Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Ravish Ki Report: Ahmedabad, Gujarat

Ravish Kumar of NDTV did a 40 minute on the ground report from Ahmedabad in January.

YouTube link 

I tried to transcribe some of the highlights. This is not an indictment of any particular person or, government but, as Ravish puts it, a (depressing) state of affairs across India. All that glitters is not really world class.

[Somewhere in Ahmedabad]
0:20 - Ravish: "Road is broken recently?"
Citizen: "No, been in this state for 2 years."
Ravish: "To mein Gujarat mein nahi hoon?"
Ctizen: "No, no, you are in Gujarat."

2:55 - Citizen: "Rajkot, Surat, Ahmedabad - only the main cities have development"
Ravish: "Seems like I am in Delhi's Sangam Vihar."

[Murlidhar Society]
4:25 - Ravish: "People confirmed that they have water and electricity."
Ravish: "Water comes 24 hours?"
Citizen: "No, only for 2 hours." 

[Batwa Gujrati Vidyalaya Shakha No. 12]
6:20 - Ravish: "There is only one tap in this (other) water tank for kids to drink, the others are present for statistics. At least cleaning is going on so we know the system is 'working'. Whichever city I go to, the state of government school is like this."

6:40 - Ravish: "A kid studying in a school in Delhi and coming in his BMW try and drink here  or, his mother/father stand here. What they do is sit in a TV studio and form an opinion that the country is not 'shining'. But, when poor people drink water in this state they do not form an opinion.

7:50 - Ravish to a small girl cleaning the classroom: "What are you doing? Picking up garbage?"
Ravish: "Only when the classroom is clean will Goddess Saraswati give the certificate of literacy."

[Chandulia Prathmik Pathshala]
9:10 - Ravish: "Three girls were cleaning ('pocha') a big classroom. I am not an aggressive reporter to ask, 'why is this happening'. I am reporting what is in front of me, and why is it happening - understand its reasons as well."
10:00 - Teacher: "We also do not like this (cleaning by kids) but, we need sweepers, which we do not have."

17:05 - Ravish: "It is not that Ahmedabad is not nice... but, need to find areas where the bright lights do not reach... I have come to an area like this."

17:30 - Ravish: "Cities are of many types: there are ones near legislatures/secretariats, have their own malls, where every facility makes you feel you are in a world class place. I have come to this lake for rainwater harvesting. This is the same state as in any other where crores have been spent."
Ravish: "How old is this?"
Citizen: "4 years."
Ravish: "Have you ever seen water in this?"
Citizen: "No. Whatever rainwater used to come, even that has disappeared. Used to be filled 
till waist height."

23:30 - Ravish: "Is this a government colony?"
Citizen: "Yes."
Ravish: "Gujarat has developed so much, how come your colony is not?"
Citizen (laughing): "Yes."
Ravish: "It is OK, you are like a general class train coach! General coach of a superfast train."
Citizen: "It has been 27 years but, the internal roads were never made."
Ravish: "I feel this is the only area in Viveknagar that is not developed."
Citizen: "No, all of Viveknagar is like that. 3000-3500 homes are here."
Ravish: "Where do people work?"
Citizen: "All work in factories no one in government jobs here."
Ravish: "What do you think about development in Gujarat that you see on TV."
Citizen: "It is there somewhat: 60% left to go."

[Dandi Pull Basti besides Sabarmati Ashram]
32:00 - Ravish: "There is no latrine as there is no sewage line."
Citizen: "People come for votes but, they do not come back and do not do anything after the elections. Even the center's scheme is flawed as there is no space here to match their specifications. If now the new riverfront comes then we cannot go there, where will we go then?"

Ravish: "This was the outlet that led the sewage out into the river but, the government has blocked it so that the riverfront resembles the one on Thames. However, no alternative arrangement has been made."

39:00 - Ravish: "Let us assess the center's schemes. Many latrines have been made without drainage outlet. This has been done so the center government, through Vidya Balan can tell everyone that latrines have been made."

Ravish: "When Champaran was happening (almost 100 years ago) Gandhiji was called to fight that fight for the people. I do not know what I can do for you besides showing this report."

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