to her.

4. Except for sporadic incidents, Hindus, Muslims and Christians, etc, have got along QUITE well in India.

5. Since the new govt was formed, things have changed, very much, for the Worse. MUCH WORSE.

6. And all this, WHILE OBAMA IS IN INDIA! Talk of  TEMERITY!!!

*******

Reference:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Amid-Congress-protest-Saraswati-Vandana-held-in-Ahmedabad-schools/articleshow/46003437.cms?google_editors_picks=true&google_editors_picks=true

Apology Enough?

An ‘elected’ minister of India has called part of India’s Citizens as Bastards. My tweets over this.

*******

1 bjp’s so-called #SadhviNiranjanJyoti has called a major part of India No less than Bastards. For that is what ‘Haramjade’ means.

2 #SadhviNiranjanJyoti had asked whether Delhi’ites wanted a rule of Ram’s sons or ‘HaRAMjade.’

bastards or ramjade

3 #SadhviNiranjanJyoti’s words are a clever play on Ramjade vs HaRamjade, but the difference in meaning is Colossal, a HUGE insult.

4 modi says it is enough that #SadhviNiranjanJyoti has apologized. Then WHY IT66A? Cannot these hapless ones apologize?

5 Midnight arrests for Citizens on IT66A, recall Mumbai sisters, and merry laughs for the likes of #SadhviNiranjanJyoti ?

6 modi had said #SadhviNiranjanJyoti spoke in heat of moment. Then scrap IT66A. Allow Heat of moment for Citizens too.

7 And, modi, IF I say #SadhviNiranjanJyoti should lick boots over this, and later apologize, I hope your same words will apply to me too!

Finally, some Words of Essence from a Pope!

From the time of my Youth, and in about the last 50 years, this is the FIRST TIME that a Pope has Spoken Sociological Truths. Kudos, Francis. Need More of this from You.

Hope Other community and religious heads, particularly in India, would have the gumption to admit this.

*******

Came across the following site, reference below, with the title: ‘The Pope has a message for Christian Fundamentalists: You’re No Better than ISIS!‘ in Facebook this morning.

Do not agree with All the views presented there. But!

It starts with this:

The Pope gave liberals an early Christmas Present this week, on a flight back from Turkey…by drawing a parallel between Christian Fundamentalists and Islamic terror groups such as ISIS.

When a journalist attempted to draw the Pope into yet another condemnation of the world’s 2 billion Muslims on the basis of the actions of a few thousand – the pontiff dropped a logic bomb.

“You just can’t say that, just as you can’t say that all Christians are fundamentalists. We have our share of them (fundamentalists). All religions have these little groups,” Pope Francis said.

*******

For more:

http://www.addictinginfo.org/2014/12/03/the-pope-has-a-message-for-christian-fundamentalists-youre-no-better-than-isis/

AIBA – the Giant Cockroach

The issue of Sarita Devi, and Amateur International Boxing Association is not like Arsenic poison. That kills at once. Nor is it like Lead poisoning. This is on going and accumulative. But I consider this once instance as Leading to Lead Poisoning of Continued Bad judgements, and at present, like the Burr under a Poor horse’s saddle. I am helping in Not letting it die down, of course! This affair have innumerable videos and writeups. I offer this Well written article from http://www.emirates247.com/

*******

Scuffles broke out and Mongolia lodged an official protest as controversial decisions in favour of home boxers caused chaotic scenes at the Asian Games in South Korea on Tuesday.

Sarita Devi best

The text below the original photograph says:

South Korea’s Park Ji-Na (right) wins her bout with India’s Laishram Sarita Devi in the women’s boxing light 57-60kg semifinal match during the 2014 Asian Games in Incheon on September 30, 2014. (AFP)

Below is the continuation of the post. I have edited it for Brevity. Full Reference at bottom.

*******

The husband of Indian lightweight Sarita Devi launched an expletive-laden tirade and tangled with security after South Korea’s Park Ji-Na was controversially awarded their semi-final bout.

But the International Boxing Association (AIBA) rejected the protest, saying it was not possible to appeal against judges’ decisions.

Later there was more drama when Indian light flyweight Devendro Singh Laishram battered South Korea’s Shin Jong-Hun almost into submission in the final round after controlling most of their fight.

Yet the Korean won the quarter-final with a unanimous points verdict, which was greeted with more loud booing.

Mongolia’s chef de mission Badmaanyambuu Bat Erdene called it a “very sad day”.

“We want to see fair play in sport,” Bat Erdene told AFP.

“For some of these athletes they have only one chance for a gold medal and it has been cruelly taken away from them.”.

Earlier, Commonwealth Games silver medallist Devi dominated her fight and when Park was given the win, it sparked jeers and a melee which prompted the arrival of police.

The India team’s Cuban coach Blas Iglesias Fernandez called for the judges to be sacked. “I hope all these judges that made this decision are thrown out of the tournament,” he said.

Demchigjav Zagdsuren, president of the Mongolia National Olympic Commmittee, called for “fair play” at the boxing competition. “We wish to have fair play and true judging in boxing for the sporting spirit of the games,” he said in a statement.

“We have zero tolerance for misjudging in boxing competitions.”

In the first bout of the day, Icon and five-times world champion Mary Kom too was angry at Devi’s result. “Of course Park won, because she is Korean,” she told Indian TV.

*******

This from me: “Can there be Anything More Insulting than what Mary Kom said? IABA officials are people Without Honour.”

Ref:

http://www.emirates247.com/sports/other/asian-games-scuffles-protests-over-controversial-boxing-decisions-2014-09-30-1.564731

Achieving Optimal Health, Wellness And Weight Loss With Yoli

First I thought that this is a post by ‘Taking the Mask Off,’ and maybe it is! The profile picture looks similar.

More Importantly, I thought, Who can read 3,500 odd words. Yet I had liked the Intro, so I went into the post.

And I found it surprisingly Readable, with lots of photographs.

Above all, it has points about Health, which made Sense to me.

For Indians like me, it would be very difficult to get products of Yoli, or the many other things suggested there.

But from the site, on one of the suggested links, I found that we can easily make Alkaline Water. There too, the kind person forgot to mention just How much Water is for the recommended half a teaspoon of Baking soda.

But I have decided to ask my chemist for products, and am going to try the Baking Soda thing, using half a teaspoon for 1 litre. If You people can suggest something here, it would be Most Welcome.

So, Here goes! To a Healthier life for All of Us, and let thank ‘The Island Traveler’ for the post. 🙂