Parvez Ahmad and Shivang : Getting to know the hardships of poverty
Parvez and Shivang are current students of MSW at Dr. Shakuntala Misra National Rehabilitation University. Before taking part in Jagrik Yatra, they has basic awareness, but were ignorant about Constitutional duties, and purpose of the Constitution. They were not fully aware that the Constitution is made to guarantee equal rights and justice to all, and guarantees various freedoms to all citizens. They used to believe that the India society works on patriarchy and despite all the laws and provisions, equality and equal rights were still out of reach of a large section of the society. Gaining various experiences and awareness through Jagrik Yatra, they gained far better awareness.
One of the tasks required them to live the life of a typical below poverty line citizen, and to spend a day (24 hours) on Rs.32. Following this, they had to pen down their experience in a blog post. To complete this task, they had to bring about a huge shift in their lifestyle. For example, eating jaggery in place of breakfast in the morning, and going to the university on bicycle. On feeling hungry, ate Laai-chana for Rs. 10. When friends asked to have a cup of tea with them, they had to decline the offer, for want of enough money for tea. While returning from the university, hunger strongly kicked in and they bought samosas, which brought some relief. But problems were endless, like puncturing of the bicycle tyre and having to walk the rest of the way home.
Rigourous tasks made them understand the huge gap existing in the social security schemes of the Government and the reality behind the schemes for public welfare. This gave them a ground level exposure, working at grassroots level, keeping in mind constitutional values.