Blog: Open letter to Aam Aadmi's chief minister Arvind Kejriwal

Rahul Verma is the founder of Uday Foundation, a small grassroots non-profit based in New Delhi.

Here is the letter:

Hon'ble Chief Minister Mr. Arvind Kejriwal

Heartiest congratulations for becoming the common man's chief minister. More congrats for your decision to live like a common man  by refusing an official bungalow, official car and also your decision  to  travel in metro train to Ramlila ground  for the oath- taking ceremony  of  Chief Minister.

I know you must be under tremendous pressure to fulfill the promises you made like reducing electricity charges/ bill, providing free water etc. However, I want to remind you of another promise you made a few months ago.

Please recall the meeting you have had with patients and their families who are forced to live on the roads near AIIMS and Safdarjung hospital while they wait for months for doctors see them. I was present at that meeting.

They came to support you with a meager donation which they had saved  though they were living  in unimaginable conditions. I still recall their gesture brought tears to your eyes.  You told them you would manage without their contribution and that you would help them if your party came to power.

I was really surprised with the kind of understanding and empathy you showed.

Today, as you are about to start your day as Chief Minister please also set another precedent by visiting those patients and their families who are still forced to live outside AIIMS and Safdarjung hospital, on pavements, sometimes in toilets or near AIIMS metro stations.

For so many years, the Delhi government has claimed that that there are enough night shelters to take care of the homeless.   Imagine someone travelling for two hours to reach a night shelter from AIIMS; these people can't afford the travel.  They also need to be close to the hospital in case of an emergency.

I am demanding dignity from you for all these common men and women. It is not that much difficult as it look likes to be, but only arranging some temporary waterproof tents outside AIIMS and other central locations till the harsh winter conditions exist i.e.  for a period of two months  . Secondly, as we all know that extreme winter conditions in Delhi are not less than a disaster or a calamity as the lowest temperature recorded in January this year was 1.9 degree celsius, so why not turn Delhi govt. schools into night shelters till February?  In the past, St Columba's School had opened its doors to the underprivileged who suffer in the cold winter nights.

Most importantly please ensure that demolitions of any kind should not take place unless the necessary steps have been taken for resettlement of the people.

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