Volunteers rejoice after sweet success

  • Karn Pratap Singh and Rajat Arora, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
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  • Updated: Aug 29, 2011 00:44 IST

A backstage party began at Ramlila Maidan the moment social activist Anna Hazare broke his fast on Sunday with honey and coconut water.

Dancing to drumbeats, volunteers made the backstage look like a carnival site. Colours were sprayed and cakes were cut as television crews poured in for sound bytes.

The volunteers, who put in long hours and had to make do with minimum resources to manage the mammoth protest, finally had a moment to cheer. Faces smeared with cake, the volunteers beamed, soaking in the sense of victory.

"I would say it's a 25% victory. But I am happy that finally, the government agreed to all our demands. All these volunteers helped us in building this massive movement. This is big achievement for us," said Akhil Gogoi, an RTI activist and member of Team Anna. Shazia Ilmi, a former anchor with a Hindi news channel who was instrumental in building the movement through television, was seen congratulating the volunteers.

Pratham Singh, a Delhi university student who skipped classes to volunteer for the cause, said: "We haven't seen anything of this magnitude happening in India. We are fortunate that we contributed our bit. It's still not the time to celebrate. A lot is pending."

The team of 300 volunteers went back to work when the crowd swamped the backstage.

"The celebrations here were short-lived as we got back to work. We'll be waiting for the Jan Lokpal Bill to pass through Parliament. That will be right time for celebrations," said Sharad Sharma, a volunteer.


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