Lok Raj Sangathan, for several years, has been fighting for rights of the residents of working class colonies of East Delhi located at Shashi Garden – Shastri Mohalla, Jawahar Mohalla, Mahatma Gandhi Camp and Khoka-Patari Camp, etc. These include the problems of water supply, toilets, sanitation, security, better public transport, schools and other basic rights. Under this 'Struggle for Rights' campaign, the Lokraj samiti of these slum colonies organised a competition on 16th August for encouraging development of talent in youth and children followed by a public meeting.
The public meeting was organised in the Jawahar Mohalla of Shashi Garden. The park was decorated with banners having slogans like, "We are India, we are her masters; workers, peasants, women and youth!", "People must have a say in policy decisions", "Only one cure for corruption – Lok raj, lok raj!", "With the reigns of rule in our hands, we will end oppression and injustice!", "People must have the right to select candidates and recall their representatives", "Cure for our problems is Lok raj!", "To affirm our rights, be a part of Lokraj samitis!". In spite of sizzling heat, participants had reached the competition ground well before time. The program was organised in two sessions. There were quiz, essay-writing and drawing competitions in the first session in the morning. In these competitions, hundreds of boys and girls from 5th grade to graduates took part with great enthusiasm.
The quiz competition tested the knowledge of the children about the prominent events in our country and the world, about people who have made a difference in the society. The topics of the essay competition for Class VI to VIII children were, "My difficulties in getting educated", "I and my colony", "What can I do for the country?". For the IX and X standards students, the topics for the essay competition were, "Divide and rule", "How do I want to contribute to the society?", "Political changes and their effects". For class XI to college students, the topics included, "The game of percentage marks in entrance to the colleges", "How I want to contribute to the society?" and "What rights do we want?". The themes for the drawing competition for VI to VIII standard children were, "A market scene", "My colony" and "A scene of any game". The themes of Class IX and X students were, "A hockey match", "Scene of a festival" and "Scene of a sabzi mandi". For the oldest group, the themes included "Scene of children's park", "Scene of a railway station" and "Portrait of a revolutionary".
Torrential rains preceded the second part of the program – the public meeting. The whole ground was filled with water. In spite of this disruption, the participants and the activists of Lok Raj Sangathan remained firm on going through with the programme. After the rains subsided, Kaushal, a residents of Shashi Garden and an active youth member of LRS addressed the gathering. Welcoming everyone, he appreciated the creativity and consciousness of participating youth and children. He talked about how the struggles and programs under the 'Struggle for Rights' campaign was being carried out in different residential colonies of Delhi. He also appreciated the role of LRS in organising this program to encourage and bring awareness among the youth.
The All India President of LRS, Shri S Raghavan put forward his views in the meeting. He explained that the aim of LRS was to bring people to power and to build a new society in which people themselves will be the rulers. The youth have an important role in building the new society free from poverty, unemployment and communal violence. The creative, imaginative, far-sighted and enthusiastic response of the youth and children in the competitions today, makes us confident that our youth will be successful in the struggle for their rights and in building the new society.
A youth comrade Rupesh thanked the organisation for organising such a beautiful program in which hundreds of children participated in spite of heat, humidity and rains. He said the intellectual development is skewed now a days as the youth remain stuck to their mobiles. He requested LRS to continue to organise such competitions for the youth and children, which will highlight their talents. After this, the President of Naya Daur Party, Dr. Sanjeev Chhiber, Shri Arif of the Popular Front of India and a well-wisher, Dr. K K Arora addressed the meeting and gave away the prizes to the various winners.
LRS Delhi Secretary, Shri Birju Nayak concluded the meeting and thanked all the youth for making this a successful program. He called upon all to become active in the 'Struggle for Rights' campaign.