Tuesday, April 14, 2009

BIDAPPA - MIGRANT LABORER


Please meeet Bidappa. He is from Guntur in Andhra Pradesh. He is married with two children. He is an agricultural worker. But he is not able to earn enough money to support his family. The wages are too low in his village. So he has come to Kochi to find work. Here the wages are more than double when compared to the neighboring states. He has no room to stay. He sleeps on the road side and if it rains under the shelter of closed shops in the night. He uses the public tap to wash himself and his clothes and uses the public toilet. There is a shop which hires out all the implements needed by these laborers.

Yet he is cheerful. On the day I met him he didn’t get a job. He was sitting on the road side hoping some one will call him and give him a job. When I started talking to him, he thought I have come to give him a job. At the end of our conversation, I gave him a ten rupee note. He was stunned. He exclaimed with a radiant smile on his face, ”In this day and age no one gives money with out doing any work!” I told him to have a cup of tea and walked home.

He is not the only one doing this. There are many women also who have come from the neighboring states looking for work.

He is not the only one doing this. There are many women also who have come from the neighboring states looking for work.

Many of us complain we don’t have enough of this and that. We say that life is unfair to us. What about these people who have left their near and dear ones far away and come to a strange place hoping to get some work, earn money and support themselves and their families? What about the hardships they undergo? They are also human like you and me! Why have they been discriminated? Why have they to suffer so much? I cannot find an answer.

Can you find any answers, my dear friends?

18 comments:

WELCOME TO MY WORLD OF POETRY: said...

This is a sad state of affairs,if I knew the answers then I think I would be in politics.....but who knows perhaps it's them that is the cause of this hardship you write of. I was near to tears reading your blog, perhaps we don't count our blessings enough, this quotation comes to mind as I write" Todays Gratitude Buys You Tomorrows Happiness"

Take care.

Yvonne.

FrankandMary said...

Why? I often asked that question when I volunteered with an organization that helped brighten the days for children with cancer. I could venture some ridiculous speculations, but I'd rather say the truth: It pains me greatly that things like this are the reality for some, but I have no idea "why?" You offered some conversation, some kindness, a small amount of help. I believe this brought him an incandescent moment. ~Mary

FCB said...

Hi Joseph,
Another deeply touching candid post. I wonder about your question as well and sometimes I think it may well be within our power to see the needs of all mankind met if we were to follow the teachings of our faith. If we all had the zeal that God wants us to have could we not defeat poverty? Did God make a world without the potential of food for all? I think we will find that it may well have been within our ability, and that will be a shameful day. If each of us that has, makes a sacrifice acceptable to God we would see a vast improvement, in fact world hunger has gone down greatly in the last 20 years because of compassionate organizations and individuals. Not to beat the drum to loudly, but it may be if we were to live more simply, could not God give us advances in agriculture as a blessing and reward for our faithful stewardship? I think He might.
I do know that when you give poverty a face and a name it is one step toward that goal.

God bless,
Fred

Mark in Spokane said...

Why? I don't know. But it is important to keep asking the question and to keep the lives of our brothers and sisters who are less fortunate than ourselves constantly in mind -- their dignity, their value as human beings, their innate worth in the eyes of God.

It is also important for those of us who are blessed with much to remember that to those to whom much has been given, much will be expected.

I was thinking about money issues lately, worrying as usual. Then I was going through the cupboard this morning looking to make breakfast and what did I see? More food than I could eat in a month of breakfasts! Oatmeal, rice congee, cold cereal, corn grits, canned meat, etc. A typical Western pantry. What am I worrying about? I have been blessed far more than the poor of the earth, the poor that God loves so much.

Thank you, Joseph, for continuing to remind us all of the dignity and circumstances of the people in your country.

Cheers!

Mel said...

Hi Joseph,

Thank you for sharing this story and pictures of this dear, precious man. In answer to your question "Why do they have to suffer so much?", I can't answer that question fully, of course, but I'm beginning to believe that part of the reason is because so many of us Christians have given up on seeing the world become the glorious place God created it to be. Us Americans, for instance, consume 43% of the world's resources. That's a staggering, shocking, shameful percentage. But I believe that God is going a global awakening even as we speak, and that His Kingdom is going to come and His will is going to be done on Earth, as it is in Heaven, in greater and greater measurements. And people like Bidappa, someday, the scales will be evened out, and they will be gloriously blessed beyond measure or comprehension. If not in this life, then in the life to come.

That's my take on it, anyway.

God bless you, dear friend!

hpy said...

There are too many people complaining that they don't have anything, yet they have all they need, they have food, they have shelter, they have a computer and a phone. They go to the movies, they go on holidays, and yet they say they are poor. It would be good for these people to meet Bidappa. But would they understand? That's the question!

