Gurgaon. Local rickshaw puller Dhani Ram and his family entered the Lower-Middle Class early last month, an year after migrating to Gurgaon from a drought-stricken village in Parbhani district of Bihar. This sudden upturn has left them with too many choices for their comfort. Experts are blaming the booming economy of India for pushing the family into what may be the most complex phase of their lives.
“Suddenly I was forced to buy a mobile,” says Dhani Ram, who got lost for two days among all the options available to him, and now is having a hard time deciding a ring tone that best suits his personality. “I was quite adept at deciding the right time to sow rice – that is, immediately after it rained. Now, I have to also keep in mind the children’s birthdays, our marriage anniversary and religious festivals, and spend countless sleepless nights thinking over what presents to give them,” he reports.
The move has been tough on other members of the family as well. “I was happier when the most complex problem we had to face was whether we were going to eat that night or not,” says Haria, the wife. “Now I have to constantly worry whether our monthly household expenses will fit within the budget or not. It’s just too much,” she exclaims.
Unfortunately for Dhani Ram, things are only going to get worse as he becomes more prosperous. “If the current trend of economic growth persists,” says economic expert Pratham Mishra, “come next summer, he would be faced with the challenge of finding a summer camp for his children, and parking space for his Nano. They would also have to suffer due to the lack of decent family restaurants in their vicinity,” he predicts.
Experts say that this problem is quite common in societies who find themselves rich all of a sudden. “The central government is to blame,” agrees BSP leader Mayawati. “They never gave any thought to the dalits of India before ushering in the economic boom all of a sudden. How do the poor know what to do with all the money?”
However, as per reports just in, other economic classes of India are also facing similar problems. The Mehta family, after their move to the Upper-Middle Class, suddenly lost their ability to travel in a non-AC car. They are also currently lamenting the extreme property prices in Gurgaon that don’t allow space for a home movie theatre.
Dhani Ram and his family, however, have decided to stick it out. “We may not know if we’ll have a car hood over our heads tomorrow or not, but we have each other and our new LG Flat Screen TV, and our love for it will keep us together during these harsh times.”