It’s often said that whenever you feel despondent, just remember there are other people less, very much less fortunate than you.
But the human mind being what it is, sometimes it’s real hard to do that.
I often come face to face with these tragic twists of life as I travel…I see it every time in India, in Africa and even in Europe. I see little children, sometimes with tattered clothes, walking the streets looking for food, money, or anything they can sell and get money….sometimes they have no clothes at all….walking around aimlessly.
We are fortunate that almost all of us have roofs over our heads, food to eat, and maybe a little money as well. What about those who do not have these? What of them? There is no answer….
Let’s look at the Far East, Manila to be precise. A journalist James Chance has been documenting the lives of the homeless and how they manage to survive.
It is somehow ironic, that a small community of more than 2000 people live in a place that is always the last a person will visit in his/her lifetime….that’s right, they live in a cemetery.
In huge contrast to cemeteries in our cities which are normally places looking very austere, sad and lonely, the cemeteries in Manila are full of life. The thousands of tombs, mausoleums and crypts have become homes for the families who live below the poverty line. Some of them actually work here, being hired by well-off families to look after their relatives’ resting places.
Conditions are not good, but far better than living on the streets. There is no water supply…there are only one or two wells where the water has to be carried from.
If anyone falls ill, there is an abundance of help available within the comunity…..herbal helaers, folk remedies, even faith healers abound. Anything more serious? Well….that’s a one way street you’re on and many don’t come back…..
all photos courtesy flickr.com