What was the most shocking thing you have seen while in the Navy?

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Mudassir Ali 9 months 1 Answer 131 views

Answer ( 1 )

  1. In the mid sixties maybe 1966 or 1967 my ship visited Calcutta India. It is a busy sea port and many commercial freighters and tankers are anchored or tied up to a long pier, sometimes known as a jetty. My ship tied up to this jetty between two freighters. I don’t recall from what flag they flew under.

    At the end of the jetty is a large trash heap or garbage dump. All the ships would dump their garbage on to this dump. On both sides of this jetty small sheds or hand built shelters where very poor and homeless people lived. These shelters were nothing more than wooden creates, corrugated metal sheets, and boards.

    Those who lived there were nearly naked and their clothing was nothing but dirty rags. Their obvious source of income was begging. It was hot and humid most of the time. The smell was awful bad and I remember smelling it while still in the channel heading to the port.

    When any ship including my own, wanted or needed to dump garbage or trash, it all to be taken to this huge trash heap at the end of the jetty. The people along the jetty would come out and follow the garbage detail as we carried it out and down the jetty to the garbage dump. A large following would be close by, and as soon as shit cans as we called them and emptied them out, we would have to get away quickly. The mob of humanity would jump into the heap and fight over everything they wanted. Mostly our discarded food and other things that were not need or wanted by us any more. We considered it junk, trash and or garbage. They on the other must have considered it valuable. Very sad to see how pitiful it was. These were the most poor people I have ever seen. Europeans and Americans have so good compared to them. Those people are born, and live their whole lives on this jetty, and die there. I wonder if it’s still like that today like it was over 50 years ago?

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