29. Seeing the Penniless

While traveling around the country Gandhiji once went to Orissa state.

Could its poverty be described in words? Our country - India, is one of the poor countries in the world and Orissa is the poorest of all the states in India. There are no living people, rather there are skeletons only. The famines won't spare them. People hardly get to eat both the times. Why to talk about clothing in such a condition?

Gandhiji had heard about those conditions but now he saw it for himself.

Gandhiji visited the villages of that poor state. Some of the villages were deserted. The huts were shattered. The people in some of those huts were hungry, thirsty and pale. The women had barely covered their bodies with rags. Even they were not sufficient. They had barely enough rags to wrap around their waists but nothing to cover the upper part.

This scene broke him down with sorrow. Oh God! Such extreme poverty in my country? Can't I do anything to abolish it?

He thought this was what is called poverty!

Gandhiji had very soft feelings for Orissa compared to other states.