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Bawana votes to eradicate drug menace again

Bawana went to polls on Wednesday after the area MLA Ved Parkash switched sides to the BJP earlier this year.

delhi Updated: Aug 23, 2017 22:49 IST
bawana,bawana bypoll,delhi
Bawana went to polls on Wednesday after the area MLA Ved Parkash switched sides to the BJP earlier this year. (Sushil Kumar/HT PHOTO)

The eyes of Zamila Begum, 55, welled up as she recounted the death of her two sons aged 18 and 20 years. The brothers were addicted to drugs and had died nearly three years ago due to overdose.

“While my two sons Kamal and Zamal died three years ago because of drug addiction, my youngest son Amal 17, had also taken to drugs. I somehow managed to get him admitted in a rehab centre at Begampur,” Zamila told Hindustan Times while peeping out of her makeshift shop at JJ cluster in Bawana in the northwestern fringes of Delhi.

Every month, Zamila — who lost her husband a long time ago and runs a makeshift shop — has to shell out Rs 4,500 as fee of the rehab centre, apart from paying the fees for her two school-going daughters.

More than the usual demands of bijli, sadak and paani, residents of JJ cluster in Bawana on Wednesday said that they wanted their next leader to weed out the drug menace from their society, which was claiming the lives of youngsters every year. Locals claimed that a 14-year-old boy had died because of the same reason a few weeks ago.

“The local police, politicians and the government know everything. But nothing is done. Most of the children in this cluster are drug addicts and some took to addiction when they were just eight years old,” said Mohammad Dawood, a local resident.

In the evening, children and youngsters could be seen sneaking up in dark alleys in groups or even alone. You can see them carrying a piece of cloth in their hand and sometimes close to their nose. Locals said that the children start with sniffing glues and solvents before graduating to cannabis and alcohol. They ultimately end up taking smack and heroin.

“Before an election, politicians flock to our cluster with folded hands and we tell them our problem. They promise to act against the menace if they win and vanish after the elections are over,” said Nazeeb Ali, a local resident walking towards the polling booth.

Bawana went to polls on Wednesday after the area MLA Ved Parkash switched sides to the BJP earlier this year.

First Published: Aug 23, 2017 22:48 IST