|Sri Sathya Sai Hospital, Whitefield, Bangalore|
|Inorbit Mall, Whitefield, Bangalore|
When I was walking back to my office, again in front of Sathya Sai Hospital, few village men asked me how to reach ‘Kailasa Palya’. I was puzzled for a moment as I had not heard of that place. Seeing my confusion one of them uttered another word – ‘Victoria Hospital’. Suddenly I was smiling and I corrected them. They needed to go ‘Kalasipalya’ and helped them to board the bus. I could make out that these villagers had brought a patient along with them, they had come to get him treated at this Satya Sai Hospital which is a free service hospital built by Sai Baba. But the rush and waiting periods are so long, many have to return without success of getting admitted here so they were leaving to Victoria hospital which is run by the Govt.
|Traffic congestion in Bangalore|
When will this change and when will they do better? Not when some rich donate money, though it helps to some extent. A good society should not depend on few people’s philanthropy. And no use blaming Govt. as they represent the broader society that is us again. Another thing to note is, facilities develop when the affordability in the society goes up. Did you know that Whitefield was a sleeping village fifteen years ago? I had to travel more than 5 km to find a Tea shop on the day I got my offer letter from a company in this area in 2001. Now it is transformed into a modern suburb. Most of the people working in this locality earn well, so you find everything under the Sun here. That is because the spending power of people living here went up and the facilities followed them.
Wages are increasing in rural India too, but they are unevenly spread. When they, from laborer in the fields to construction workers get better wages, life style improves in the villages too. Those villages may not become another Whitefield but become better places than they were before. That would put a halt to those suffering from ill health to arrive in Bangalore, suffer in traffic and experience hell.
If things are going to be expensive as wages are to go up at the bottom of economic pyramid, we should know that it is not entirely unwelcome. History has taught us that prosperity islands will fall out when there is social unrest. It is better to spread the prosperity. Not by donations but through wages as the benefits would reach far and wide. That is what happened in many developed countries so their incomes are at multiples of ours. As India’s economy expands, we will also see wages here going up all over the places. And that will get millions out of poverty, reducing the gap in access to basic facilities. I am hopeful of seeing it in my lifetime.