Amina Ibrahim, 35, a fisherwoman was waiting for Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader Arvind Kejriwal from the morning on Thursday. So were Sakina Kasim, Abu Mushtaq and a few hundred others.
For this fishing community of 850 families, at Bhadreshwar village near Mundra port town in Gujarat, that was fighting hard to save their only means of living in the face of rapid industrialisation, news of the arrival of a former chief minister was hard to believe.
The community, after all, had done everything—from petitioning their chief minister Narendra Modi to reaching out to the environment ministry at the Centre—to come and hear them out but to no avail.
While the gathering was aware that Kejriwal was not in any position to help them, they still waited with a glimmer of hope in their eyes.
This anti-corruption campaigner, they had heard, had dared to take on the powerful Adani group as well as their chief minister, the duo they hold responsible for their miseries.
The Adani group, they said, had carried out large-scale destruction of mangroves and dredging while building the port, leading to a big fall in theirfish catch.
Modi had turned a blind eye to their pleas for basic infrastructure in the area.
As Kejriwal’s convoy moved into the village, the crowd went into frenzy. He listened to them and took notes.
While he did not make any promise, he said he would speak about their problems at his rally in Ahmedabad on Saturday.