Harsh weather and utmost poverty take their toll on a slum dweller in Visakhapatnam after eviction.
Railway officials have recently sought eviction of illegal encroachment of slum dwellers at the Gandhi Nagar slum near Rammurthy Pantulupeta flyover. A temporary shelter for many poverty stricken slum dwellers, the eviction saw some of them but not all receiving alternative accommodation. One of them, Ramalingam who was 50 years old had his house pulled down but no provision for alternative accommodation. Stressed and exposed to the elements of the harsh weather, the poverty burdened slum dweller took his last breaths. Sleeping in the open, hash cold did not leave him a chance to survive the hard life.
Ramalingam who was a native of Guntur district, was a Harikatha artist. Circumstances drove him to poverty and he was living in a make shift tent with his wife and two children. He made his living doing doing odd jobs in Visakhapatnam. After the railway authorities cleared the encroachments in railway land near the flyover on Tuesday, he was left homeless. His name was also not on he list for provision of alternative accommodation. Alternative accommodation is 25 kms away and quite far for many who make their living on a daily basis doing irregular and old jobs. A difficulty hard to endure.
Authorities and humanitarians are trying to reach out to these slum dwellers living in poverty. As per The Hindu, social activist and former IAS officer E.A.S. Sarma visited the slum in Visakhapatnam and interacted with the victims on Wednesday morning. He provided them some monetary relief and solace. He wrote to the District Collector and the GVMC Commissioner finding fault on the eviction of the residents of RP Peta slum at a time when winter conditions were harsh. Mr. Sarma also wrote to the Secretary of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), New Delhi, seeking its intervention in providing alternative land nearby for relocation of the slum dwellers.