India is zooming ahead economically, but disconnect between rich and poor is scary and funny. You worry about the scary bit and I will explain the funny aspect.
As a reporter I made friends with lots of social workers. A medico social worker working for the municipal hospital in Navi Mumbai told me that handling the poor was tough.
Once a guy brought his badly-injured brother to hospital. The doctors rushed the victim to the emergency ward and asked the brother to donate blood. But the brother was so innocent; he was scared he would die if he donated blood. “I don’t want to die for him. You will put a needle and suck all my blood,” he kept crying. It took hours of persuasion.
There are several cases in such hospitals where relatives dump patients for treatment and sneak away. They just cannot afford to pay.
Once a social group wanted to do a survey among slum dwellers about family planning. The volunteer asked a woman, “Do you know about contraceptives?” The woman first blushed, then turned furious and screamed, “Heyyy, you husbanddd.”
A plump guy rushed out, pulled the volunteer by the collar and pushed him out of the house.
The volunteer was trained well. He moved on to the next hutment.
“Do you use condoms?” he asked the householder.
“No, what's it? How many condoms can we eat daily? the slumdweller asked.