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PeAcE WiTh GuNs

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Issue Please !

"Issue please"
"Issue please"

I hear this man every morning when I walk to office. I hear him again every evening going back home. He's there rain, shine or snow. He wears a bright orange vest that reads "The Big Issue" and at the back, it reads "Working - Not Begging". I see four or five of them across the city centre. Their faces are familiar now.

I came to the UK four months ago. Now, as an educated human being, I know enough economics to realize that povery is prevalent in every part of the world. I've seen enough poverty back home in India to last me a lifetime but this is something new and inadvertently surprising.

Founded by John Bird, and Gordon Roddick in September 1991, The Big Issue is a newspaper in the UK. The Big Issue was set up as a business to give homeless people the chance to make an income. It campaigns on behalf of the homeless people. It allows homeless people to voice their views and opinions.

To become a vendor you must be homeless or vulnerably housed. However The Big Issue recognise that for many people, being housed is only the first stage in getting off the streets. Therefore if a vendor needs to continue selling the The Big Issue, they may allow them to.

The magazine is produced by The Big Issue Co. Ltd. and is funded by paid for advertising and through sales of the paper to vendors. Financially, The Big Issue is a not-for-profit organization. It is also one of the foremost social businesses in the UK.

The Big Issue Foundation is the registered charity arm of the organisation. It aims to underpin the company's work in providing a legitimate alternative to begging by tackling the underlying causes of individual homelessness.


The poor in the UK get benefits from the council. No one dies hungry on the streets like they do in India. The council provides temporary housing to the homeless. The luxuries of being poor in a developed country.

I think that maybe it would be just as humiliating for these people to be poor as it is for the poor in India. Maybe even more because they do not have huge colonies where there are millions of others like themselves. Maybe they feel like jockeys in a basketball team.

I came here thinking the developed countries have solved all their problems. Guess I was wrong...


Thursday, February 01, 2007

My Two Phones

Aaah, more and more material comfort !!
Sony-Ericsson W950i and Motorola C115

Everyone around me buys Nokia - I buy one motorola and three Sony-Ericssons (one for me, one for my dad and another for my friend. I only paid for MINE though).

Everyone around me buys Hero Honda - I buy a Bajaj Wind

Everyone around me buys Lee Cooper - I buy Bata

Everyone around me buys Sony Cybershot/Canon Powershot - I buy Panasonic Lumix

Everyone around me arrives at their first interview riding their bikes - I ride my dad's bicycle

Everyone around me wears patterned ties on solid shirts - I wear solids on patterned shirts

Am I a nonconformist
or just a plain misfit?