A pandal to accommodate 40,000 supporters, unlimited servings of daal, rice, poori and aalu subzi, hundreds of pouches and glasses of packaged water for the supporters and bottles for the core group — elaborate arrangements were seen at the Ramlila Ground where social activist Anna Hazare continued his fast after coming out of Tihar on Friday.
Volunteers of India Against Corruption (IAC) — the group running the campaign for Jan Lokpal Bill — ensured that thousands of Anna supporters did not go without food and water.
"We are not accepting any money from any other group for this purpose. The IAC is paying for it," said Ram Ashray, a member of IAC.
Several groups have voluntarily turned up at the Ramlila Ground to provide food to supporters. "We have so far provided food to more than 12,000 people and it will continue till midnight," said Deepak Bhatnagar of Amarnath Yatra Sewa trust, one of the groups that provided food to Anna supporters.
He added that it was a voluntary gesture and they were not charging the IAC anything.
However, tents, carpets, loud speakers, music system, fans, halogen lights and tables and chairs in front of the permanent stage were hired by the organisers from local tent houses.
The rent for hiring Ramlila Ground — Rs 5,000 a day — is being paid by the IAC along with one time charges of Rs 1,000 as sanitation fee and Rs 5,500 as security deposit. Sources said IAC member Neeraj Kumar has deposited Rs 84,000 to hire Ramlila Grounds.
But where is the money coming from?
"It is entirely coming from public donations. We are accepting cash donations and giving them proper receipts," said Manish Sisodia, a member of IAC core team.
A counter has been set up near the information centre at one of the entry gates to the Ramlila ground. Anybody and everybody giving donation, ranging from Rs 51 to Rs 1,001 and a little more, is duly issued a receipt in the name of Public Cause Research Foundation (PCRF), an NGO, currently acting as the secretariat for IAC.
The weekend is likely to see a heavy spell of the monsoon in several parts of the city, with maximum temperatures remaining largely between 33-34 degrees Celsius on Saturday and Sunday, while minimum temperatures will range between 26 and 27 degrees Celsius.