Why do we love Delhi, yet not love Delhiites? A question that the Hindustan Times-C fore survey conducted earlier this month among 514 young respondents (18-35 years of age) raises.
Yes, 80 per cent of us confessed our love for Delhi. Many of us said we “somewhat love” the city, but larger numbers admitted to “very much” loving it. Yet, only two per cent feel Delhiites care for each other, or their city. Only six per cent vouch for our openness and tolerance. Just four per cent say Delhi’s people are warm and vivacious. A mere 12 per cent recognise its rich diversity.
This perception must change. And our campaign I Love Delhi hopes to contribute to that change.
Why do we love this city? There’s pride in Delhi’s past as 16 per cent of those who love Delhi say they do so because it has a “great sense of history”. Not surprising, given that it has been the capital of seven empires and one democracy. As for Delhi’s present, 23 per cent feel Delhi’s status as the country’s educational hub is its most endearing feature.
Delhi’s future? Our respondents seem to be voting for it to go the way it is, in speed and in style. The DND flyover is the city’s favourite drive. The Metro’s popularity as a transport option, despite its limited coverage, is already at 33 per cent. Obviously, Delhiites like the visible infrastructural changes that happened in the last decade.
A huge 53 per cent of the respondents associate the colour green, and greenery, with Delhi. Its lush springs, lazy winters, jogging in Nehru Park, hanging around in Dilli Haat, the majestic India Gate, say our respondents, are what make Delhi special, unlike any other Indian metro.
If only we liked our neighbours a bit more.This is where I Love Delhi begins. Over the coming weeks, we’ll bring you stories about Delhiites who care, dare, who add to Delhi’s spunk, and those who are the shapers of its new sensibilities. We’ll map the changes that have transformed the face of Delhi, as also changes that have altered the minds and mindsets of those who live here. We’ll celebrate Delhi’s diversity.
Because there are many more reasons to love Delhi. Some we will discover through the space of our campaign, and some we will create as we go along.