I know the picture is not great but I had to click it yesterday as I passed by the Nehru Place flyover. This is where I have seen for years families of beggars sleep under the bridge come rain, freeze of unbearable heat. This is the spot where I have see a little beggar girl
grow and learn the family trade: panhandling. This is where children have learnt to ask me for chocorate
- as they know I do not give money. This is where I ask myself why the powers that be at never gall
at the fact that beautiful children are not in school. This is where I feel helpless and hopeless every time I pass by as I cannot do anything but give a few biscuits and clothes. True I stop and look with my heart, look deep into the eyes of these forgotten children, but then as the lit turns green I move on feeling totally powerless, knowing that no one cares. I remember the way such citizens were treated when Delhi had to get a make over for the (in)famous Commonwealth Games. Off with their heads
said the then Queen of our city. It was estimated that there would be 3 million homeless after the games, 100 00 families displaced to beautify Delhi, 2000 children working as labour on CWG sites, 50 000 adult and 60 000 child beggars to be removed from the city for the 15 days of the games and parked in camps on the outskirts
So imagine my delight when I saw a bright red and blue shelter under the Nehru Place flyover that would house the beggars at night. Our new CM had promised to do something for the homeless and he did! And now I believe he will convert old buses
into shelters so that the homeless can at the least sleep properly.
This is goes far deeper than a few tents erected for good measure. This actually means that these people have been given the visibility no other Government ever did and I hope that this will go farther than shelter for the winter and translate into giving the very people that some found anathema to our city, the basic rights the Constitution gives them.
In this simple plastic shelter I saw HOPE for the first time, hope that things will change, hope that finally the poorest of the poor will get what is their due, that these children will find their way to schools and to better morrows.
The young new Government is trying to walk the talk so please let them do so. They may stumble along the way but they seem to be on the right path. They will make mistakes and I urge the media not to go ballistic each time one of them does something that is not quite what we are used to. Remember how fed we claim to be by corruption. Now that someone is trying to do something please help them do so or at least leave them alone.