Saturday, October 14, 2006
Mosquito a great leveller, bites the Rich & Upper Class Indians also
In drawing room conversations it was initially felt that dengue was only for the lower middle class and poor who live in dirty localities.
The Rich drink bottled water, travel in AC (no conern with environmental issues), oblivious to public health system (as they can pay for better facilities at private hospital) and the only place they share with rest is road, that is why they are most concerned about poor conditions of roads.
If they had their way they could get exclusive roads for them. However, when PM's family members were affected, they realised that mosquito can bit them also.
Excerpts from this piece, need to be reproduced, I feel. Read it below.
Ghosh writes: For a while now, the notion of the “public” has gradually receded from the consciousness of the elites in India. Not only are private solutions found for most conditions, but even the very idea that there are still spaces (and indeed, places) that are universally accessible and have universal impact is barely recognised any more.
It is true that the ruling classes are still affected by some of the most obviously public goods, such as road infrastructure. This is why the most common middle class complaints in urban India relate to the state of the roads, since this is one area where they cannot simply opt out by accessing their own exclusive roads.
But for many other goods with high externalities, the rich in India have found ways of avoiding, bypassing or simply transcending the need for responding to external conditions or accessing public services. Atmospheric pollution, for example, has become the problem of the poor.
Increasingly, those who can afford it travel in air-conditioned vehicles and live and work in equally protected environments, and go for walks in parks of colonies where there are no “polluting units.”
Rich have bottled water or filtered water
Safe drinking water is no longer considered something that must be provided by civic authorities. Instead, the rich buy commercially bottled water or install special water filters in their home and offices, while the poor are left to fend for themselves as best they can with the inadequate and mostly polluted water available in public taps or through tube wells.
Similarly, health care services are now characterised by the most extreme duality, with the rich opting for deluxe institutions with “world class” infrastructure (although not necessarily better medical attention). The poor are forced to avail of either very overcrowded public facilities or access medical shops where they are routinely exploited and often provided with inadequate care.
Affluent have private healthcare
In all this, the concept of public health has been somehow forgotten. So, among the rich in India, there is now little recognition that health conditions of a community affect each member of it, that there must therefore be cooperative and communitarian solutions to health problems and common approaches to dealing with the basic conditions affecting health.
It takes something like an epidemic which affects rich and poor alike, to bring home the essential publicness of health to this country’s elites. The current outbreak of dengue in Delhi and some other major cities (at the time of writing it had still not been declared to be an epidemic, apparently because doing so would adversely affect tourism), is one such instance. Dengue — as we all now know only too well — is a viral disease spread by the Aedes mosquito which breeds in clean stagnant water and bites humans in the daytime.
Even as dengue spread and more and more cases crowded public hospitals, it was still common to hear in upper class drawing rooms that this was because of the lack of adequate sanitation, cleanliness and proper precautions in the slums and residences of the lower middle classes. There was still an implicit notion that “it can’t happen to us.”
Only when the media publicised the fact that even members of the Prime Minister’s household were suspected of having contracted the disease, did it strike some of our more privileged citizens that such diseases do not always respect the social distinctions so ingrained in ourselves.
If this does actually bring back the attention of policymakers and the general public to the need to focus on community health and conditions of nutrition, sanitation and the like, then even this current outbreak will turn out to have a silver lining. For the past two decades have been characterised by an unfortunate, and even alarming, reduction of interest and public expenditure on the essentials required to maintain good public health.
(by Jayati Ghosh)
Posted by editor at 9:49 AM
The alleged sexual harassment of a woman employee in Star News and the attempt to silence her and later coverup the entire issue, has shocke...
Yet another Hall of Shame for Indian journalism: Journalists 'force' man to commit suicide for 'footage'Shameful. A man died because of journalists who instigated him and made him take his own life. The journalists (read cameramen) gave Ma...
Do you know who is the editor of Times of India, the largest circulated English daily in the country (or world)? Chances are that you wo...
