Bhalswa Jugghi Jhopri

It’s difficult to believe, but there is a more poverty stricken area of Bhalswa called Jugghi Jhopri (JJ means an “unplanned settlement”). This is a polite way of saying a slum. It lies to the north of Bhalswa Dairy and has fewer cows and buffaloes. But about the same number of flies. It is a sorting area for rubbish.

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Some rubbish doesn’t get sorted; it just gets dumped in the alleyways of the slum.

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Other areas are inhabited with makeshift dwellings. You can just make out the red and green sign of the Umeed Ki Kiran Clinic advertising billboard on the wall above.

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There is economic activity and though the shops may look shoddy, they do enough business to be profitable.

Goats and sheep are more numerous than cows and buffaloes. This little boy is trying to feed his goat a thick stalk. Behind him there is a new public housing development. In the adjoining photograph, there is a degree of irony when a sheep wears a woolly jumper. But it is winter, of course.

 

There is some ambitious architecture in the jhuggi as well as typical ramshackle housing. The sheep have no trouble negotiating the steep external staircase. As they say in Devon, “Show a sheep a slope and it will go up it.”

 

India are doing well in the current Test Match series against England. Any stretch of open land becomes a cricket pitch for the local lads. Appeal for bad light, stopping play?

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