Tragedy of Illegal Settlement – Delhi, India

Bookmark this on Hatena Bookmark
Hatena Bookmark - Tragedy of Illegal Settlement – Delhi, India
Share on Facebook
Post to Google Buzz
Bookmark this on Yahoo Bookmark
Bookmark this on Livedoor Clip
Share on FriendFeed
[`tweetmeme` not found]

“A bulldozer came and crashed all the houses here. They even destroyed the public toilet. Nothing was left”

Ram Ratan, who has been living in this community for about 30 years, told me helplessly. About 50 houses in the block known as Sonia Gandhi Nagar were demolished in one morning in mid-April. It was one of hundreds of unauthorized colonies in India’s capital city Delhi.

Every year, tens thousands of migrants like Ratan, who hails from Rajasthan, come to large cities like Delhi and Mumbai to look for jobs. Often with no money to rent a proper room or house, they have no choice but to settle down in one of these cheap illegal colonies. Without proper documents or ownership, they become the first target when redevelopment happens. Sonia Gandhi Nagar had to be destroyed due to a city project to widen the road in front.

The strange thing is that Ratan and many other residents had been issued IDs and voting cards by the city in which their address was clearly stated as Sonia Gandhi Nagar. This kind of contradiction is not unusual in ‘contradiction-filled’ India but it’s not a joke for those who lost their houses.

When I visited the flattened piece of land, a small baby was sleeping on a cot and flies were buzzing all around. As a father of a baby of about the same age, it was heartbreaking and tough to observe. Women and children were still picking up bricks and steel rods from the rubble, hoping to use them for their next house. Although no one knows when and where those will be.










no comments

Your email is never published or shared. Required fields are marked *



There was an error submitting your comment. Please try again.