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Let’s value them!

Let’s value them!
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Desh Bir

We eat what they produce. Our survival shall face the threat of extinction if these people were not there. Obviously, we are considering the critically vital role of cultivated food in continuity of human life. We can overlook and under-assess the role of the food-grower only if we are ready to take to the life of the food hunters of yore. This can never happen.

Enamoured of speed and comfort afforded by technology, today’s man can never dream of a retrogression. In matters of external trappings of civilizational advance today’s man is progressive and forward looking, but from within, he suffers from moral vacuity as he seldom feels beholden to the food-giver of the nation.

On the contrary, the farmer, for the average non-cultivator, seems to be an uncouth citizen fit only to be kept at a distance. Nothing can be a bigger example of ungrateful attitude than this. Let’s learn to respect him. This is the minimum that we owe to him.

In the upper strata of society, liberally provided by nature , food eaten by the family is cooked by some domestic help rather than by any member of the family. So far, so good….. as it offers employment to someone and provides leisure to the employer. However, it is often seen that the man or the lady doing the cooking is often given a meal different from the one meant for the family.

Sometimes, it is something left-over from the previous day(s). We want the palate- tickling savours for ourselves, but are not ready to share the same with the humble cook. Nothing can be more ungrateful than that! Anything which we deem unfit to be consumed by us cannot be a proper thing to offer to someone with a sense of haughtiness! It is only indicative of a bad upbringing or wrong education! Let’s value the services of the cook and share the same meal with him/ her as we eat each day. That is no favour to them. It is their due.

The rich ones among us shirk the job of dishwashing and employ someone to do the loathed task of cleaning the mess in the kitchen sink. We feel that when we have paid the promised amount for it, our obligation is over. The truth is that the people who offer themselves for this task do so out of financial constraints. If possible to opt out of such a task, nobody would like to cleanse the plates that others have soiled with spices, sauce , oil and turmeric ! These people do a favour to us while they perform this job .It is not true the other way. Let’s respect them!

We litter the floors. We create mess on the carpets. We soil the interiors with shoes that fetch dust indoors. And then we feel that it is for someone else to rid the house of refuse. Here in comes the role of the maid servant who does the dusting, brooming and mopping.

The cleaned house is ours and the cleaning is the onus of someone else. What a conceited notion has money pumped into our brains out of sheer vanity! Mahatma Gandhi had presented the best perception of responsibility by always cleaning the toilets by himself. That was a case of leading by personal example. How many of us are ready to value and respect the services of the maid servants?

Good things for our use and the seemingly worse aspect for someone else! What a self-coined logic of the rich people! The best attires are donned by the rich, but these are cleaned by the poor and needy maids. We are proud of the glamour that our nicely washed dresses vest on us, but seldom offer a word of praise for the people who work behind the scene in all kinds of weather. We never try to know how much harm the detergents do to their hands in the process. Shall we learn to value them?

The greatest gratitude we owe is to the person who comes every morning to our door to collect the wet and dry waste which we are too eager to push out of the house. He accepts what everybody rejects! We always look at him with disregard.

Only his absence for a couple of days makes us remember how valuable his services are. Yet, as he comes regularly, we think he is just doing his duty. This is the toughest ever job! Only he is ready to do it, because he has no other job to support the family. Let’s value him for his rare tenacity to accept what others wish to throw out! By valuing these services, we shall only add to our own worth as human beings!

(The author served as a Principal at the Govt. College, Hoshiarpur Punjab)


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