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Jaffarabad: A Different Picture of the National Capital

S M Azhar for BeyondHeadlines

With all the political parties gripped in election mania, Congress seems to be playing its old cards by rushing to the minorities of India for its vote bank politics.

The party that constituted more than four fifth in the Constituent Assembly seems to have been hit down by its efforts. Firstly by an enmeshed  interview by the Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi, and now by an articulation against the schemes for minorities by a local social activist and topical of “Jaffarabad” in front of Congress high command at the launching of National Waqf Development Corporation (NAWASCO) in New Delhi.

Jaffarabad is a small locality in the north-east of Delhi situated on the banks of river Yamuna. The area shot into the lime-light after Dr Faheem Beigh (General sectary of locally elected welfare body) avowed that the schemes are ineffective in front  of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi .

As the metro passes over the bridge across Yamuna, one really does not feel it to be in the part of the national capital. Overflowing drains, bad condition of roads, sewage system and infrastructure makes one feel so and also presents the peculiar image of New Delhi.

The ghetto seems to be galvanized by a number of issues ranging from regular electricity cuts to ineffective schooling. The main educational institute can be called “an epitome of Jaffarabad”. The school works as Zeenat Mahal School for 5,030 girls in the morning shift and then switches to Govt Boys Senior Secondary Urdu School for 2,950 boys in the evening shift. The eye popping fact is that there are only 7 teachers out of 79 to teach Urdu language to 2,700 students. “In a few Urdu classes there are more than 100 students,” said one of the higher faculty members of a school established in 1977, and can you guess what makes it worse? Not a single Urdu teacher is permanent.

Mid day meal scheme is implemented in the school but needs to be looked upon for its proper effectiveness as one of the student speaking to Beyond Headlines said, “Haan lunch to milta hai, magar mai ghar se lata hoon” (Yes lunch is served, but I bring it from my home), in a gesture that the meals are inadequate and do not serve the proper cause to eradicate malnutrition.

Infrastructure of the school looks robust but mere eight toilets for 8000 students (both boys and girls) gives a real and mitigated picture of the school.

While speaking to Beyond Headlines, Dr Faheem Beigh, the same social activist who shouted in front of the PM and Sonia Gandhi and the prime figure who made journalists run to Jaffarabad said, “The problem with minorities is not the schemes, they are there but the implementation of schemes is not taking its course and I am working for the same cause.”

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