Builders of india....

Skycrapers, multiplexes, and the mighty bridges and dams...

Its their quest for livelihood which makes these building projects a reality. Whatever novelty and creativity might be shown by the architects, its the workers' audaciousness matters in actualising the plans.
Buiding work has been one of the oldest industries in india. In karnataka, there are lakhs of toilers, in fact there is no statistics available for entire state. Trade union leaders say there will be 10 lakhs labourers in the state(This is not official compilation).
In mangalore city, we can see many points, where one can find these sort of migrant labourers, who lack all basic necessities.Generally, MESTRIES(work supervisors) come to these points and pick up them in whatever number he needs. Some times a tempo-full of workers are transported for bulding works, to the sites.
These poor workers, live in untidy tents, evenwhen the rain pours heavily! They bathe there, and openly defecate. People in the trade union opine that, basic ameneties should be provided by the authorities or builders, who employ them. But problem is that, labourers have no permanant work. Most of them in Mangalore are migrated either from northern parts of karnataka or nieghbour state Tamilnadu.
Often they fell prey to diseases like malaria, diarrhea.
Central government has already made an Act in 1996, but it is the state government which actually needs to formulate the rules. According to the central act, builders have to provide healthy shelters, toilets and other basic ameneties.
When buiders spend lakhs of rupees to get license and other permitts in unethical ways, but they deny minimum facilities, abourers deplore. They accuse that, buiders have successfully hindered state government in bringing out regulations. If state govt implements the rules, then builders have to shed one rupee for every cement spent worth 1000 Rs.
Whatever the accusations are, the irony is that when a skycraper is complete the worker would be still inside a tent, worrying about his next destination.

Bangalore musings!

It was 2002 june, when i stepped in to our RAJADHANI Bengaluru, which has fascinated me whenever i used to see its pictures and images on TV.
I was there for about 2 months on my interneship in Doordarshan Kendra, after completion of my P.G in Masscommunications. Those 2 months taught me enough and at the end i was compelled to return from Bangalore due to family commitments.
Sincethen, I have been working in a kannada daily in mangalore. My editor had asked me to undergo 10 days training in legislative assembly and council reporting 3 months before. And last week i had the opportunity to cover sessions again, for one week.
2 months in 2002, 10 days in this february and one week in understanding of Bangalore is growing gradually. Its different from Mangalore in many ways if i take it professionally too.
Bangalore teaches one a lot and one can get good exposure to under many conditions which are helpful in growing oneself. And one can gain knowledge about state's overall affairs. A senior reporter of our news paper told the same to me and asked me to shift over to bangalore.( But my personal problems might not allow me to shift at present, i explained my inconvinience with him.).
He was right in many ways, there is a tendancy in journalism that whatever a district reporter does, goes unidentified in the eyes of many reporters who are located in big cities. But for the sake of reputation and fame, and offcourse professional growth, one has to compromise with personal interests, habbits. The mechanical wheels of urban life in cities like Bangalore curb one in doing any other activities other than his profession. There is a danger of being attatched to urban life, which may act as a filter through which one can't see the struggles of common man in rural areas.
So I felt i could stay back in my place and justify my profession well. Hope there are at least few voices which will support my views, even if i found out to be incorrect:)
Sakat cool maga: One gets up and looks like he attaches wheels to his legs and plunges in to the river called urban life in Bangalore. His looks, actions even his smile becomes almost plastic. I am not going to generalise, but i've seen many of my friends, unable to come out from this urban life circle. Except their profession one can't expect from them anything. They don't want their old friends, they think they can't maintain relations, whenever they get time, they silently keep themselves aloof from others, some go for shopping, and some to thetres.
Even in buses, people look like suffering from unknown personality disorders, and they rather behave strangely, or they don't behave at all! You can see apathetically sitting youngsters with headphones on, tense looking mid age women, pale eyed call centre employees.
I've wondered many times in bangalore, even when a bike rider fells down, or hits to other vehicle, and is crying out of pain, no one bothers, even to look at the sight of accident!
Still life goes on... The picture was same when i visited bangalore in 2002, its same even now...Eventhough life is placid, radio mirchi yells....sakat hot magaaa!!!