By Saiyed Danish, TwoCircles.net,
New Delhi: It takes a simple visit to the neglected, unhygienic and disease-prone localities in Madanpur Khadar area inhabited by the people of Valmiki Samaj which forms the lowest rung of the society to realise the neglect of the state machinery.
Their main occupation is in housing sector. Most of them are employed in plush housing societies as domestic help, sweepers, running errands, watchmen and sewer cleaners. The condition of their dwelling place is an awful sight for any one of us more fortunate people.
“This is a dry sewer pipe kept here for years. Some officials came back then and said they will install it to help us drain our wastes but no one came,” says Reena, a resident who works for MCD.
“We are considering not voting this time as no leader has visited our place because we are left-over people in the society,” complains Sonu who works in the Sarita Vihar as domestic help.
“We have arranged everything ourselves. We don’t have ration cards and no politician helped us with that. Whenever we go to ask for the procedures for getting ration cards issued they shoo us away,” he further adds.
Since they have no drainage system, the sewers which they have made themselves are filled with both garbage and human waste. They live at the bank of the Madanpur Khadar canal which runs alongside the colonies hosting Gujjars, Jats and Valmikis.
“We dug a sewer in the mud hoping that we could drain the waste in the canal but MCD people came and filled it with mud without lending an ear to any of our problems,” said Reena.
Lack of proper toilets forced them make rickety makeshift toilets. “We made the toilets for our mothers and sisters so that at least they don’t have to squat around this place like we do,” says Sonu.
As evening approaches, the mosquitos begin circling around the dirt and sit on the faces of the children with the promises of mosquito borne diseases. The toilets are made up of tin sheets tied together with ropes. “Still there is no privacy since the toilets don’t have roofs,” he said.
“Even the MCD doesn’t listen to us. We have sent 8 applications in the past few months but never received a replying letter,” adds another person.
Apart from that they are worried that their livelihood might soon be snatched from them as the housing societies they work at. “The authorities say that we are not required anymore for work as they bringing new people. We are going to protest against it soon and demand our rights,” said Saagar, who works in the parking lots of Sarita Vihar.
The problems of Madanpur Khader is doubled as it falls within the Okhla constituency, comrpsing of 60 % Muslims, mainly in that Jamia Nagar area of Batla House, Zakir Nagar, Okhla Vihar and Abul Fazal Enclave. Politics surrounding the rhetoric of Muslims leave little space for the most downtrodden section of the society.
When TCN spoke to Okhla MLA Asif Mohammad, who now has joined Congress party on whose ticket he is contesting this time, said, “Delhi government has sanctioned Rs. 1.2 crore sewer line project for Madanpur Khadar area and it will be inaugurated when I will visit there.”
When asked whether they will prefer Brahma Singh, who is a candidate from Bahujan Samaj Party which has clenched power three times in UP championing the cause of poor, backward caste and Dalits, the disenchanted voters of the Valimiki Samaj said that even he did not pay any visit there.
“He only got Gujjars’ and Chauhans’ work done but not ours,” said an incensed Babita, a housewife in the colony.