Lot of despair amid some hope

As janta darbar turned chaotic, some could not submit complaints

 Many groups of petitioners came to the Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s first janta darbar at the Delhi Secretariat in a hope to be heard, some waited for long to meet Kejriwal. 

Scores of Imams from Delhi Wakf Board came to demand salaries, maintenance for widows, and wages for servants. 

“According to the new law, our salaries would stop after two months. The Wakf Board doesn’t earn revenues because the time period for the lease has expired,” said Maulana Hazrat Ali Mazahiri who led the group. 

He said that the previous government had promised Rs 2 crore for the Wakf Board. “We met Kejriwal before as well and he had promised help. We plan to meet him today and give him our application,” Mazahiri said, pointing out that they have an appointment. 

Regularisation of jobs

Employees of the power companies in Delhi came in large numbers to demand permanent employees’ contract. Another group from two public hospitals in Delhi went to an agitation mode. They demanded the government to reinstate 80 hospital employees who were sacked.

Kejriwal’s janta darbar, which was scheduled between 9:30 am and 11:30 am, was teeming with people. Kejriwal had to leave the darbar soon after fearing a stampede. The cabinet ministers too were surrounded with the petitioners, who were anxious for their turn, while some had an emotional outburst.

Around 11:30 am, the cabinet ministers left, but their desks continued to collect the applications for close to an hour. 

Despite that, not many could submit their complaints.  

Two or three men led a group of around 20 tribal women who worked as domestic help. Those men ran after the car of Delhi Labour Minister Girish Soni while he was leaving the secretariat, however, they failed to stop him.

Police harassment

Those women complained of harassment from NGO workers and police who allegedly booked many for being child labourers. A women named Prabha Devi was called forward to tell her story of police harassment, another women complained about bribery. 

The group called for laws regulating the work of domestic helps. “These are the same women who work in Chief Ministers’ and commissioners’ houses, we should at least be heard,” one of the men said.

Another group of Dailt youngsters, under the banner of Bahujan Sena, was there to protest and not to sumbit its petitions. Kumar Vivek Gautam, the group’s leader said Kejriwal’s resolution letter is full of lies and called for a debate at Ramlila Maidan, where he was sworn in as the Chief Minister.

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