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Bangalore Extends Its Helping Hands
Bangalore - Earthquake Update Appeal No. 5  (7th Feb 2001)

Sanjay Sanghvai of NBA responds to Ami Zota's "Observations on earthquake"

Dear friend,

It was really moving to go through Ami's despatch and the last observations. However, there is another side, even in this hour of crisis. The caste and class differences erupt even in such a tragedy. The high-class families in Ahmedabad, it is learnt, want the new clothes as they won't use the second hand ones. (Perfect enough. Such clothes are reserved for lower classes and castes). They sleep in their Toyotas, Santros and Cielos but not with the thousands in the relief camps. Even the earthquake is not a leveller in this 'developed' society.

The last observation - everything man-made collapsed, but the tees are still there. They are there to be destroyed by the Man. We have to learn lessons from Latur experience and try to fairly distribute the aid.

I think that the Union government and the state governments would do many things surreptiously - like winding up many welfare schemes and projects (like employment guarantee scheme in Maharashtra) taking undue advantage of the 'financial burden ' due to the earthquake. The initial and substantial burden will eased off by the national-international aid and gratns, supoort from all over India. Earthquake might be misused by the government for its liberalisation-privatisation agenda. This may seem a distant possibility, but we have to be vigilant on this count.

In Solidarity,

Sanjay Sangvai (sanjay@narmada.org)