There were a few times when I was very aware that there was a complete divide between the two classes. The dichotomy was most obvious to me when we entered the IT companies’ campuses. The campuses were set out of the city in the rural parts of India. We drove past villages of tents, marble slab stores that clearly never sold anything, and hundreds of stray animals roaming the streets. We would drive for miles and miles of these poor and inhuman living areas until we reached a gated area. Our bus would beep its way through the locals and finally we would be through the gate into another world.
I couldn’t believe the difference between where we had just driven through and where we were. We went from dust, begging, and starving people, to lush grasses, fountains, first class air conditioned facilities, pools, tennis courts, golf courses, and zoos. There were millions and millions of dollars inside the gates of the campus, but outside there were barely pennies to be spent. The workers of the companies all claimed that the people of the surrounding areas all liked the companies and were proud to have them in their town. Now I may believe that the few who were employed to pick up trash and cut the lawn may be happy for the company, I cannot believe that the vast majority of the locals were happy that this company was in their back yard. If it were me, I would hate it. I would have to wake up everyday seeing this magnificent structure and have it shouted in my face that I am poor. It is just a reminder to the poor that they are poor and not worthy of being allowed inside the beautiful gates. If I were one of the locals I would ask why the multi-billion dollar company who just built a beautiful multi-million dollar campus in my backyard does not put just a few dollars into its surroundings. If the company only spent one thousand dollars into making its surroundings nicer for its neighbors, then the town people would really enjoy the company and respect it for doing good.
Our travels to the IT companies were when I really saw the dichotomy between the wealth and the poverty. It’s as though there was a line dividing the two classes, and really there was, there was a gate keeping the poor out from the rich workers.
This was the only time that I could visually see the divide with my own eyes. For the most part there was no mixture of the poor and wealthy. We never saw big, elaborate houses because I’m sure they were set off remotely as to not be in contact with the poor. The only rich that we saw was at the embassy and even there, there wasn’t such a clear visual divide. The IT centers were such an eye opener to me as to really how much of a divide there is between the classes, not only socially but physically with the gate.