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Untold Stories from Delhi: Sanjay Colony and Sshrishti

2016-08-23 16:21:35

Bhatti Mines region, also known as Sanjay Colony is one of the most backward settlements in Delhi, quite detached from the hustle of the NCR region. It is a 45 minute long ride from Chhatarpur metro station through a small stretch of the forest into this area. When you finally reach, you see a community of Pakistani migrants called 'ood' in a region of Bhatti Mines which is now called the 'Pakistani Mohalla'.

They have received this land from the Indira Gandhi government, on the recommendation of Sanjay Gandhi, for settlement and began working in the Bhatti mines of the region to earn a living. However, this settlement colony has been far neglected and quite divorced from what we usually call and describe as 'development' or 'vikaas'. The mines are now shut due to environmental issues and there are no alternate opportunities for the present generation while the next generations have no conducive environment for learning and growth.

An exploratory study by the Sshrishti India Trust revealed that most of the people in the region are illiterate; they cannot even sign their names. Children are malnourished and the stories of women harassment and ill-treatment were plenty. Women are forced into drudgery, while men drink away their hard earned money and beat and harass them in a drunken stupor. While all this is not generalizable to the entire population of 9000, this is however the usual pattern in the region for most of the families.

This neglected terrain is far removed from the city and the people are completely detached from the various facilities that an urban space can potentially offer. Such facilities include the basics such as schools, nutrition and sources of employment that can provide them with the bare minimum to survive. Such is the remoteness of this space which lies mid-way between the urban and the rural in view of its location, levels of education, development and awareness.

Since the past six years, Sshrishti India Trust has been making efforts to bring the fruits of development to these regions through various initiatives. Child education is fostered through Sshrishti Balshiksha School. The school is functioning to provide early childhood education to the children of the region through charging a minimum affordable fee.

To develop a secure atmosphere for the women of the region, an effort was made to train them in tailoring and through Sshrishti Jagriti their products are sold via various platforms and they receive regular money by stitching uniforms for various Sshrishti Schools. Sshrishti, with the help of Delhi Commission of Women has formed a Mahila Panchayat to deal with the problems of domestic violence, financial exclusion, child custody and all the types of practices that inflict severe harm to the self-confidence and dignity of these women.

Sshrishti Udyam is a skill development initiative which provides tailoring, computer literacy and mobile repair training which is Sshrishti's latest intervention towards the development of the region.

A host of initiatives by Sshrishti India Trust have been instrumental in making some changes to the lives of these people and improve the overall environment in the region through the positive externalities created by Sshrishti's learning and earning spaces.

The coming posts will share more stories about this region and other untold tales of not-so-visible developments.

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