Leprosy patients, elders fear early eviction from Kathputli Colony

Leprosy patients, elders fear early eviction from Kathputli Colony

Sixty-two-year-old Bandappa ekes out a living by begging near a multiplex in Shadipur.

The leprosy patient is, however, worried if he will be able to continue with this for long.

“I do not have a family. A young neighbour usually helps me to get to the spot every day. If I am forced to move out of the colony, I will have nothing to bank on,” said Bandappa, a resident of Kathputli Colony.

Bandappa is among 3,200 property owners at the colony who face eviction as the DDA has decided to go ahead with shifting residents of the area.

Recently, the DDA approached the Election Commission if they can start the eviction process as the polls are now over.

Residents of the area are, however, hopeful that the process would be delayed with the model code of conduct in force till May 16.

Residents have also been handed over slips, which confirm that they have to move out soon.

“After seeing the news on TV yesterday, we have not gone to work today. News might come any time now. We do not want our children to fall in trouble when we are not home,” said Mohammed Junaid, a labourer.

However, residents of Leper Block in Kathputli Colony are most worried about the fate of leprosy patients if they move to the transit camp in Anand Parbat.
They complained that most of the arrangements at the camp are not friendly for leprosy patients.

“It is a task taking my aunt to the toilet as she can’t move on her own at all. If the DDA is successful in evicting us, we have to run around with leprosy patients,” said Jaya.

The 38-year-old runs a grocery shop in the colony. “It is with much difficulty that we have installed two coolers to provide relief to her,” added Jaya, pointing towards her 60-year-old aunt.

There are 45 families in the Leper Block who fear eviction any time now.

“It has been over 20 years that I came from my village in Andhra Pradeshto settle here. I met with an accident 25 years ago, following which my hand was amputated. I work in a nearby hostel now, which I have to discontinue if I am shifted out of here,” said G Raju.

“Why are they not shifting us within a kilometre or two from this place if redevelopment is so necessary?” said the 57-year-old who has a family of 11 to support.

Sehrum Nisha complained that they have been alloted one room at the transit camp while she has her parents and in-laws to take care of.

“We have two houses in this colony. But we have been alloted one accommodation at the camp. Both my parents are leprosy patients. How will they manage in a 10 by 10 room with nine other people around? Also, it will be difficult for them to use mobile toilets.”

Most patients identified “tin roof” of the room as the problem. “The summer heat will be unbearable for a leprosy patient like me. I am praying the process of eviction at least gets delayed,” said Yelemma.

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