People from every nook and cranny of the country flocked to Ramlila Maidan on Sunday to extend their support to the 73-year-old anti-corruption crusader Anna Hazare.
Though the rain had been playing spoilsport for the past two days by keeping a number of people away from the protest site, Sunday saw more than 60,000 people gathering at the Ramlila Maidan. The venue was buzzing with excitement and energy with patriotic songs further motivating the crowd.
The past two days had seen only half the ground being made available to the organisers. On Sunday, however, the Ramlila Ground was utilised to its capacity.
This protest site has literally become a mini-India with people from all walks of life gathering to register their protest. Being a Sunday, the day saw a number of families with children, students, senior citizens and corporate professionals descending upon Ramlila Maidan in large numbers. From a two-year-old to an 80-year-old, all united on Sunday to fight corruption.
With more than 60,000 people inside the Ramlila Ground, Delhi Police more than doubled its security cover. From 1,500, the number of policemen was increased to 3,500. According to a survey by the special branch of the Delhi Police, more than 60,000 people are expected to gather at the site on Monday.
"For the past six days, I've been eager to join the movement but couldn't. Since it's Sunday, I seized the opportunity and came here. It is important for the educated masses to come out and support this cause as they are well aware of what is going on in the country. This man (Anna Hazare) is doing so much for the country and now it is our turn," said Praveen Shukla, who works with an MNC.
To ensure the heat does not deter people, IAC volunteers were busy distributing water packets to the protesters. But it was not only Ramlila Ground that was buzzing with energy, the stir spilled over to adjoining roads like Asaf Ali Marg, ITO, Deshbandhu Gupta Marg and Chelmsford Road.
"Greater youth support is required in this movement to ensure it doesn't fizzle out. School and college students should come out more actively to extend support to this movement against corruption," said Sanjana Mishra, a student.
Right from tempos and buses to motorcycles and cars — no mode of transport was left out by the protesters to register their dissent.