There are two million homeless people in India. These people have nowhere to sleep, don’t know whether they will still be alive tomorrow and where their next meal is coming from should they survive the night on the streets.
Life is grim for them.
So a bunch of middle and upper class Indian do-gooders decided to do something for the homeless.
The idea they came up with was to spend a night in the open–al fresco, so to speak, to demonstrate their support for the poor unfortunates. It made them feel good to perform this generous gesture for their ‘fellow men’. After all, it was only for one night and they could always breakfast at some posh hotel the next morning.
Not for one moment could these rich people experience the stress and deprivation of being genuinely homeless. Not for one moment could they possible understand what it feels like to be insecure.
The rich Indians had slept rough “shabby chic style” the way that Prince William of Buckingham Palace did a while back to show his support for the homeless in Britain.
When I say “rough” I mean minus the duvet, the fluffy pillows and the lavender-scented sheets. William was protected, of course, by the Secret Service and was never in mortal danger of being stabbed overnight as he slept. Nor was he concerned about where his kippers and coddled eggs would come from in the morning. We can assume that he felt pretty safe.
This was a gesture and as far as gestures go, the publicity shots were pretty successful.
I mean what more could the popular royal do, you ask?
Well, he could have invited a few of the homeless people to sleep on his turf in the palace. Offer them some shelter.
And that’s what those well-off Indians should have done. After all, they had homes, beds, food and safety.
They should have provided some decent sleeping quarters for the homeless, if they were genuinely concerned. That would have demonstrated that they really cared instead of taking part in a pointless stunt of tasteless and fruitless condescension.