Our world ended many times over: The ongoing demolitions deepen the humanitarian crisis in Khori Gaon

The urban poor who gradually settled down in Khori Gaon are subject to the multiple marginalities of class and caste. Myopic arguments to conserve the environment ignore the rights of the people who have been pushed to the fringes of booming cities due to the failure of both Delhi and Haryana governments to provide them with affordable housing.

By Sukanya Roy, The Polis Project

A young resident of Khori Gaon looks at the Taj Hotel untouched by demolitions, although standing on Punjab Land Preservation Act (PLPA) land. Photo credit: Sukanya Roy

Read the entire article at The Polis Project


“All the belongings I have now are what my little boy could pull out from the rubble with his bare hands,” said Poonam Devi (name changed, 35) pointing to the nearly empty shelves in her rented room in Lal Kuan, an informal settlement at the edge of Delhi. Her son Akash (name changed, 10) was making tea and dinner after she had come back from a long day working as a daily-wage laborer.

Reena Devi and her husband Ajeet Bhaitha (42), who were earlier extorted by the Police in return for the promise of security, have now to pay off loans for a house that no longer exists. Bhaitha has been working night shifts with higher pay at a garment factory for three years so their informal loans could be paid back faster. “All that hard work was fine, at least I had a house to call my own. The demolition has set us back at least 20 years. Except, it’s worse now, as we have children to fend for.”