This book collects Sainath's controversial column for the Times Of India about India's poorest districts--reporting what was shocking to many in India itself. Sickened by glossy lifestyle articles celebrating India's private schools, designer fashion and weight loss clinics, Sainath began a one-man mission to document what was really happening. He concentrated on Tamil Nadu, Madhya Pradesh, Orissa and Bihar's poorest communities, populated mainly by dalits (untouchables) and tribal minorities--people who often work 18 hours a day for one pound a month.
The format is 800-word bulletins that tell it like it is. They are statistic-filled but easy to absorb and absolutely compelling. They reveal how poverty is compounded by corruption, incompetence, laziness, greed and stupidity. Instead of improving life, many government schemes/development programs only make the poorest poorer, while making corrupt politicians, land- owners and the complacent new middle class of Mumbai (Bombay) richer.
Your jaw will drop at the revelations--callous contractors steal tribal lands, never paying compensation; doctors turn public hospitals into private clinics; schools are used as cow-sheds while teachers still claim wages; villages are used for target practice by the army and aid money is siphoned off by corrupt officials. Worst is the scandal of drought relief, rural India's biggest growth economy--drought often caused by racketeers selling water or the rich pumping it away for themselves.
Forget spiritual texts. Simultaneously fascinating and distressing, this is the book visitors to India should read. --Sarah Champion
Must read for the Gen X and specially all the bureaucrats and politicians who don't even know or care what is going on. India is not about IT or massive industrial growth or reforms its about the farmers and the millions who live on agriculture. We in this modern world don't even know that such kind of India exists. We campaign to save our Tigers but none of us know that there is another endangered breed called as the Farmers. Someone said it correctly "In this part of the word the value of human life is less than that of an animal" Hats off to you Mr Sainath please continue your crusade hope some day this county will realize it is too big to go to a mall on a weekend!! --Paul Joseph Feb 5, 2012
"Everybody loves a good drought" features stories from some of India's poorest districts. This book is a thoroughly researched study of the poorest of the poor and how they manage to live, or rather survive. To cover all the issues faced by the poor in India will be a mammoth task; and hence the book features/covers places which is the author's account of visits to these places. The featured incidents in the book widely fall under the categories of Crazy development project schemes, Health & Education, money matters, crimes committed against the people, Water problems etc all with statistics.Though the places featured were kind of expected, the extent of the situation was truly an eye-opener. Even though the statistics was as of 1992-93, there is no hope that will make us say 'its going to be alright'. --Rani Nov 16, 2011
I'm a regular & avid reader of Thiru.P.Sainath.I never miss his articles in " The Hindu " and always thinking to visit Higginbotham book store to purchase Sainath's works. Fortunately,it seems,I hope that Flipkart has started to sell his work(s).I wish many more works of Sainath must be put for e-sale.About this particular book: as soon I got the book I started to read till I completed it.A thorough study & analysis of the mass suffering is portayed in all the essays & some have,after appearing in the newspaper,awakened the concsiouness of the people in the corridors of power and urged them to do something to alleviate the misery,suffering and sorrow,though the power mongers dare not to eradicate the poverty of millions & millions of the poormass who are the vote bank.I believe that every Indian must make a soul search & teach some kind of lesson to the so called leaders,if any one there in our country. --David Chandran Jul 30, 2012 --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.