By Rhythm Sachdeva:
‘Mai sudhar bhi jaun, par kiske liye?’ Asks Raju, a drug addict living in the streets of Connaught Place.
On my 19th birthday, I decided to donate a dozen quilts among the people who live on streets. My happiness turned into tears the moment I faced the reality at close quarters. I could not get the time to distribute. They were simply being snatched. Snatched by a three year old girl from one end and an elderly woman from the other. The incident had shaken me from within and probably that day I realized the actual plight of those who live on streets.
Such people who come to Delhi in the hope of a better future end up at railway stations, under Nehru Place flyover, Connaught Place and many such places in the city. And the conditions in which these unfortunate people spend their lives is simply heart wrenching. The biggest question is to whom do they belong? Promises of different political parties have not made any difference to their lives.
They spend their entire lives struggling, for shelter and for the most basic necessities like food. They continue to drag this unwanted and unforgiving life from generation to generation. Education or access to basic health facility is no question in such circumstances. Consequently, they suffer from numerous diseases and are malnourished.
What makes the situation even worse isÂ that they fall into the trap of drug abuse. Men, under a filthy grey shroud, lying beside the pillars or on the roads is a common view at Connaught Place. Their addiction is so prevalent that they can survive without food but a day without a dose is impossible. These addicts are often ready to even murder a person for a mere hundred rupee note. Women and young girls become an easy prey for the traffickers, and sometimes are even willingly involved in flesh trade just to earn a living.
Now, the question is, what can you do? You can take a few hours out of your schedule and teach one of the kids who live on streets. Be responsible enough to inquire in case a regular kid at your house’s nearest traffic signalÂ goes missing. Call your nearest rehabilitation centre and inform them about the drug addicts of your area. ThrowingÂ some change occasionally into their laps is no way out from this vicious circle of poverty and nightmarish life. We have to take responsibilityÂ collectively and make sure that this profession of begging is eradicated from its roots.