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Why Muslims are responsible for spread of chikungunya, dengue in Okhla?

By AN Shibli

Delhi is suffering from outbreak of different sorts of deadly fevers. Most of the areas in the national capital are suffering from chikungunya and dengue fevers. But one area that seems to have suffered the worst thus far is none other Muslim dominated Jamia nagar locality that stretches for several kilometers from Zakir Nagar, Batla house, Okhla village, Abul Fazl Enclave and all the way to Shaheen Bagh. The highest number of deaths has been reported from this area in the national capital.

While it is likely that the locality doesn’t get much attention from government institutions including Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD), but the biggest reason is lack of cleanliness in this entire stretch housing close to half a million inhabitants.

Whether it is Shaheen Bagh, Batla House, Zakir Nagar, Johari Farm, Okhla Vihar or for that matter Abul Fazl Enclave, you will find huge piles of filth almost everywhere in the entire locality. This is the case throughout the year and you will not find any exception in this regard. Nonetheless during Eid al Adha, the pile of filth gets huge and you find large number of heads of sacrificial animals thrown on the roads, on the pavements and even in front of many homes.

jamia-nagar-garbage1Naseem Khan, a resident of Batla House says that it is disheartening to see the localities of the followers of a religion that attaches so much importance to cleanliness, are dirtiest of any community. He says “I feel depressed to see people scarifying lambs that cost a fortune, but are not prepared to pay even Rs 50 or Rs 100 to cleanse the place and dispose of animal refuse”.

Even the MCD employees who occasionally come to cleanse the place or collect garbage too feel offended by saying the whole heads of buffalo and lambs thrown randomly. One of such MCD worker told this correspondent “though we face huge problems in garbage collection as many Muslim families don’t throw garbage at the garbage collection center and throw it here and there. But during this Baqrid, Muslims crossed every limit as people have thrown the leftover parts of sacrificial animals even in front of their homes or the homes of their neighbors. We suffered a lot in managing to clean the mess created by the residents of the area”.

Open manhole are a common feature in the entire stretch. Price of flats in this area go to a couple of crores of rupees, but the residents don’t care to even call the MCD and ask the agency to cover the manhole.

jamia-nagar-garbageAl-Shifa Hospital is the second largest hospital in the area after Holy Family Hospital in Jamia Nagar, but a massive garbage dump greets the patients and their attendants when they reach its gate. The garbage dump is just in front of the Al-Shifa Hospital and the stench emanating from here spreads to the entire Hari Kothi area covering D and E blocks of Abul Fazl Enclave. The stench is simply unbearable.

Okhla area houses headquarters of many Muslim organizations. But these organizations that try to portray Islamic teachings as the best, never try to ever get the area cleaned or even start a large scale cleanliness drive. The people who litter the area and throw garbage in front of their homes or the homes of their neighbors are not uneducated people. Many such people are well-educated, look affluent and drive SUVs. If no serious effort regarding cleanliness of the area is made, the consequences are going to be very deadly in the coming years.

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