Monday, December 21, 2009

Coastal Andhra and poverty

It is normally believed that people of Coastal Andhra in Andhra Pradesh are better off than those in Telangana. I lived in Vishakhapatnam for four years and I know the condition. May be ten percent are rich and forty percent lead an average life. But the bulk of the people are landless labourers and those ill paid working for contractors. Adivasis have particularly tough life. People from Srikakulam and Vizayanagaram are poor. All industries are in Vishakhapatnam but those employed there are from East and West Godavari districts.

I stay near Income tax towers, which is quite close to shantinagar colony. There are more than hundred five story buildings—all residential—each building having ten to twenty-five flats and most of them occupied by IT workers, who are very well paid.

Every building has just one watchman, who is paid about Rs.3000/-per month and is on duty round the clock. The watchmen live with their families in a single small room provided by the building societies. Watchman’s wife works as maidservant and earns some money to meet both ends meet. The residents give left over food to them. Ninety percent of these watchmen are from Srikakulam and Vishakhapatnam. Who says coastal Andhra is developed?
It is very common to see girls below the age of ten are employed to look after babies of these buildings as most of the women are also employed. The girls employed are either the children of watchmen or are brought from the native towns of the residents.
Where is the labour department?

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