Delhi Violence Survivors Face Rain, Grief & Apathy in Relief Camps

The Quint visited the main camp run by the AAP government in Mustafabad’s Eidgah and spoke to several survivors.

2 min read

Video editor: Ashutosh Bhardwaj

People who were rendered homeless in Delhi violence are battling rain, grief and helplessness in relief camps. The Quint visited the main camp being run by the AAP government in Mustafabad’s Eidgah and spoke to several survivors.

With food, clothes, medical and legal aid, the survivors have found immediate yet temporary relief. Although scared to return to their homes that were broken, burned or looted in different parts of northeast Delhi, the survivors at Mustafabad’s camp hope to rebuild their lives soon.

The rain in the city, however, has made it difficult for those living in the tents set up at the relief camp.

“At least the displaced people have a place to stay which offers some form of dignity and safety. The issue, however, is that these have been set-up using tents.How long can people be expected to live in tents?”
Anjali Bhardwaj, Activist

The camp has been set up by the Delhi government’s Waqf Board but locals and volunteers keep the show running.

There are many help-desks where families can fill up forms for compensation.

“The Delhi government is also working to set up special help desks to make fresh documents and ID cards for the families who have lost their possessions and these desks will be set up within a day,” a government statement said.

“We are helping people make their documents and, at the same time, we are hearing their claims and working on their compensation. We are trying our best to reach out to an appropriate forum or authority so that these people can get relief.”
Simi Sara Varghese, Advocate, Supreme Court Bar Association

Mustafabad camp is one of the two functional camps set up by the AAP government. But even after almost two weeks, why has the AAP government not been able to provide more camps and rehabilitation centres for those displaced?

“We have two more places where we feel the need to set up a camp. But the area doesn’t have enough space to have a big camp. Even the camp at Mustafabad is in the Eidgah. It is inside a premise. For a big camp, we need safety too. If you see, police has not given any safety. These are the local volunteers that are helping us. So, if you bring so many people at a place you have to take measures in advance so that nothing goes wrong.”
Munish Kaushik, Member, Relief Camp Committee, Delhi Government  

While some hope to start their lives afresh, others are cynical they will ever be compensated. Nizamuddin lost his momo shop and his house in Shiv Vihar during the 25 February violence. He says, “I don’t know when normalcy would be restored. I have no clue when the government will help. Everybody comes, verifies our address and everything they can. They say they will give some money as compensation. But, let us see when we will get any help.”

“In 1984, when riots took placeI was working in Laxmi Nagar. People said compensation would be given. Victims of those riots still say they are yet to receive compensation. So, there is no hope in this situation as well.”
Nizamuddin, Displaced Shiv Vihar Resident

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