Danielle&Hannah said...

Hi there Joseph,

You are able to demonstrate your corner of the world to us in such an amazing way.

If only we could all have compassion one for another! It is said by many of my dear friends that the more we have... the more we want! God only knows why we are where we are and why we have what we have.
Naked we came into this world and naked we shall leave....
Maybe it is just a sweet vision of what we "think" we are?
Bless you... you may have just opened this man's eyes as to who he could be in life?

:-)
Danielle

Leo said...

Too often, I'm afraid, one person's suffering is attached to another person's greed. By engaging this fellow man with respect and dignity, you set a standard for others to follow. It sounds like a weak solution, I know. Yet it began with you. Who knows where this man will be one year from now, and role you played in his journey. You did more than the rest of us did, and thank-you for that,

Mark in Spokane said...

Joseph,

I have been giving some more thought to your question, and to the responses of your readers posted here on your blog. And I think that Mel makes a very good point. Such poverty exists in the world because Christians (and all people of good will regardless of faith) have lost sight of the task God places before all human beings to serve each other and to reform the world in light of the dignity of each human life. A Jewish friend of mine reminded me awhile back about the duty of each person to "repair the world" (in Hebrew, "tikkun olam"). We each have that duty, to repair the world, to make it a world that truly reflects the special value and precious glory of each human person, no matter how poor, no matter how old, no matter how different from us.

One of my favorite New Testament passages is from St. Paul's letter to the Galatians, where the Apostle reminds us that in Christ "there is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male or female, all are one in Christ Jesus." Do I really think that way? Your post challenges me to really think about how seriously I live out St. Paul's teaching...

Catherine said...

Bonjour Joseph,
Your blog is not a common blog today ! You ask us questions that I'm not able to answer to, either.
What determine that some of us get more than is necessary to live, and some other are just surviving ?
Who get the answer ? For ages, it has been that way, and it will continue. It could seem cynical, but it's unfortunately true.

And you're perfectly right saying that we are complaining whereas we almost get all our desires fulfiled ! So, if we're enough selfish not to be aware of our chance, how can we take care or simply watch at our neighbour who doesn't possess anything. Religious education, or simply education by itself, can improve people's consciousness, but the problem of world poverty will remain. What we can learn to stop complaining but it won't improve the life condition of the poorests.

There's always poorer than us.

You certainly give that man more than money. A little bit of hope in his dark sky.

Thanks to make us think about it, Joseph.

Amrita said...

In my state labourers come from Bilaspur.They are not treated well.

You showed real compassion and humanity towards this man. God will bless you for it.

There is so much poverty and illiteracy in our country, where can these poor people go.

Paul said...

Dear JPC, Your Blog gives lot of of unanswered questions! I will try to answer one of your questions. There are many people who work hard for a living. Thatz why we people are eating 3 times a day and living peacefully. So when ever WE sit to eat,please do remember the stress & strain some unknown people have taken to cultivate that food and bring it in front of us. My father used to tell me these words quite often.So from my childhood onwards i ate whatever that was served in the plate and never i used to complain that i dont like this stuff or that. I have also trained my children to be very carefull about food and never waste even a grain in their life. Please remember "The struggle of some unknown people keep feeding us daily". Have a great day.Hope I didnt BORE U. Cheers !

Joseph Pulikotil said...

Hi Paul :)

Many thanks for your interesting and thought provoking comments. I also eat every morsel of food in my plate and get very upset when someone wastes food.

Best wishes to you and your family :)
Joseph

Merle said...

Hi Joseph ~ Thank you for your comment on my blog.
I feel so sorry for all those people who have just a hard time just living.
It would be a wonderful world if
everything was more equal.
Take care, Regards, Merle.

Margaret Cloud said...

Hi Joseph, I to feel for the people that leave their loved ones to come to a strange city to hunt for work, it has to be awful to sleep by the side of a road. I don't have an answer to this problem either.

Rema said...

Yes sir, one more touchy write up I visited - of yours today. In fact this reminds us to be thankful to god for what we have.
But next moment we see some one better of than us, we long for more and more. I too feel its very difficult to understand all these realities. Well that’s life.

Joseph Pulikotil said...

Hi Rema:)

Your observation is very right. We always want more and more. There is nothing wrong in that as long as we get it by our hard work. It is our duty to use our God given talents and prosper.

But then we should not be unhappy because someone it doing better than us. There are millions and millions of people who can't get a decent meal a day, who have no shelter over their heads and no proper clothes to wear.

Have a wonderful day Rema:)
Joseph

Rema said...

You are right sir. Unless one is ambitious, one cannot achieve more. But we should be happy for what we have and thank god for that.