While the nation closely watched the 2014–2015 Union Budget, 35-year-old Malappa Gudigere and his family chose not to.
A construction worker from Raichur district, who made Bangalore his home five-years ago, said, “No budget will make our lives simpler. Our battle to earn two meals a day will continue.”
After this reporter told him about how the budget proposes to make precious and semi-precious stones and automobiles cheaper, he said, “What will I do with reduction of prices in semi-precious stones and cars? I will be glad if the prices of tomatoes and onions are reduced.”
The prices of tomatoes have gone up from Rs. 15 last month to Rs. 42 on Thursday, while the price of onions has increased by Rs. 6 over the last month.
He said his family had migrated to the city for work. Stressing on the need for the government to create job opportunities and sustainable housing, he lashed out at the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act, which finds mention in the budget speech, saying that there was a need to streamline the delay in providing wages.
His wife, Malamma, expressed happiness about the proposal to provide houses for all by 2022. But, she was disappointed about the lack of emphasis on education. “Both my children do not go to school. As we keep moving around the city in search of work, we cannot shift our children from schools,” she said. What has made him happy, Mr. Gudigere said, was the promise of free drug service and diagnosis service. “Every time we go to a government hospital, we are made to spend on tests and medicines. If this turns into a reality, it would help lakhs of people like us,” he said.