My story

Olesia Ershova
Posted April 15, 2013 from Russian Federation

The idea of my place in the universe always does not make me sleep. Having naturally creative and curious mind, I am gathering information about this world like a scientist gathers valid data for his research. And persistently keep looking for my path. Sometimes I came to the angles I could never imagine; sometimes they were the right one. One of them, which actually made me find my path was my trip to India, I undertook this summer. I was seeking for calmness, but I found inspiration. I would like to tell the story, which made me interested in human rights issue. I was traveling by bus with a friend of mine. It was 10 hours trip to Pushkar, holy city in Rajastan state. On one of the bus stops a group of gypsies came into the bus. Gypsies are the lowest cast in India, untouchables. There was very old woman with them. They had to sit on the floor of the bus for the whole trip. It is usual for Indian way of travelling by bus. And this woman also had to sit on the floor. She was very calm and noncompliant. But she was very old. And my friend decided to give her his place. When he did it, the woman started crying and one Indian man asked my friend, why he did it, because no one in the bus could not understand this way of treatment this woman. The idea of cast belonging is so deep in Indian culture, that even that woman tackled the way others treat her as absolutely normal. This accident made me to think deep, how the idea of the cast system, went far more beyond the rational reason of dividing people on classes for easier taxation, and came to the inhuman way of treatment that woman. Finally I wrote an article for city web site: I am sure, that I can make a change in this world. Civic engagement experience, I gained in NGOs, made me the human, always analyzing the way this world functions. And my point of view: those, who fight today against torture, poverty and discrimination, are not giants or superheroes - they are people: kids, mothers, fathers, teachers. Free thinking individuals, who refused to be silent. Who realized, that human rights are not history lesson, and not just words on a page, not speeches or commercials or PR campaigns. They are the choices we make every day as human beings, they are the responsibility we all share to respect each other, to help each other and to protect those in need.

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Comments 3

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  • Iffat Gill
    Apr 21, 2013
    Apr 21, 2013

    Dear Sister,

    It was nice to read your inspirational post and about your very personal encounter with inequalities surrounding human beings. I liked how you wrote:

    "They (human rights) are the choices we make every day as human beings, they are the responsibility we all share to respect each other, to help each other and to protect those in need."

    I could not agree more. Many of us do look at human rights as written rules and guidelines rather than a way to live. It would have been nice to read a little summary of the article you posted reference to in the article above.

    I hope you will keep on writing and I look forward to read more from you. Best wishes.

  • binapatel33
    Apr 21, 2013
    Apr 21, 2013

    You have written a very touching story. It is very true about the Indian caste system. The system is very cruel on females. The class system is even worse. Thank you for sharing with us your story, you can make a difference and you are already taking the first step with voicing your thoughts. I wish you all the best! Many blessings.

  • ccontreras
    Apr 21, 2013
    Apr 21, 2013

    I really enjoyed reading your anecdote because this is something that happens in many cultures, not only in India. I think that there's sometimes a disconnect between people and humanity. People try to live their lives and go on with their every day activities but do not stop to look around them to notice if others are suffering or are ok, or sometimes something as simple as doing something humanitarian is a foreign concept to them. Please continue with your writings! :-) Cynthia from Florida, USA