Chandigarh

A slum area in Chandigarh with no basic facilities

Punjab News Express/ Y.S.Rana
CHANDIGARH: There is a place of union territory Chandigarh where RTE has not reached so far. For them Right to Education (RTE) like a bundle of raddis to sell for a few coins.

A survey conducted by Ishmeet Singh, a law student of Panjab University and ParaLegal Volunteer (PLV) with an NGO, the Trust Group in Shastri Nagar slums under Manimajra has found startling revealation. He said that not more than five per cent children go to school. The slum has over 550 jhugis having population of more than 4000 living in apathy and neglect. Sandwiched between a farmer and the Chandigarh Administration forced to live in such conditions.

At what point does eliminating a choice become a neccesity. The answer lies in a corner of City Beautiful where people on the lowest rung of economic ladder ask-whether government's facilities are really meant for them. The area was a picture of apathy, inefficiency and neglect.

It seems in the din of digital India, basic necessities have been forgotten. While the babus of civic authorities are 'busy' dwellers are reeling under inhumane conditions, burgeoning population, nil drinking water, healthcare, non-existence of toilets and sewage.

They are all either labourer or 'kabaris' collected waste all over the area and sold it to Hazi on daily basis who sold the waste further. One may find big mounds of empty plastic bottles, waste materials of every type which has not been lifted since long and stinking.

While talking to Mohamad Salim Hazi, who is Bahujan Smaj Party (BSP) minority cell president told Daily Post that it came up over 10 bighas agricultural land of a farmer who had won the case in the Apex Court. So the Administration was not providing basic amenities to the slum. They have no provision of drinking water, health, education. Water continues to haunt them in absence of proper water supply. "We bring drinking water from Kishangarh, Railway station or Manimajra, says and adds only 10-15 children go to school from here." Slum dwellers said that at the time of admission of their wards, school authorities demanded proof of bona fide of Chandigarh. Most of the children do not have birth certificates and they do not know where to go get birth certificates, says Kamla.

Mr Hazi further stated that they paid Rs 42,000 per month to the farmer in payment of rent and Rs 1000 was increased annually in the rent. He added that if they raised voice for civic amenities, they would have been asked by the farmer to vacate the land. Notably, Chandigarh Administration has initiated action against use of agricultural land for commercial purpose.

One may find small children made a junked car as play ground. Stagnate water stinks all the day.They pay Rs 42,000 as rent to the farmer annually with an increase of Rs 1000 per year in the rent.

Will the central government's claim to have a roof to homeless by 2022 realize in such a scenerio?

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