Week long ‘slum festival’ starts in Delhi
Deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia said it was the government’s duty to ensure that everyone leads a dignified life
NEW DELHI: Deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia on Monday opened a weeklong Delhi slum festival – a series of events aimed at sensitising the public about homelessness, recognising the contribution of the homeless in the national Capital and felicitating them.
Sisodia said the festival will help in recognising the talent of the children living in shelters and slums.
Like Nisar Ahmad, a 20-year-old athlete who was felicitated for excellence in sports at the event in Sarai Kale Khan, said he participated in Youth Olympic Games in Argentina in 2018 and won several medals in sprinting. “My father is a car driver and my mother is a domestic worker. My journey has been very tough and I even have to struggle for diet and basic sports kits,” said Ahmad, who grew up in Bada Bagh slum near Azadpur.
Nisar Ahmad won a gold medal in Grand Prix in 2021 at Jawaharlal Nehru stadium in sprinting.
A 25-year-old man, Mangilal, who spent his nights at a shelter in Shalimar Bagh, was felicitated for academic excellence for qualifying the Staff Selection Commission exam in August 2022.
A 16-year-old girl, Kiran, was felicitated for securing 79% marks in class 10.
“Our Constitution provided everyone with the fundamental right to have a dignified life and it is our duty as government to ensure this. Delhi government through DUSIB is making efforts to reach out to all people who have been deprived of basic needs and help people have a better life in Delhi,” Manish Sisodia said at the event.
The festival has been organised by Delhi Urban Shelter Improvement Board (DUSIB).
DUSIB chief executive officer K Mahesh said the slum festival has been organised on the occasion of ‘World Homeless Day’ (October 10) under activities will be held through the week.
“The purpose is to highlight and mainstream homelessness as an issue... Delhi has a robust homeless shelter mechanism. There will be further steps that will be taken to improve the condition for homeless, according to their needs to improve their lives,” Mahesh added.
The organisers also screened films such as ‘Slumdog Millionaire’ and ‘Bombay-Our City’, and had children participate in poem recitals and short plays.
More such events will follow at some DUSIB shelters and community centres in slums, Basti Vikas Kendras, during the week, Mahesh added.