Author: Frederic C Thomas
ISBN/UPC (if available): 0140292578
Illustrated with stunning photographs, Thomas's reflections provide new insights into an age-old problem.
Notorious for its pavement dwellers, street children and scavengers, Calcutta has become a portrait of the worst sort of human degradation. In this illuminating critique, Thomas investigates the standard solutions - improved housing, increased job creation, and intervention of social service agencies - only to come to the conclusion that such initiatives have little effect on the inherent nature of the problem of poverty.
From the historical and anthropological finds, and the author's visits to the slums of Calcutta, it becomes clear that even in the midst of great poverty, there is a nobility of character, a vitality of ethnic and cultural ties, and an energy that brings out inventiveness and ingenuity in the lives the poor. If Calcutta's poverty is not to be an intractable problem, these internal forces must be awakened to generate solutions.