Give a brief account of the life and activities of the people like Saheb-e-Alam settled in Seemapuri.


Seemapuri is a settlement of more than 10,000 rag pickers. It is a place on the Periphery of Delhi. Those who live here are squatters who came from Bangladesh in 1971. They live here without an identity and without permits. They do have ration cards that enable them to vote and buy grain. Food is more important for them than their identity. Children grow up to become partners in survival. And survival in Seemapuri means rag-picking. Through the years it has acquired the 'proportions of a fine art'. An army of barefoot children appears in the morning with their plastic bags on their shoulders. They disappear by noon. Garbage has a different meaning for children. For them, 6it is wrapped in 'wonder'. They may find a rupee even a ten rupee note or a silver coin. There is always hope of finding more.

Seemapuri may be on the periphery of Delhi yet it is miles away from it, metaphorically. It is a little hell. Rag pickers live in structures of mud. They have roofs of tin and tarpaulin. There is no sewage, drainage or running water. It is unimaginable that it is a part of Delhi, the capital of India.