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When man has to fight scavengers for a living....

by K.L.Kamat
First Online: February 05, 2000
Page Last Updated: May 09, 2017

In India, the man-scavengers (rag pickers) sometimes have to compete with the natural scavengers such as crows to make a living. For years, as I walked to work in front of a choultry, I have routinely found beggars chase away stray dogs and crows to eat the thrown out food. In the picture below, a fully able man is picking garbage along with stray donkeys and a dog (to the right, almost cut). I later asked him for a pose for a portrait (shown below). In a country where college graduates remain unemployed for decades, what were an illiterate, unskilled man to do?

Man vs the beasts
A man, stray donkeys and a stray dog competing for trash

Rag Picker
When working a whole day does not buy you two meals...

Poverty in India
Poverty in India

 Pictures
Destitute MusicansA blind street beggar plays flute through his nose, BangaloreWho said the poor can not be happy?A beggar at the Mangeshi temple, GoaWhat is Nuclear Testing?Born in poverty, raised in poverty….
The capital of her business does not buy a meal, so imagine her profitsA carpenter hardly needs to wear clothesA handicap beggar on the streetA barefooted Brahmin offers alms to a beggarA destitute woman takes to begging as a last resortThe face of poverty
A patient of Leprosy takes to begging as his means of livingBeggar by choice: A Sufi fakir seeks alms on the streetBegging as a devotion to GodBegging as a devotion to GodYou are hereA rag-picker boy
Recycler of a different kindHe blows his sacred conch and seeks assistance Siddi Boy in Torn ShirtQuilted Shirt of a Fakir, PlasseyBeggar Outside of a Bangalore ChurchTribal women balancing work, errands and children
A Patient of LeprosyAn ascetic (Sadhu) performing rituals

 

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