Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Visiting Ejipura.....

Once i had read about the demolition drive in Ejipura, i wanted to visit the site and offer some kind of help within my capacity. However, my work schedule prevented me from doing this. Eventually on 26th January i managed to get to the site.

By then, the whole place was razed down by bulldozers. Some families took shelter under the huge concrete sewage pipes at the site, some of them were loading their belongings to a goods-auto but was unclear where they will head to. Some elderly people who had no where to go and had pets that they weren't keen to leave behind moved on to the footpath across the road.

On the whole, displaced people and animals were fighting a lost battle against a group of policemen and ruffians employed by the builder who is going to develop the site. Reports suggests that on 26th morning, the prospective builder distributed 5000 Rs to the families who got displaced but the amount in offering reduced to a half by afternoon and many families that i met at the site did not get any money.

Very few from the civil society was around. Me, a friend, couple of others who were supplying tea to the displaced families, a girl who was frantically talking on phone seeking help and some foreigners were the only people who were present there.

The scene turned tense when someone who had a camera started clicking pictures. Ruffians pounced upon him and resisted his attempts at clicking pictures, policemen also lined up behind the ruffians. Some women who were feeling bitter about the forceful eviction (rightly so) started some last ditch arguments. While all this was unfolding, the bulldozers relentlessly scooped the debris and deposited it at the periphery of the site creating a mud wall.

After spending an hour or so, i felt completely drained seeing the helpless people, kids and animals. I was also very jittery as ruffians and policemen hovered around there. I bid good bye to my friend and got back. 

No comments: