Behind The Beautiful Forevers Summary

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Behind The Beautiful Forevers Summary af Mind Map: Behind The Beautiful Forevers Summary

1. 1-Sentence-Summary:

1.1. Behind The Beautiful Forevers will make you more grateful for what you have, look for ways to tear down corruption in the world, and help the poor by sharing the experiences of people living in the Annawadi slum in India.

2. Favorite quote from the author:

2.1. "Much of what was said did not matter, and that much of what mattered could not be said." - Katherine Boo

3. 3 lessons:

3.1. Life in the Annawadi slums is dangerous, and they live without basic human rights.

3.1.1. Danger is everywhere in these areas.

3.1.1.1. This comes in the form of diseases, violence, and lack of protection from police, among other things.

3.1.2. Because the land that they live on is not a legal settlement, Annawadians don’t have any sewer and are forced to dump their waste into a nearby sewage lake.

3.1.2.1. Animals drink from the sewage waste and disease-ridden excrement all over, which gets the residents sick.

3.1.2.2. Not only this, but the waste lake also breeds mosquitos with malaria and diseased rats.

3.1.3. When they do get sick or injured, access to medicine is a huge problem, because even the healthcare system is corrupt.

3.1.3.1. Even when medicine should be covered by the state, hospitals charge the Annawadians and take advantage of their desperation.

3.1.4. Children of the slums are frequently hit by cars while crossing busy streets to get to school, and most often, the drivers do not even stop.

3.1.4.1. When a child dies, the police don’t even bother to investigate.

3.1.5. When a 15-year-old boy is killed, everyone around can see it was plainly murder.

3.1.5.1. The cops call it tuberculosis so they don’t have to investigate further.

3.1.6. In cases of utter desperation, sick children may be killed by their own parents because they know they have no way to pay for their care.

3.1.6.1. Others turn to suicide because they feel so trapped.

3.2. Bribes are needed for almost everything because the people live among corruption.

3.2.1. Corruption is also everywhere.

3.2.1.1. An example:

3.2.2. Though the people long to take part in the political process and vote, the government makes it hard for them.

3.2.2.1. This is because they are seen as criminals just for living in the slums.

3.2.2.2. The only way they can get a voter card is to bribe the officials.

3.2.3. The people know the police will only help them with bribes.

3.2.3.1. When one of the residents, Abdul, was arrested unlawfully for something he didn’t do, the police beat him and try to terrify him into taking out a loan to pay them huge bribes.

3.2.3.2. This is the only way he can avoid having the false charges filed against him.

3.3. Annawadians dream of a better life, but one small setback can devastate all they have worked for.

3.3.1. The Husain family has hopes and dreams of one day leaving the slum.

3.3.1.1. Through their garbage business, they are able to scrape together enough money to put a deposit down for a plot to build on a legal settlement.

3.3.1.2. People around them see their supposed wealth and become jealous, and one neighborhood argument is enough to ruin all they’ve worked for.

3.3.1.2.1. When they accidentally shake some rubble into their neighbor’s house by knocking into her brick wall, the mentally unstable woman claims her home is destroyed and they should compensate her.

3.3.2. Many people try to escape by getting an education, but even this is almost impossible.

3.3.2.1. A smart young lady named Manju studies hard and gets a job selling life insurance.

3.3.2.2. But though she does the training and gets exceptional grades, she struggles to make any money.

3.3.2.2.1. The people of Annawadi can’t afford life insurance, and anyone else refuses to do business with her because they consider her a slum girl.

3.3.3. The odds seem to be stacked against them, and very few can escape.

3.3.3.1. Boo tells us, “for every two people in Annawadi inching up, there was one in a catastrophic plunge.”

3.3.3.2. But this doesn’t stop them from having hope for their future.

4. Who would I recommend the Behind The Beautiful Forevers summary to?

4.1. The 48-year-old who enjoyed the movie Slumdog Millionaire, the 22-year-old who is sick of the corruption in the world and wants some motivation to find out how to make a difference, and anyone that wants some reasons to be more grateful for what they have.