The suicide by a couple in Delhi due to the invasion of electronic channel's in their privacy is a shocking incident. It was bound t...
TV channel IBN 7 has claimed that thousands of 'couples are swapping wives' and indulging in sexual orgies at farm houses, homes ...
A TV footage allegedly showing veteran Congress leader and Governor of Andhra Pradesh ND Tiwari, 86, in bed with three women has caused a m...
I am seriously worried over the future of genuine journalists. This is because of the invasion of 'celebrities' and 'retired ...
Amir Khan blasts journos and media in Tehelka: Bollywood actor on journalism, role of journalists in IndiaBollywood star Amir Khan's interview in Tehelka is being discussed because of his straightforward answers and strong criticism of the m...
Amul macho advertisement tests Indian TV viewers' sensibilities: Is it obscene or creating advertising?Is Amul macho advertisement vulgar ? Click for a Video of Ad on You Tube. Here There are no direct answers to it. Vulgarity and obscenity a...
Sohrabuddin Sheikh and his wife Kausar Bi were killed in a fake encounter by Gujarat ATS and Rajasthan STF jointly. His family fought up ...
Media (15) Journalism (12) Biased journalism (9) Irresponsible Media (8) Arnab Goswami (7) Biased Media (7) Dainik Bhaskar (6) Indian Express (6) Indian Media (6) Media Hysteria (6) Unethical journalism (5) Aaj Tak (4) Hindustan Times (4) Journalists (4) Magazines (4) TV Channels (4) BJP (3) English newspapers (3) False reporting (3) Hindi Media (3) Hindi TV channels (3) India Today (3) Indian journalism (3) Sting Operation (3) Superstitious Media (3) Terrorism (3) Times Now (3) Zee TV (3) Biased journalists (2) Dainik Jagran (2) Deepak Chaurasia (2) HT (2) HT Vs TOI (2) Media Blunders (2) Media watchdog (2) Media's Failures (2) Sudhir Chaudhary (2) Tehelka (2) Times of India (2) Zee News (2) ABP News (1) Abhisar Sharma (1) Amir Khan (1) Ashok Singhal (1) Barkha Dutt (1) Bhadas4Media (1) Bizarre journalism (1) Bloggers (1) Bollywood (1) Business Standard (1) Cameramen (1) Casteism (1) Chaitanya Kalbag (1) Chanda Kochhar (1) Communal riot (1) Controversies (1) DB Grouup (1) DNA (1) Deepak Sharma (1) Editor (1) Electronic Media (1) Encounter (1) Extra-judicial killings (1) Extremism (1) Fake encounters (1) HR policies (1) Hindi Journalism (1) Hindi TV Channel (1) Hindi newspaper (1) Hindu Terrorism (1) Hindustan (1) IBN 7 (1) India TV (1) Indian Express Idea Exchange (1) Journalism Hall of Shame (1) Journalistic ethics (1) MJ Akbar (1) Majithia wage board (1) Managers-editors nexus (1) Media Obsessions (1) Media and Terrrorism (1) Muslim Terrorism (1) Nai Duniya (1) Nandan Nilekani (1) Naxalites (1) News channels (1) News channels. (1) Newspaper War (1) Newspapers (1) Obituary (1) Obscene advertisement (1) Obscenity (1) Operation Lajja (1) Pakistan election 2013 (1) Photographers (1) Praveen Swami (1) Print media (1) Punya Prasun Vajpayee (1) Qamar Waheed Naqvi (1) Questionable journalism (1) Right-wing media (1) Right-wing websites (1) Saffron Terrorism (1) Sex Scandal (1) Sexual harassment in media (1) Sexuality (1) Socialites (1) Subhash Chanda (1) Suhel Seth (1) Sunday Newspapers (1) Swarajya Magazine (1) TV channel (1) The Hindu (1) The Week (1) Uday Shankar (1) Unethical reporting (1)