Help pours in from all quarters for Masoodpur dwellers

Help pours in from all quarters for Masoodpur dwellers

 As they fled from the massive fire, many slum dwellers made a grab for the large water-containers they keep outside their jhuggies.

They cans didn't come in very handy for dousing the flames that engulfed the slum near Masoodpur in Vasant Kunj area on Friday.

But they were put to good use later: hundreds of them were lined up in front of the Delhi Jal Board tankers deployed later at the site for the victims.

“My husband was away at work when the fire started. My four children and I managed to grab a total of six water cans,” said Nabeela Biwi while filling the containers with water before packing them off to safety on a cycle-cart.

Apart from these plastic containers, all that Nabeela’s family and hundreds of other victims now own are the clothes they were wearing.

Two of Nabeela's children were unable to gather their slippers as they fled.  While the woman braved the burning ground, the two kids now wore one each of her pair of slippers, finding two other abandoned slippers for the other foot.

Raja Miya, who worked as a scrap vendor, was luckier. His hut was at that end of the slum which caught fire later.

He managed to carry away three pieces of old furniture that his wife Mannoda Biwi had brought home after the woman she works for as a maid in Vasant Kunj had discarded them.

But the woman hasn’t been kind to her after the fire. “She let me take leave today, but wants me to make it to work tomorrow as her family is preparing for a wedding,” says Mannoda.

Most of these victims have to begin life afresh now. 

Waiting for authorities to set up tents, they tied sarees to furniture and trees to beat the heat. People from nearby, unaffected slums unaffected offered to share their huts with them.

Help also arrived from unexpected quarters. Alok Kumar, an autorickshaw driver who lives at nearby Masoodpur, brought discarded clothes and footwear from his home in his vehicle.

The victims are preparing to rehabilitate themselves, though they are not sure how long it could take. For now, they are trying to clear the area of hundreds of metal sheets that served as roof but now lie strewn around.

“This is where we have been living for the last 15 years. What else can we do but to rebuild our huts,” said Azharuddin, a victim who works with a private firm.

Apart from providing basic amenities, the task at hand is to maintain sanitation and not allow the spread of disease. Heaps of burnt food items were visible across the area.

The destroyed slum, with majority of its occupants being Muslims, has a small mosque at one end and a temple at the other. Victims gathered around the two religious places and marvelled at how the two structures suffered only minimal damage.

Fire at hospital, none hurt

A minor fire broke out at a snacks stall on the campus of Safdarjung Hospital in south Delhi on Friday afternoon, reports DHNS from New Delhi.

The incident was reported at about 2 pm and by 2.20 pm four fire tenders extinguished the fire.

“The fire was reported at a snacks and tea stall run by a private party. The stall is next to the medical record room. We are suspecting gas cylinder leak as the possible cause of fire,” said Dr B D Athani, medical superintendent of Safdarjung Hospital.
No injury or casualty was reported in the incident.

“The extent of damage of the stall will be known only after we study the micro details. Also, we are examining if they flouted any fire norms. The details will be available after the assessment report arrives,” Athani added.

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