Delhi pogrom: First relief camp set up in Mustafabad woefully inadequate; no govt role except providing tents

There are hardly eight toilets for more than 1,000 people at the camp leading to a sanitation crisis; food, water is in short supply even as any medical or legal support is conspicuous by its absence

Delhi pogrom: First relief camp set up in Mustafabad woefully inadequate; no govt role except providing tents
user

Ashlin Mathew

Eight days after violence broke out in parts of North-East Delhi between Khajuri and Seelampur, the first relief camp was set up at the Mustafabad Eidgah by Monday evening. The first relief camp has neither been set up by the Delhi government nor is it being monitored by them.

The relief camp is set up on the land owned by the Delhi Waqf Board and the tents were provided by the Delhi government. But, the food is being prepared by local volunteers and ration is being brought in by civil society groups. Additionally, Shiromani Akali Dal has sent a few trucks full of ration to the Mustafabad relief camp.

At the camp, there are more than 1,000 persons, 80 children, and the numbers are expected to grow as more people who have been given shelter in nearby areas such as Chaman Park head to this relief camp.

There are more than 10,000 people who have been displaced, but the maximum number that this camp can hold is 1,500. No other relief camps have been organised. Additionally, even at the Mustafabad relief camp, there are hardly eight toilets for more than 1,000 people at the camp leading to a sanitation crisis.

Delhi pogrom: First relief camp set up in Mustafabad woefully inadequate; no govt role except providing tents

“The government has not yet figured how to feed these people. One of our volunteers got a call from the DC office requesting food for 1,000 persons. There is a shortage of water too at the camp,” explained Rahul Roy, a human rights activist.

At the relief camp, there was no government agency or representative co-ordinating the relief or even helping people file complaints to ensure that they get compensation. In several cases, families had no clue that they had to do to fill a form to ensure that they were compensated for the violence. There were no facilitation desks or camps to help people obtain copies of official documents that have been destroyed in the protracted violence and arson.

“Moreover, the Delhi government has no rehabilitation plan for those whose homes have been destroyed by the armed Hindutva mobs. The government has not given a timeline by when people would get their compensation nor have any officials met all those who have been displaced as a result of the violence,” said Rahul Roy, a human rights activist.

There are no government-authorised doctors, child psychologists or gynaecologists at the camp. Clean clothes were also not being provided by the Delhi government, instead they were being supplied by NGOs and civil society groups to the affected persons. All the doctors on the site are from private hospitals.

The only Delhi government official present at the camp was Ranjana Prasad, who is a member of the Delhi Commission for the protection of Child Rights. “We are counting the number of children at the camp and will make a list of them. We will ensure to engage child psychologists at this camp. We will look for ways to engage the children at the camp. I will be back tomorrow with more resources,” said Prasad.

For all the latest India News, Follow India Section.

Published: 3 Mar 2020, 11:15 PM