Since yesterday’s post got to be so long, I decided to divide it in two. For starters, let’s continue yesterday’s theme of electricity for just a bit longer.
In the park where the kids go to play, along the back wall, there is a small gate and a concrete fence. As you can probably see from the picture, the gate is unlocked and hanging open slightly, and the holes in the concrete are nicely spaced for climbing in the unlikely event that the gate were to actually be locked, so effectively there is no barrier to keep out curious children. This is very unfortunate, since what the fence is designed to hold is an electrical switch box with numeous rusty cables jutting out in all directions, presumably the contraption that is charged with delivering power to the whole community, and probably the source of some of our outages. I’m not sure whether to ignore it and hope Ender doesn’t notice it, or to bring his attention to it and tell him not to go there…they both seem like a sure way to end up with an electrified child, don’t they?
Speaking of having no barriers to keep out curious children… Our community also has a water tower in this same park. It is surrounded by some bamboo making it a dark and inviting play place. Of course, the water tower is completely open. A rusty latter system leads up to the top, and down into the murky water below. So, we have a chance of death by falling off the top of the tower and death by drowning in the water all rolled into one. I’m sure if I climbed up it, I’d find some bare wires in there somewhere, adding death by electrocution to the list of horrors this one structure has in store.
Working in conjunction with the water tower, we have the well. The well is located across the street in the garden area. The garden is a pretty place, lots of bushes, trees and flowers and a grassy area that the kids like to play on. According to the neighbors, the garden sits on top of the well. Water is first pumped into the well, that acts as a holding tank, and then up to the water tower, and finally out to our houses, where we have to pump it back up to large tanks on the roof. (Scott can explain all that some time because I just don’t get it.) Anyway, the well is there, with 2 nice metal covers, that are never actually put on the well. Yes, folks, another drowning hazard. What kid wouldn’t want to investigate this??
And finally, last but not least, we have the workers. All around us we have apartment buildings going up. The daytime is a veritable cacaphony of sawing and pounding. Sometimes I feel like our community is a little oasis, the “Central Park” in the middle of big old New York.
Wooden scaffolding is erected around the newly built structures. The scaffolding is not boards, but actual trees, scraped clean, and bound together with rope. The workers scale this scaffolding and do their jobs, hundreds of feet in the air. No safety equipment, no hard hats, no shoes…
I will strive to get a better picture of this soon. This was taken from the park (right by the water tower), looking out to the next lot. I’ll take my camera next time I go out and get something closer.
So, I think that you can see that my title “safety standards in India” is actually an oxymoron. There are no safety standards in India. Only lots of luck.