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If You Lived in The 3rd World

The luxuries a typical family would have to surrender if they lived among the one billion hungry people in the third world......

We begin by invading the house of our imaginary family to strip it of it’s furniture. Everything goes : Beds, chairs, tables, television sets, lamps. We will leave the family with a few old blankets, a kitchen table, a wooden chair. Along with the buries go the clothes. Each member of the family may keep in his ‘wardrobe’ his oldest suit or dress, a shirt or blouse. We will permit a pair of shoes for the head of the family, but none for the wife or children.

We move to the kitchen. The appliances have already been taken out, so we turn to the cupboards.....the box of matches may stay, a small bag of flour, some sugar and some salt. A few mouldy potatoes, already in the garbage can must be rescued, for they will provide much of tonight’s meal. We will leave a handful of onions, a dish of dried beans. All the rest we take away: the meat; fresh vet. the canned goods, the crackers, the candy.

Now we have stripped the house: the bathroom has been dismantled, the running water shut off, the electric wires taken out. Next we take away the house! The family can move to the tooted......communications must go next. No more newspapers, magazines, books - not that they are missed, since we must take away our family’s literacy as well. Instead in our shanty town we will allow one radio......

Now government services must go next. No more postmen, no more firemen. There is a school, but it’s 3 miles away and consists of 2 classrooms...There are of course no hospitals or doctors nearby. The nearest clinic is ten miles away, and is tended by a midwife. It can be reached by bicycle, which is unlikely....

Finally, money. We will allow our family a cash hoard of 5 pounds. This will prevent our breadwinner from experiencing the tragedy of an Iranian peasant who went blind because he could not raise the £4.00 which he mistakenly thought he needed to receive admission to a hospital where he could have been cured.

(k.p yeoman (O.M))-GOSPEL FOR ASIA