We were sitting in our room in downtown Delhi enjoying our HBO when the power suddenly went out. We were sitting in the pitch black and it made us think about everything that we take for granted in Canada. Third world countries have to put up with these inconveniences on a regular basis so we thought that we would share with you some of the things that people in India have to deal with daily.
1. Power. It Canada and other similar countries, a power outage is a very big deal. When the power goes out, it is an event. There must be a terrible storm or problem. In India the power is cut regularly. Most hotels and restaurants have back up generators to keep the tourists happy, but the people that live her have to deal with the power going out daily.
2. Water. We have clean water in Canada. We can drink out of the taps, we can drink from the fountain, we can go out for dinner and order a free glass of water with ice. India and other third world countries do not have clean water. People have to drink what they can, but they constantly face serious illness. It is scary to think that the water supply of the world is becoming more contaminated each day.
3. Hospitals and Health Care. We have free health care in Canada. We can go to the hospital or doctors and be treated for our ailments. If there is an emergency, all we have to do is call an ambulance and it will arrive to take us to safety. In India, health care is not free. People cannot afford to get proper treatment and hospitals are few and far between compared to the amount of people in the country.
4. Sanitation. Last year we had a garbage strike in Toronto. We got a small glimpse into what life is like in India. Now multiply that by a million and that is what life is like in India. The streets are filled with garbage, sewers are open and nobody is out there cleaning up. We are lucky at home, we walk the streets with free from feces and running sewage, we flush our toilets and know that it is going to a treatment plant and we have a well oiled machine taking care of all our sanitation.
5. Clean Air. We have laws at home that keep our air fresh. Our autos have a catylitic converters that keep exhaust pollution down. Our cars have to go through emission tests and our factories have strict laws. While our system isn’t perfect, at least we can go for a walk or a jog and not hack up a lung. India is filled with pollution and everyone suffers from respiratory problems, ourselves included. This causes everyone to spit on a regular basis spreading even more germs and disease.
6. Sidewalks. It sounds like a strange point to make. But in India everyone is forced to walk on the road in the midst of speeding traffic. It is dangerous trying to get from point A to B. The sidewalks are almost always non existent and if there are any, they are broken or filled with vendors. It is exhausting walking in the middle of traffic having to keep an eye out for obstacles coming in all directions.
7. Silence. India has terrible noise pollution. People in Canada do not drive with their horns. We have laws and rules and everyone drives in an orderly fashion. (for the most part) In India noise is a part of life. Noise is everywhere. We could go on and on about the noise here, but you might as well read our post 10 things that keep you awake at night in India. That explains the noise much better.
8. Corruption. Yes politicians are corrupt all around the world and there are some evil doers out there in the corporate world that are corrupt and there are a few corrupt people working in the public sector. In India however, corruption is a part of every day life. People have to make bribes for everything. I can’t imagine having to live this way. When the paper announces that bribes are not allowed as a tax write off, it goes to show that there is a problem in this society with bribes. This shouldn’t be an acceptable way to live, but it is for now I am afraid.
9. Cleanliness. For some reason India is not clean. Even in high end hotels things are off. Walls are dirty, light switches have a layer of filth on them and bathrooms are never up to par. Forget about lower end places, they are just plain dirty. In Canada public restrooms are clean, hotels and restaurants are spotless and even our public transportation is clean. We don’t know why India is dirty, but we will take the cleanliness of Canada anytime.
10. Personal space. People don’t believe in space here. Standing in line is unheard of. People fight their way to the front of queues and if you happen to make it to the front of the line, people will be pushing and shoving up against you trying to get in anyway. Trains are over crowded, cities are over crowded, buses are over crowded and streets are over crowded. The mass of people in India is out of control and growing rapidly. It is set to overtake China as the most populated country on earth by 2012.