So why so many street animals? Why doesn't anyone own them or seem to care?
Erika explained it like this: Be and let be. A motto that the people of India seem to live by. I suppose In a country with so many people this type of attitude is necessary to some degree - mind yourself and don't get too involved with other people's business. For a city that is full of chaos - and what seems to be disorganization - the people are incredibly mellow (a far cry from the uptight Bostonians.) It's this attitude combined with a lack of education that is to blame for their disregard and lack of care for the street animals. Let them exist, don't bother them and they won't bother you.
It's not only the animals that hurt from this common philosophy. Erika told me that Sruti, a woman who works at the hospital, came to her door that morning because she was being beaten by her husband. Erika was sure neighbors and others knew what was going on but didn't do anything. Be and let be.
While on the topic I thought I would share this blurb from my Rajasthan travel guide:
"You don't have to be long in Rajasthan to realize that women are rarely seen or heard. As part of the state's feudal legacy, the Purdah system, by which married women are kept isolated and under veil by their husbands, is still widespread in rural areas." I noticed this while out in the village near the hospital. A veiled woman and her husband stopped for lunch where we were eating and she sat silent, facing the opposite direction of her husband.
The book continues, "the literacy rate of women in Rajasthan is one of the worst in India: 25 percent, versus more than double that for men. Women living in the state's rural areas are arguably the most repressed in all of India. By one account half are forced into marriage by age fifteen and despite the intense work of internationally supported NGOs which work to valorize the contributions of women to rural life, economic independence remains at best a distant dream for most."