By Shams Qari @shamsqari
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Unable to afford a house in the city, people have congregated under the roads in a bid to make a living.
Yogesh, a 54-year-old snack seller, has been living under the IIT Flyover that joins Sarvpriya Vihar to IIT main gate in South Delhi, for more than 25 years.
He said: “I have been selling snacks outside a nearby metro station for years now. This is my home. I sleep, eat and live here.
“People think Delhi is a great place to live. But affording a home here is only a dream for poor people like me."
Being able to live in close proximity of the traffic lights, means most of community earn by begging or selling flowers, books, mobile phone cables and chargers when the lights turn red.
Raju, 31, buys flowers early in the morning to be sold by his children during the day.
While spraying the water to keep the flowers fresh, Raju said: “I buy the roses from Gazipur early in the morning and during the day, I, along with my children and wife, sell these roses to the cars that halt on the red light.”
With around 100 flyovers in Delhi, the spaces beneath the carriageway remain unutilized, dirty and unsafe. Children as young as three-years-old are seen running around, playing or begging on the roads around these spaces.
Whilst inflating balloons, a gentleman called Fazula said: “I, along with my wife, try to take care of the children of seven families living under this flyover. It is a hard task as children don’t listen and go around playing on the roads. They fall sick and are always the first to catch monsoon diseases.
“There is no drinking water. The nearby petrol station owner would harass us when we go there to fetch water. It is hard to survive here but we have got no other choice."
Construction of underground metro stations under some flyovers has forced some of these homeless people to move to other flyovers.
Hira Lal, a 60-year-old living under a flyover near the airport said: “Most of us were forced to leave but somehow we managed to stay back. The rear wall of our home has a metro construction going on the other side.”