Calcutta Poor: Elegies on a City above Pretense

Synopsis

Calcutta is notorious for its pavement dwellers, street children, and scavengers that have 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 services agencies - only to come to the conclusion that such initiatives have little effect on the inherent nature of the problem of poverty. Based on historical and anthropological findings, and the author's visits to the slums of Calcutta, what becomes clear is 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 bring out inventiveness and ingenuity in the lives of the poor. If Calcutta's poverty is not to be an intractable problem, these internal forces must be awakened to generate solutions. Illustrated with stunning photographs, Thomas's reflections provide new insight into an age-old problem.

Additional information

Contributors:
Publisher: Place of publication:
  • Armonk, NY
Publication year:
  • 1997