People of Delhi cutting across party lines organised in Lok Raj Samiti’s have stepped up their struggle for their basic right of civic amenities which they have been deprived of by successive governments. People living in 7 workers’ residential colonies in Delhi – Madanpur Khadar, Sanjay Colony in Okhla, Jasola, Indira Kalyan Vihar, Transit Camp Kalkaji, Sardar Colony Rohini and Shashi Garden near Patpargunj organised in lok Raj Samiti’s have submitted a join memorandum to the government of Delhi.
The memorandum of demands was drawn up through discussion with people in these localities and who were well aware of the problem they faced. A meeting of activists to share the status of this memorandum and to plan for the future course of action was held in South Delhi, which was attended by representatives and activists of these lok raj samiti’s, and member and supporters of Lok Raj Sangathan. Bijju Nayak, Secretary of Delhi Council of Lok Raj Sangathan, read out the memorandum submitted to the Chief Minister on June 5, addressing specific problems of each locality including education, health, water, sanitation, public transport, etc. He further informed that the memorandum has been forwarded by the government to five departments that deal with these issues including the MCD, the Delhi Jal Board, the Delhi Transport Corporation, the department of health and family welfare, the department of education, etc. Now the challenge it to step up the pressure and not let go until these demands are fulfilled.
Millions of working people living in slums and resettlement colonies spread out all across Delhi live under extreme inhuman condition. The common problem across all the colonies includes lack of clean drinking water and regular water supply, forcing them to spend long hours at the water tanker, in order to get just a few buckets of water for the family’s daily needs; lack of toilets, forcing residents to defecate in the open; open drains causing grave health hazards; lack of government dispensaries and primary health centres; lack of schools with adequate teachers, infrastructure and other facilities; absence recreation centres for the youth; inadequate and infrequent public bus transport, etc. This is compounded by complete apathy by the administration and the government, which refuses to take any action to overcome these problems. However these are not insurmountable problem that cannot be solved. Those who face the problem also know how to solve them, and to do so they need power in their hands. The meeting concluded that the work of samiti does not end with submission of memorandum and made plan to step up the struggle through a sustained campaign, and mass mobilisation of people.
Addressing the meeting Comrade Prakash Rao, Convenor of Lok Raj Sangathan, stressed that it is important to mobilise people, irrespective of their party affiliations, in order to find solutions to our problems that harmonise the interests of all concerned, since the interest and concerns of all working people are the same, and but the authorities and various political parties divide them on the basis of caste, religion, etc and pit the against each other and use them as their vote banks. Every kind of diversion is being created through media, to divert our attention and hide the real source of our problems. For example, the media gave a lot of publicity to the launch of the "Swachh Bharat" campaign of the central government, but deny the safai karmacharis even their wages for many months and are deprive of even the most basic tools for performing the jobs.
The President of Lok Raj Sangathan, Shri S. Raghavan also called on the participants to work together with other organisations working in the interests of the people, and to actively organise people in each area, to force the Delhi government to attend to these problems, and find solution.
The second session of the meeting was dedicated to making concrete plan for each area. The participants were organised in groups to plan for publicity, mobilisation, and logistics over the next few months. All means are to be deployed to carry out the campaign, including social media like facebook, web, sms, miking, jingles, door to door campaign, street corner meetings, street plays, poster, banners, leaflets, contacting and mobilising local newspapers and journalists, contacting and mobilising other organisations, and so on. The highlight of the meeting was huge participation by young boys and girls from these localities who enthusiastically took initiative, gave ideas and made plans for the campaign. In each locality the campaign will be tailored to the local needs as reflected in the memorandum, however there will be a common thread that will bind it together and make it a force that the authorities cannot ignore.