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What do the Voters of Noor Nagar say about the 2024 elections?

The Jamia Review went on ground in the Noor Nagar Slum area to understand first hand about the perspectives of voters about the upcoming Lok Sabha elections. Okhla with the rest of East Delhi constituency votes on May 25,2024. Here is what the voters had to say:

The Noor Nagar Slum colony is an impoverished area that comes under the Okhla Assembly Constituency. It is a part of the East Delhi Lok Sabha constituency that will vote on 25 May 2024. It is home to thousands of migrant families living in dense and poor housing like shanties and slums. Promises of adequate public services like water and electricity have been made to these voters time and time again and yet they face unresolved issues in terms of unstable employment and poor standard of living. The Jamia Review went on ground to cover the Loksabha elections from the perspective of these voters whose voices do not find place in the mainstream media. Here are the perspectives of the three voters and what the most important issues for them are in these elections.

Caption: A fruit vendor the team talked to.

We met with a mother of a young girl named Erum who shared with us that she hoped for a future for her children where they are granted equal rights and opportunities. She appealed to the government for basic services like good education so her daughter can secure a better future. Like thousands of others in the slum, she lives in daily fear of the demolition of her slum built on illegal land. The demolition was stayed by Delhi High Court last year but the fear of losing their livelihoods adds to her anxiety to her survival. She works in a factory nearby and earns barely enough to support her family.

She struggles with the rising cost of living, expressing concern over their ability to afford basic necessities. Erum’s mother worries about the impending demolition of Noor Nagar, with the government showing little concern for where they will relocate. Despite these obstacles, she wears a smile that belies her underlying sadness.

Caption: A BJP flag hangs from one of the homes in Noor Nagar.

For nine years, Farzana has resided in Noor Nagar and has participated in every election, casting her vote without fail. However, she expressed frustration over the political campaigns conducted by certain parties, accusing them of using deceitful tactics to secure votes. She alleges that once these parties obtain what they want, they show no concern for the welfare of the common people. 

She says the area suffers from major problems like inadequate water supply, lack of mosquito prevention measures, demolitions, and homelessness. Furthermore, she noted that dissatisfaction exists among non-Muslims as well, with only a privileged few benefiting from the current regime.

Caption: Erum’s Mother who says that she hopes for a better future.

We also spoke with a fruit vendor who preferred to remain unidentified. We observed him diligently selling fruits under the blazing sun. He remarked that conditions had deteriorated since 2014 and expressed optimism that things would improve if the Congress were to return to power. He explained how he struggles to maintain his fruit cart in one location for long hours due to the local police harassing vendors. Like many others, he finds it increasingly difficult to cope with the increasing cost of living, particularly the high cost of his children’s education. The diverse perspectives expressed by these voters highlight the significance of their voices in shaping the future of our nation. Okhla is an area that needs attention towards the pressing issues of crumbling infrastructure, traffic and sanitation.  As the election day approaches, the atmosphere is charged with anticipation, with voters expressing a range of sentiments from hope to concern regarding the outcomes.

Report by: Zakia, Sana, Sania for TJR.
Photos by: Ashraf for TJR.

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Written by The Jamia Review

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