A public meeting was organised on 6th September 2015 at the resettlement colony of Madanpur Khader to discuss the issue of struggle for people’s rights. The meeting was organised by the Lok Raj Samiti of the resettlement Madanpur Khader colony. The purpose of the meeting was to update the residents of the colony with the status of the campaign for rights and to inspire them to join the same.
It should be noted that this colony was established some 15 years ago, as a resettlement colony for people who had been evicted from various slum colonies of South Delhi. At that time, the road to reach the colony was in a very bad condition, and basic facilities such as water and sanitation, schools, health centres, etc., were non-existent. The residents had to face a lot of problems in such a situation. Residents of the colony who were working as domestic workers in various South Delhi homes found it impossible to reach their work on time. Many of them were forced to quit these jobs and start searching for new ones. Many youth, boys and girls, had to give up their formal education. Denied education, livelihood and transportation, many of the youth fell into bad habits like drug addiction and so on. Many of these problems continue to haunt the residents.
In these conditions, Lok Raj Sangathan (LRS) had begun organising the residents to struggle for their rights. LRS has been explaining to the residents that we have to get organised and struggle for the solution to our problems that we cannot sit quietly and depend on the government to do something because these governments work only for the capitalists and not for the workers and toilers. In just a few years, samitis of LRS were established that advanced the struggle for rights. The residents of Khadar have taken out many demonstrations and waged many struggles under the LRS banner for cleanliness of their surroundings, arrangement of public toilets, water and power supply, schools, dispensary, laying of roads and for bus and other means of transportation. LRS has conducted many sports and arts competitions for the youth and children of the colonies, and held many meetings in the course of building the unity of the residents and increasing their political consciousness.
It was in this connection that the LR samiti submitted a demand to Delhi’s Chief Minister on 5th June, wherein all the problems of the residents were presented and prompt action by the government to solve the same was demanded.
This meeting of 6th September was held to advance this struggle. The meeting began with a song from Prem Singh Chauhan, a social worker of the area. The meeting was presided over by Iqklaq, a member of the samiti. LRS activist and president of the LR Samiti of Madanpur Khader, Santosh Kumar emphasised that if we want to fulfil our rights and if we want to realise a better life for ourselves and the future generations, we have to organise ourselves in Lok Raj Samitis and advance the struggle for our rights. Change in governments do not change the outlook of the state-administration towards workers. This is our bitter experience. So whichever government comes to power, we will not depend upon the government or the administration for our well-being. We must advance our struggle based on our own strength.
Local residents related their problems and expressed their anger with the government and state administration. Even today, the water is not potable, there is no arrangement for toilets, there are no sewer lines, there is no proper arrangement for commuting. The condition of the roads are so bad that you cannot even walk on them; using vehicles is out of the question. Schools do not have sufficient teachers for the number of children, garbage is lying around in the open, the gutters are choked. They gave a call to unite and organise for struggle.
Many speakers addressed the meeting. Among them were, Rajkapoor – local youth activist, Sonu – secretary of Lok Raj samiti, Sucharita – member of LRS’ All-India Council, Nashiruddin – Secretary of South Delhi SDPI, Mohd. Shaheed – leader of Muslim United Front, Jawahar and Jogendra Shahni – local social activist, Renu – Purogami Mahila Sangathan. In conclusion, Birju Nayak, Secretary Lok Raj Sangathan’s Delhi Council called on all to advance the struggle.