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Ground better prepared this time, say volunteers

delhi Updated: Dec 28, 2011 00:47 IST
Shaswati Das
Shaswati Das
Hindustan Times
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The arrangements at Ramlila Maidan were much better this time around when compared to the August protest.

There was a television screen that was broadcasting Anna's fast from Mumbai. Three gates had been made accessible to the public, of which one was set aside for the media.

"We have sealed off the media enclosure and kept only two gates open at the rear end of the ground for public use. So even if a larger group comes, we can handle things well," said Amit Saharan, an India Against Corruption volunteer.

The entire breadth of the ground was cordoned off with barricades and nets. There were 400 garbage bags all over the ground. Volunteers could be seen collecting stray bottles and water glasses — strewn on the ground — and throwing them in those bags. The carpets laid out across half the ground helped supporters endure the cold as they sat there.

But several people could be heard complaining about the makeshift toilets that had been erected for public use. Wooden planks segregated the compartments and flimsy plastic sheets were used to cover them, people said.

"It is shameful to have such shabby toilets for women. If the IAC has put in so much effort here, they should also have also ensured mobile toilets at the ground," said Usha Yadav, who had come from Vikaspuri.

Meanwhile, the IAC has also set up volunteer registration stalls for those who wish to contribute in the protest.

This time round, the medical camp saw no casualties and fewer patients. "In August, the weather was bad, so nearly 40,000 patients came to us for treatment through the 10 days of the fast. This time, due to better weather, people have come up with minor complaints," said Dr Vipin Mittal, a volunteer at the medical camp.