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Buddha dreams IT, but ...

There?s a Dhoni, a Ganguly and a Saddam in the family, yet 50-year-old rickshaw-puller Sheikh Juved, the father of these illustrious names, and his family of eight survive on one meal a day.

india Updated: Apr 21, 2006 02:57 IST

There’s a Dhoni, a Ganguly and a Saddam in the family, yet 50-year-old rickshaw-puller Sheikh Juved, the father of these illustrious names, and his family of eight survive on one meal a day.

The 4,000-odd population of the shanties along of Char Nombor Bridge on Dilkhusha Street extention are not in the IT scheme of Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee’s things. Some odd hundred are all card-holders of the Assembly of God Church which ensures a lunch packet. This card is more precious than the other one — the voters’ ID card. Of course they vote and diligently too every election. When starvation deaths in Amlasole hit the headlines, chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee said the megapolis also had its share. Malnutrition, under-nourishment and poor hygiene are the slow killers.

With a running nose Saddam settles on his father’s lap munching a rotten apple. Dhoni and Ganguly with their bulging bellies and rickety limbs stare with blank eyes. With a monthly income of Rs 1,500 and eight mouths to feed, school is a distant dream.

Over crores have come from the Centre as well from banks to spruce up the up the slums and improve the lot, yet the 30,000 odd population at Darapara in ward 59 have 25-year-old doddering latrines, almost as old as the “Bam-font sarkar (Left Front)”

Where does the money go? They have no answer. And yet they prop up the red show every five years.

First Published: Apr 21, 2006 02:57 IST