The return of Delhi's unwanted residents
The city's unwanted, banished for the duration of the Games, are back. They were driven out of the city, left in a lurch and kept hidden to beautify the city. All this was done to paint a rosy picture for foreign guests who were in town for the Commonwealth Games. Neelam Pandey reports.delhi Updated: Oct 17, 2010 23:28 IST
The city's unwanted, banished for the duration of the Games, are back. They were driven out of the city, left in a lurch and kept hidden to beautify the city. All this was done to paint a rosy picture for foreign guests who were in town for the Commonwealth Games.
However, after the government forcefully removed illegal street vendors, beggars and even dogs, they are all slowly making their way back.
According to Friendicoes SECA (Society for Eradication of Cruelty to Animals), the dogs rounded up form various Games sites were temporarily relocated to a dog sterilisation centre at Ghazipur by them.
A total of 473 dogs were picked up from Games Village and other Games venues. Once at the Ghazipur sterilisation centre, each dog was given a token, with details of the area from where it was picked up. With the Games now over, the process of releasing them has begun, with over 70 of them having already been released.
"We have started releasing them but it is a long process and we have to follow rules. A total of 70 dogs have been relocated so far. Our drive will continue," said Gautam Barat, co-founder of Friendicoes SECA.
"There were a lot of complaints from the Games Village and other venues and so, MCD had no option but to remove them. But they kept coming back. We then decided to take care of them and relocate them temporarily," he added.
Also, vendors who had their sites near Lodhi Road, Thyagraj Stadium, Delhi University, Connaught Place, ITO and Vikas Marg, are making a comeback too.
"A number of legal vendors near Lodhi Colony had voluntarily offered to shut shop during the Games. Now that Games are over, they can come back," said a senior MCD official.
A number of illegal tea stall owners, chaat corners, snacks sellers, barbers, roadside eateries and hawkers operating without license have also started functioning once again.
Though the government has been claiming that beggars and homeless people were not removed from the city, none of them were visible on the streets during the Games.
"It was an exercise undertaken especially for the Games. Some of them have already started coming back; more will follow soon," said Paramjit Kaur, director, Ashraya Adhikar Abhiyan (AAA), an NGO associated with the rights of homeless people.
Dogs: As complaints from all the Commonwealth Games venues regarding stray dogs started pouring in, the MCD was asked to remove them.
Vendors: Most illegal vendors and roadside eateries were removed from the city in a bid to sanitise Delhi before Games.
Beggars: According to NGOs, beggars and homeless peoples were removed from the streets during the Games.