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“City Makers” – demanding their rights

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In the recent Assembly meeting of the Bihar Legislative Assembly whatever the decision has been taken, the Revenue Minister Shri Ram Surat Rai has announced that the government is going to conduct a drive to free all government land. In such an insensitive decision the axe has fallen on the communities’ that live on the periphery. The inhuman manner in which the houses of the communities have been razed to the ground is a gross violation of all human rights. Just an announcement made and no alternative offered. Its not a matter of just one family about 46 families had to go through this hardship. The pretext is the cleaning of the drain, due to floods in the city of Patna. Unfortunately the settlements of Sahgaadi Masjid and PESU have always been cooperative by removing their huts to facilitate the cleaning of drains. In spite of all this the Magistrate and those who come to conduct the operation are very insensitive to the struggles of the people. Cooked food, food grains, their wooden chowki (bed cum sitting place) are all destroyed. People are left to live under the open sky.

Enough is enough, under the leadership of Dilip Patel and Rukmani devi people from the different settlements decided to meet with the District Magistrate. It was so heartening to see the leadership emerging among the people; who seriously took to the streets. Who also have the wisdom to challenge the government? We worked with them the previous day and shared the need for them to take leadership. Within a day at least 500 people turned up; in spite of the heat they walked up to the office of the District Magistrate. They shouted out slogans, demanded to meet with the District Magistrate. After about half an hour a representatives of the District Magistrate came to dialogue with the people. News began to flash and police forces were deputed, women police force came forward. Yet people stood to their guns. Six representatives were invited who spent half an hour while the crowd waited outside the gate, protecting themselves from the scorching sun. the meeting with the Dy District Magistrate was fruitful and each representative was given the opportunity to place their case. After they returned they addressed the waiting community and after a successful program, people left for their homes; happy that they were heard.

It has been our delight that our people have come that far, they are not afraid of demanding their rights. The “City Makers from settlements” have won their battle as the assurance has been given.

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