Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Construction in India

New ASB Elementary Building - from our flat window

Hard at work

note the water after the rain
Standing by the window, I look across the street as the construction of the new school continues night and day.  There was a short break a little while ago when the rain came down hard and all the men sought shelter under tarps or the overhangs of the building. 

It is fascinating to watch them work. So many of them. Doing almost everything by hand, including many tasks that in more "developed" countries would be done using heavy machinery.  This morning, I watched as five men began loading a large pile of rock and dirt into a truck.  They worked steadily, using their angled shovels to ladle the dirt into the round bowls, lifting the bowls onto their heads and stepping up a metal stair, almost a step stool, to empty the load into the bed of the truck. Each bowl full of dirt must weigh 30 or 40 pounds and I can see the strain as occasionally two men work together to hoist a load with a large rock. In about an hour, the mound is gone and the truck departs.  They must have moved four or five tons of debris!  I fear I would be sore and exhausted after one truck full, but these small wiry men continue steadily working, mostly wearing sandals, pants and a t-shirt.  They seem to not mind walking through the dirty mud and water in their sandals.  The only ones wearing boots are those who mix the cement into the concrete - the harsh cement would burn their skin.
Meanwhile the traffic on the street continues to go by: women dressed in very colorful saris, children so cute in their school uniforms it makes me smile every time I see them, me on bicycles and motorcycles off to work, more affluent folks from our apartment buildings in their cars, and of course the auto-rickshaws.

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