Delhi’s Kathputli Colony Under ‘Eviction Stress’

(Photo Credit: Chandan Khanna/AFP)
Kathputli Colony in Central Delhi is one of the biggest boroughs of traditional street artistes and is named after Rajasthan’s old tradition of string puppets – Kathputli.

(Photo Credit: Chandan Khanna/AFP)

The colony is inhabited by puppeteers, magicians, acrobats, dancers and musicians. It has small alleyways, colourful but run down homes, and open drains, but the artistes from here perform around the country for major hotels, lavish parties, weddings, and some travel the world with their craft.

(Photo Credit: Chandan Khanna/AFP)

The residents continue to return to Kathputli Colony despite the lack of sanitation and basic living conditions because of a strong sense of community. 

(Photo Credit: Chandan Khanna/AFP)

The Delhi Development Authority (DDA) has planned an in-situ redevelopment project in the area and the place is being set for a makeover. Early this week, it started a drive to shift the residents of the Kathputli Colony to a transit camp in Anand Parbat.

(Photo Credit: Chandan Khanna/AFP)

The transition has not been smooth as many residents are not ready to move out of the colony. They claim that their fears of inadequate housing have not being addressed. 

(Photo Credit: Chandan Khanna/AFP)

On the other hand, some are happy about the transition and feel that the government is thinking about them and sending them to a better place. 

(Photo Credit: Chandan Khanna/AFP)

During the transition, the area has been cordoned off by Delhi Police, Sashastra Seema Bal and Central Reserve Police Force. According to a DDA Official, massive police deployment in the area is a mere precautionary measure. 

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