Sitting on a pavement, which is also her home, in front of a closed shop in gali number 42 of Beadon Pura, a backlane of the crowded Karol Bagh market, Basanti Devi (39) wonders how life would have been had her husband been alive.
Hardly a 200m long lane housing wholesale shops, it saw the worst when nine of its residents lost their lives in the 2008 serial blasts.
September 13 marked the third anniversary of the fateful day and the residents organised a hawan in remembrance of the victims. As many as nine families — all belonging to a nomad community who have been living on pavements
since ages, with only plastic sheets to save them from the elements — lost their sole earning members in the 2008 blast.
Future is bleak as whatever they got in compensation from the Government has already been spent.
“We used it (the compensation money) to get our children married. After the death of my husband, I managed to get three out of my four children married. But now, I have no money for myself and for my fourth daughter,” said Devi.
The story is same for other victims as well. Saroj Rani, a widow, was also dependent on her son Raju, till the 2008 blast changed her life. “Minutes before the blast, he had tea with us and said he would return in five minutes. But he never did.
Now, we don’t have any earning member. Raju’s wife and his two-year-old son are with us. The Government should think of giving us a job,” said Rani.
Government had given Rs 3 lakh to Raju’s son in form of fixed deposit which he would get once he turns 18. “It is of no use as we cannot send him to school due to lack of money,” added Rani.
The family members of the victims claim that they have been harassed by the police on the name of security. “We don’t have any houses to live in and footpath is our only household. But from the past few days, the police are not allowing us to sleep here, saying that it is a security hazard,” said Devi.