Visually impaired students left homeless after DDA demolition drive

New Delhi [India], Dec 23 (ANI): The Delhi Development Authority (DDA) has allegedly demolished a hostel for visually impaired students in Virendra Nagar, leaving its occupants homeless. The 17-year-old hostel housed around 20 students, who have alleged that they were not given prior information or time to gather belongings before the authority officials came to the immediate order. "They (DDA) came and said to vacate the place in 10 minutes, and started throwing out our belongings," General Secretary of the hostel, Kamlesh Kumar told ANI. "We are not moving anywhere until the government provides alternate land for our hostel. We have the support of our Nagar Councilor and the public." One of the occupants informed that they have been residing in tents, which provide little relief from the cold, since December 15 when the demolition took place. The tents as well as food have been arranged by municipality's Councilor Narendra Chawla. "When demolition took place, only three people were here, rest went for their exams and classes. DDA took out big articles, but smaller things like our books, documents, cooking items etc are under debris," he said. The occupant also alleged that the DDA officials gave fake assurance of shifting the hostel. "They were giving us fake assurance that we'll be accommodated to a different place but when we asked for it in written, they wrote they are giving us temporary lodging and will later shift each of us to a different hostel, but all of us want to stay together," he said, and added, "We want a hostel to be allotted in the place of one that they demolished. Our hostel had every facility which was not provided by either the DDA or the government. It was run on public donation." Another occupant said that their makeshift lodging doesn't include a toilet, forcing them to defecate and take bath in the open.
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