Wednesday, September 17, 2008


There are thousands of people who earn a living in this world through their own initiative, enterprise, wit, and sheer hard work. They don’t have rich parents, education, capital, regular shops, government assistance and bank loan. They don’t have casual leave, sick leave and privilege leave. They don’t have life insurance, medical insurance and theft insurance.

They are not interested in strikes, lock outs and bandhs. They work practically every day without a break. They are not interested in politics. They don’t know who is the President of the country or the Prime Minister or the Chief Minister. Many of them live on platforms, cook on platforms, eat on platforms and sleep on platforms. If it rains, they will take shelter in the veranda of closed shops. Their children play on the platform and learn the tricks of their trade early in life to support themselves. They don’t have cooking gas, fridge, TV, air conditioners and beds. They don’t beg and steal. They are the first ones to be on the road every day to earn some money and the last ones to leave.

If you want to know about real pain , suffering and sickness, ask them; if you want to know about poverty, hunger and thirst, talk to them; if you want know about heat and cold, discuss with them. They face life in its raw elements and manage to survive daily against great odds. They take their trials and tribulations in their stride with stoic fortitude and courage. They are very tough mentally. They don’t complain about their circumstances in life; moan and groan about their pitiable condition. What have they done to deserve such pathetic lives?

Looking at them we are able to appreciate how lucky and privileged we are, how much comfort and luxury we have and how abundantly God has blessed us. Do we have all these comforts in life through our own merit or HIS mercy? How many well to do people have lost their houses, property and lives overnight due to psunami, floods, earthquakes, hurricanes, and life threatening diseases?

Instead of looking down on them, is it not our duty to do whatever we can to alleviate their sufferings? Is it not time to examine our conscience?


shri ramesh sadasivam said...

I've thought about these things many a times Sir. If god doesn't give one aspect he gives some other aspect as compensation. Some how the balance is maintained. In this case he didn't give them physical comfort but has given great mental strength. I think, Our intelligence is too small to understand the highest intelligence of god. We can only worship but never understand him.isn't it sir?

shri ramesh sadasivam said...

Talking about the other things I forgot about the photos. They are really good sir. I liked each and every photo very much. In the first two the lighting is very good.Based on this concept I think you can keep a photo exhibition. I've seen similar exhibitions in Chennai.

Joseph Pulikotil said...

Hello Ramesh!

You summarised so well!God knows best. HE will surely compensate them manifold for all their sufferings.

As regards photo exibition, it is a very good suggestion. I have to wait till I have enough collection.

Many thanks!

Have a wonderful day!

Mel said...

Hi Joseph!

Thank you for taking the time to take the photos (which truly are wonderful!), post them, and then share your insights about them. You appear to interact with these precious people frequently. Do most of them seem happy, more or less? I would love to see your country in person with my own eyes someday.

God bless you!


Joseph Pulikotil said...

Hello Mel!

Many thanks for sharing your views.

These people carry less burdens in the sense that they don't have to worry about protecting their property, cash balance, file income tax retutns, keep up with the neighbours and so on. They lead a simple life with great trust in God. Therefore, they are more happy than most of us.

You are most welcome to visit our great country. India is a land of unity in diversity. The language, culture, food, climate, dress etc. varies from place to place.

Best wishes!

skyjuice7 said...

Hi Joseph, when I feel a lil' down, I always remind myself how blessed I am. I've a roof over my head, a loving family and get to experience or enjoy some good things in life. My feeling down is nothing compared to many people whom are suffering out there. I thank God for His blessings everyday.

Joseph Pulikotil said...

Hello skyjuice!

You have said the right things for al of us to remember. We are abundantly blessed! As you said we have to be grateful and thank God profusely!

Best wishes!

JM said...

Very moving and impressive post of people really strugling for a living! It is very important, for the ones who have a 'normal' life and allways complain about everything, to see these kind of images.
Very good work!

FCB said...

Hi Joseph,
What an inspiring post. The spirit of man that you have portrayed with these hard-working vendors and craftsmen, is very admirable and much to be respected. I'm sure there is much to be learned from the most humble of these. This spirit, mixed with opportunity is what has made prosperous countries great. But, with or without prosperity, the spirit is still great. I like your honest posts Joseph, they uphold a noble theme; "honor all men".
God bless,

Joseph Pulikotil said...

Hi jm!

Many thanks for your comments.

As you rightly said, it is my intention that people leading normal lives to stop complaining and appreciate the difficulties of many who struggle to eke out a living.

Have a wonderful day!

Hi Fred!

Many thanks for your valuable input. As you very righty pointed out, with opportunity and proper guidance these poor people can prosper. Man has an indomitable spirit survive and excel.

Best wishes!

J P Joshi said...

A very beautiful post and the photographs are so real - every Indian can relate to them very easily because we see them everyday of our lives. But we generally miss the context that you have brought out so well 'They also earn their livelihood'. You have touched on some of the very basic issues that we so called educated, employed and reasonably well to do people miss out in our daily lives - we complain, we miss out on thanking God for His blessings. The phlight of unorganised labour in India is really pitiable and like you said they have no leave, no insurance and every other privilege that we take for granted. Thank you for this very touching post.

Joseph Pulikotil said...

Hello jpj!

Many thanks for your comments and valuable input.

When we see these people struggling to earn a living, we understand how lucky we are and blessed by God!

Have a wonderful day!