New Delhi: This morning a fire broke out in a slum opposite the main gate of Kaveri Apartments, D-6, Vasant Kunj, Delhi. The fire brigade, police and ambulance services were totally irresponsible; arrived too late and were of hardly any help.
By now the fire is out, but the entire slum is gutted. Hardly any material possesions have survived. There have been casualties is what we hear but there is too much chaos too say for sure right now. The injured have been taken to hospitals. Basically now atleast a thousand if not more people are displaced and rendered homeless.
The colony is full of contract labour domestic workers ragpickers etc. a lot of them are bengali speakers, many are muslims. Also the area was full of gas cylinders which made matters worse. its too early to say anything with certainty but the police and other authorities (including a lot of funded NGOs working on homelessness and in this particular slum) have proven to be as ill equiped as always to deal with the situation and are talking of how it would be difficult to help these people since they are migrants with no documents or “bangladeshi”.
ofcourse the people here are really angry. There are a lot of children and older people. Post -traumatic stress levels are through the roof. People within the slum are understandably being protective of their own and thus tense moments are erupting between the affected, even as a lot of people are trying to salvage the situation together.
AS OF NOW what we need is food, water, clothing. People have already started organising to cook together in a relief camp sort of way but we need raw food materials and water donations by this evening and for presumably the next many days to come. Women who work as domestic labour will obviously need a place to leave their children safely when they go to work in the coming days since due to material damage evereybody is thinking of recovering financial losses and homes to leave children behind in, are not there anymore.
There has been no organised relief service till now, more than four hours after the fire broke out.
This is just a desperate appeal to like-minded people and organisations to come to the site if possible or share this info around. The moment a specific forum to channelise the aid coming in is identified we’ll spread that information. For now, to repeat FOOD is an urgent requirement for the day, someone has already arranged enough drinking water till today evening. We’ll need water tankers in large numbers.
We apologise if anything has come out too condescendingly in a hurry,
Please try and do whatever possible.
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