The area is a paradox of sorts for most Delhiites. It has a district court, a number of private and government medical facilities, several public schools, and the relatively recent addition: a Metro station.
This tongue twister of an area — Karkardooma — in Delhi’s eastern fringe has always puzzled people with its confounding origin.
There is a Karkari More nearby and interestingly, there is a Karkari road too, which should ideally lead to a ‘Karkari village’ or a ‘Karkari colony’. The newly urbanised Karkardooma was earlier known as ‘Karkar Dooman’ as shown in an old Delhi map of 1912 but was always called ‘Karkari’ in popular usage.
Gajendra Singh, a shopkeeper, said, “Imagine the area about 150 years ago. There was a twin Karkari village, just across the border in today’s Uttar Pradesh. This Karkari was inhabited by people belonging to ‘dom’ or ‘dum’ community so the name ‘Karkar Dooma’ evolved.”
Things started changing after 1964, when Delhi Development Authority (DDA) acquired land for development. Till then, it was a rustic settlement of about 300 houses surrounded by agricultural land dotted with large number of wells and trees.
“The urbanisation process did not stop with just half built and kutcha houses of the village changing into fully built houses. Traditional ways of life including the institutions of ‘numerdar’ and ‘pradhanji’ (heads) too have changed,” reminisces Hari Kishan, 75.
The railway line towards Ghaziabad via Anand Vihar came around 1964 but the landscape changed rapidly after 1970 when the planned colonies started sprawling. Today, with the Metro station occupying prominent place, people tend to forget its original namesake.