Contrasts of Calcutta


 




 




The Oberoi Grand Hotel, Calcutta - where room rates, excluding taxes, start
at around US$450, or £270 a night




Equivalent 'luxury' on the street not far away - a mattress, pillow and a blanket
in the cold season - and few are this fortunate. At night, they resemble elongated
bundles of rags lying on the pavement




Well-heeled well dressed ladies arrive here to buy fashionable goods  -- seated in hand-pulled rickshaws, the drivers often running barefoot, as in page 2.



Human rickshaws in Kolkata are used for freight and passengers, very often both.
The short cool season makes driving 'easier'




Navigating crowded streets at a run needs a special skill



And other obstacles may suddenly appear



It is estimated that the drivers earn only US$2-3 a day, often working 12 hours.



Rickshaws are hired by the drivers. This rental cost has to be covered
before any income is made.




The street people of Kolkata can only look, never buy, at a butcher's shop.

The cat would probably eat better than they do.



Young people from well-to-do families often grow immune
to the suffering around them



 
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