Living in Squalor: The Plight of the Dalit Community in Patna's Oldest Slum

Dalit Community in Patna's Oldest Slum
Dalit Community in Patna's Oldest SlumPic- Sana Ejaz, The Mooknayak

Kamla Nehru Nagar, a Dalit settlement in the Veerchand Patel Road Area, with a population of over 50,000, is located in the heart of Patna, the capital of Bihar. It is just a few steps away from the RJD and BJP offices.

This locality is situated southeast of the Adalatganj pond, it comes under Digha Assembly Constituency. There are very narrow lanes that lead to the dirty and dingy settlement of Kamla Nehru Nagar.

This slum is one of the oldest in the city where people are striving for their genuine demands. No development work has been done here to date. The condition of the locality shows that the politicians have nothing to do with development other than politics.

Aanganbadi Center
Aanganbadi CenterPic- Sana Ejaz, The Mooknayak

Only AanganBadi lacks basic facilities

Even in terms of education, this township is the most backward, at present, there are no government schools in the township. In the Nichli area, ward no 21, there is an Angan Badi School, called Samudayik Bhavan School with no bathroom or drinking water facilities.

Children have to go to neighboring houses to defecate. There is only a tap for drinking water which is in an unhygienic state. The school consists of a room and a kitchen, neither is no furniture, neither benches inside the room for the children to sit nor resources for teacher to teach.

Only an Angan Badi worker comes daily, who handles the school and serves children a plate of Khichdi.

Aanganbadi Center
Aanganbadi CenterPic- Sana Ejaz, The Mooknayak

In a conversation with The Mooknayak, Anganwadi sevika discloses, "The teacher here had expired at the time of Covid-19. Since then there has been no reinstatement. I come, do my work, make khichdi, and distribute it among children." She added, "There is no bathroom in the school we go to neighboring houses for defecation, we have complained many times but yet no avail".

A narrow street between slums
A narrow street between slumsPic- Sana Ejaz, The Mooknayak

The locals said that since four - five years, the school opens only for the sake of formality, Just the Khichdi is fed to the children. “There is no teacher in the school and because of this we have to send our children to Millar High School but it is far away, and children have to cross the road to reach there. Many children have met with accidents".

Ashok Singh a resident told The Mooknayak. The slum dwellers complain that due to their caste , development has been completely ignored in this area. They say that their deplorable condition doesn't affects the government and they are least concern, whether their children are getting education on not!

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Unhygienic & filthy living conditions

When The Mooknayak spoke to the Digha Assembly Constituency, MLA Sanjeev Chaurasia, about the school problem in Kamla Nehru Nagar he said that "efforts will be made to solve the problems of the people, all efforts will be made to improve the situation".

There are heaps of garbage piled everywhere. The entire area is in a mess. Amidst this mess, locals have been living for decades. Locals alleged that the benefit of Chief Minister Jal Dhal Yojana had yet not reached them.

Slum area
Slum areaPic- Sana Ejaz, The Mooknayak

When asked Pinky Kumari Ward Counselor, from the last 10 years about the clarification she said "Bihar Me Siraf Yahan Ki To Halat Kharab Nhi Hai Sare Elaake Ki Yahi Halat Hai, Sirf Ek Hi Ward Ko Aap kyun Dekh Rahi Ho? (Not only the condition here look at other areas, but everywhere condition is also the same. Why are you speaking by targeting only one ward) "Garbage and water logging is a perennial problem here, drains flow on the roads, and the condition of the drains is bad, due to which mud and filth always persist, and which is the source of different kinds of diseases. The biggest problem here is drinking water" an old lady says.

Sheela Irani, Additional Municipal Commissioner of Patna Municipal Corporation, said that "Patna Municipal Corporation's vehicle goes daily to Kamla Nehru Nagar and our workers also do a lot of cleaning work there. We provide our services to all the slum areas."

Dalit Community in Patna's Oldest Slum
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