Kya Hua Tera Vaada: This Delhi Colony is Fighting for Ration Cards

Kya Hua Tera Vaada: This Delhi Colony is Fighting for Ration Cards

My Report

Reporter: Mythreyee Ramesh

Video Editor: Vishal Kumar

In July 2018, three girls allegedly died of starvation in a three-storey building, located in Delhi’s Mandawali area. Soon after the incident, AAP leader and Delhi’s Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia visited the colony and promised immediate issuance of ration cards to the citizens – most of whom are migrants but residents of Delhi for years.

But almost eight months later, the residents of this building are still awaiting ration cards.

“If you look at ration shops, you'll see that people are standing in long lines. Just like they stand in hospitals for medicines. So these shops are closed for us, but open to everyone else. This is why the poor always remain poor,” says Ayesha Khatoon, whose family of five has been living in the same building for more than six years now.

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Most residents in the building claim that they have Aadhaar card, hold voter’s ID in Delhi, but have been running from pillar-to-post to obtain ration cards.

At least 30 families live in these windowless 8 by 4 feet rooms – with most of the men engaged in daily wage labour and women staying at home. While they claim that they try and feed their children three meals a day, holding a ration card would ease their burden.

“When the officials came, we told them, see we are poor people and our food comes from hard work. We have nothing else. We told them that we wanted ration cards as they would be useful to get some food.”
Sunita, Resident 

‘Need to Wait for Two More Years’

While the residents claim that they have been visiting the local body office, the response of the government officials has been standard – “Come after two years.”

“They say that 2014 work is going on, and since we requested for ration cards in 2018, it would take us another couple of years to get them. Sometimes, they say it will take three years.”
Sunita, Resident
“They told us that it won’t happen in the next two years. They are saying that they are working on 2016, 2017 documents. They say that it will take two to four years. One time, they just told us ‘no.’ They asked us to come after the elections.”
Mamta, Resident 

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‘Will Definitely Vote, But...’

Despite their disappointments, the colony citizens claim that they will cast their votes but that they would also want the elected representatives to be responsive to their needs.

“We will vote but we should also gain something from the elections. When I’m voting for them, they should also listen to us. They need to ask how we are doing, what our needs are. The rich people have been helped. But what about the poor?”
Ayesha Khatoon, Resident
“We won’t vote for people who don’t work for us. That’s all there is to it. Am I right? We will vote for those who work for our welfare.”
Mamta, Resident

The Lok Sabha elections will take place in Delhi on 12 May. Soon, there will be new elected representatives. But will these residents have to wait for two years to get something as basic as ration cards?

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