“Ramesh Bidhuri hasn’t shown us his face in the past five years. He has done nothing for this village, we will not vote for him,” the residents of Rangpuri village in South Delhi say in unison as Delhi prepares to vote for the 17th Lok Sabha elections on 12 May.
BJP’s Bidhuri is the sitting Member of Parliament from South Delhi and is up against Aam Aadmi Party’s Raghav Chadha and Congress’ Vijender Singh to retain his seat in these elections.
Speaking to The Quint, Mayadevi, a resident of the settlement complains that the village faces serious water shortage and with summers approaching it will only become worse.
“We have water issues, sanitation problems, lack of toilets and there is no dumping ground here. The government has been talking about making toilets everywhere but nobody cares about us,” Mayadevi added.
Water Shortage and No Community Toilets
The problem of water shortage is not just pointed out by Mayadevi, but by every second person in the village. The residents complain that only one water tanker comes to the village which is not enough for all of them.
“We are dying filling up water. There is no tap in the village that we can use to fill water from. We rely on water tankers and if the tanker doesn’t come then we have no other alternate.”
Kamlesh, Resident of Rangpuri
The residents also say that the village lacks community toilets.
“PM Modi talks about Swachh Bharat and the government is making toilets everywhere else in the country but we are being neglected,” one of the residents of the village pointed out.
While water shortage and toilets dominate the narrative, a few of the locals speak about lack of good quality education and allege that their children face caste-based discrimination in schools.
Good Quality Education and Jobs
“Today the conditions of the schools is so bad that the kids don’t get anything. There is caste discrimination in schools. Our kids should get better education because there is nothing for them,” Mahesh Kumar who works as a labourer tells The Quint expressing his desire to vote for someone who works for their welfare and their future.
Kumar also says that he has not seen Ramesh Bidhuri.
While the elder complain of poor quality education for children, the youth in the village speak about lack of job opportunities.
“There are unemployed youth in this village who keep roaming around, they do drugs because they have no other work to do. If they get a job then they might not do this,” a third-year college student points out.
Who Will They Vote For?
The resentment of the people with their current Member of Parliament Bidhuri is clear. When asked about who will they vote for in the upcoming elections, the residents say in unison that they will vote for change and for a better future.
Video Editor: Varun Sharma and Mohammad Irshad Alam
Cameraperson: Sumit Badola
Pushpa, who is a resident of Rangpuri says, “We want to move out of this place because there is no development and there is nothing for our kids,” adding, “we will vote for a change in these elections.”—The Quint