Donna and Joe have finished their assignment in India. Occasionally they still travel somewhere.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Seen on the Street

This little girl is standing near a public tap, waiting to fill the jugs with water. I presume she is just holding the jugs and another family member will fill them since she is too small to carry them when they are full. This sturdy, plastic jug design can be seen all over India for carrying water from whatever source is available to a family's home. I don't know what fraction of Bangalore's citizens have water piped to their homes. In the high end apartment complex where we live there is always water available at the tap. It is not really safe to drink so we have a purifying unit which uses a combination of filters and ultraviolet light kill any harmful organisms in the water. During a drought last fall the city was not able to supply water to the apartment complex and the management arranged to buy, trucked in water. We were all asked to wash cars only on alternate days and minimize watering of plants.

Meanwhile many of Bangalore's resident depend on public taps and plastic jugs. These boys are transporting water home on their bicycle. When I saw them going the opposite direction the boy in the plaid shirt was leaning forward and peddling while the other boy sat on the seat. The jugs were hanging off the seat behind them. In areas where homes do not have piped water public taps are placed along main roads every few hundred meters so people don't have too far to go for water.
This picture was taken on a fairly busy street near the Cantonment Railway station. In previous blogs I have shown workman building iron bars for windows and repairing bicycles on the sidewalk. This entrepreneur is one step further into public space using the side of the street.
This picture is pretty hard to see, I took it from a moving "auto". Auto is Indian slang for one of these three wheeled autorickshaws. If you closely you will see that two autos are connected by a foot in a white tennis shoe. The driver of the one in the rear is actually pushing the one in the front which apparently has some kind of mechanical problem. I have actually seen auto rickshaws being pushed like this several times before but was never quick enough with my camera phone before. These are actually quite light and you often see a driver pushing it into or out of a parking place. If he has to backup, the driver also pushes it since autos not have a reverse gear. Backing up is rarely needed since the front wheel can be turned until it is perpendicular to the body, giving the vehicle a turning radius less than its length.

I took this picture because it is almost unheard of in Bangalore for anyone other than the driver of a "two wheeler" to wear a helmet. It is a legal requirement to wear a helmet if you are driving a motorcycle or motor scooter. If you click on the picture to get a larger version you can see that there are actually parts of 5 two wheelers in the picture. The one in the center, carrying about I assume is a father taking his son to school is the anomaly because both are wearing a helmet. On the left two men are riding without wearing helmets although there is a helmet on the handle bars which the driver can put on if required. In front of the father/son pair are two motorcycles each with a single rider. One is and one is not wearing a helmet. Finally, following the bus on the crossing street is a scooter with man driving (wearing a helmet) and women riding behind him without a helmet. Although it's hard to tell from the picture, the woman is wearing a sari and sitting side saddle.

The two boys stopped to talk to me because they saw me standing by my bicycle and looking at the map; trying to figure out where I was. I snapped their picture as we were both riding away from that spot.

1 comment:

Elana said...

Beautiful photos and wonderful stories.

J & W