Located along the railway tracks in North Delhi, a large area near Shakur Basti are dotted with small hutments – presenting a sorry state of affair. One has to walk carefully through garbage dumped on roads to reach residents, mostly migrant labourers from Uttar Pradesh, who live in an appalling condition, especially at a time when the national Capital is stung by dengue and chikungunya virus.
Over 2,000 families living here share a similar plight. All have the same story to narrate about a loved one suffering from either dengue or chikungunya.
Sitting barely a few metres away from huge piles of garbage, residents said they lived in an apathetic condition and the authorities concerned had turned a blind eye to their woes. “We don’t even get clean water to drink, then what to talk about fogging and medical facilities,” said a resident.
According to village pradhan Rajender Kumar, the area has already witnessed three deaths due to dengue. While Anarkali, a mother of three, lost her a four-day-old boy to dengue, over 300 families have already left for their native places to avail cheaper treatment.
Radhe, whose 10-year-old daughter got diagnosed with dengue, left for his village on September 12. In a telephonic conversation with Millennium Post, Radhe, who works as a labourer, said he had no other option than return to his village due to exorbitant medical cost. “My 10-year-old daughter Bitti was suffering from high fever. Doctors at the Bhagwan Mahavir Hospital said that she was suffering from dengue. As the cost of treatment is extremely high here, I decided to leave Delhi with my family and get Bitti treated at my native village in UP,” said Radhe.
However, many like Anarkali are left with no other option but going to private doctors.
“I lost my four-day-old child to dengue on September 17. I took him to a private clinic in Zakhira, but doctors said that it was too late. There is only one government hospital in the area -- Bhagwan Mahavir Hospital -- and that too is 5km away. There was a lot of rush there,” said Anarkali.
Many like Radhe and Anarkali earn their livelihood by making silbatta (a type of grinding stone) and stitching sacks used to store cement.