Delhi riots: Volunteers, locals join hands to help riot-hit pick up the pieces

NEW DELHI: Relief poured in for the riot-hit people on Sunday as volunteers from diverse spectrums documented losses, distributed food and provided legal help. At GTB Hospital, independent lawyers were seen providing monetary as well as legal help.

Senior advocate HS Phulka and spiritual guru Sri Sri Ravishankar were among those who visited the riot-affected areas. Police officers could be seen making note of the damage. They approached owners and recorded videos of them narrating their ordeal.

Sri Sri said people should take lessons from those who saved lives. “We should punish the anti-social elements. It is so disturbing to see so many people affected. We need to bring the lives back on track,” he said.

Naresh Aggarwal, owner of a sweets shop in Khajuri Khas, said: “My shop was locked when it was vandalized by goons. Last year, I had sold my wife’s jewellery to renovate it.” Phulka, accompanied by Khalsa Aid volunteers, spoke to shop owners. He said: “High court lawyers are voluntarily coming out to help the victims. We are working in coordination with Khalsa Aid as they have experience in this field. Our first priority is to ensure that people get their means of livelihood back.”

A delegation arrived from Nizamuddin Dargah in Babu Nagar to provide food to the refugees. Md Abdullah, the local Imam, said there were hundreds of people who had arrived in the colony to take shelter. Karan Pal (22) and his family had brought food for the security personnel on duty. “We are taking care of our fauji brothers who are helping everyone,” Pal said.

Right outside the morgue at GTB Hospital in Dilshad Garden, volunteers could be seen offering food, water and tea to the family of the victims. The group is working in shifts, from 9am to 9.30pm. “We are locals. We came here and saw people facing problems. We decided to pitch in,” Gulzar Ahmed (46) said. Teachers of a government school in Tukhmirpur in northeast Delhi also got together and distributed rations at Shiv Vihar. Dinesh Kumar, a political science teacher, said: “Motivated by other teachers, I came forward to help.”

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