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They lost the roof over their heads because of the G20 summit. “India is clearly ashamed of its poverty”

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The G20 summit, which will be hosted by India, is approaching. The authorities ordered the beautification of the country’s capital and decided to eliminate districts where the poor live. CNN journalists talked to the embittered residents of Delhi who lost everything.

The bulldozer razed the remains of Savita’s house to the ground. The helpless woman could only watch and record the entire scene on her smartphone. Savita’s daughter’s voice can be heard in the background of the recording, trying to comfort her. “Mom, calm down, you’ll get sick,” the girl says.

Savita is one of thousands of people who have lost their homes in connection with preparations for the upcoming G20 summit in Delhi, during which Prime Minister Narendra Modi will try to present himself as the voice of the poorer part of the globe – the so-called global south.

When world leaders arrive in Delhi next weekend, there will be no trace of the slums. Instead, the area will be decorated with statues and fountains. Social activists called this project “beautification”, which resulted in the displacement of the local poor.

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CNN reporters met with Savita nearly three months after her home was demolished. The woman is as upset as she was that day when her belongings were destroyed. – Our children were starving, they had nothing to drink. We had no way to cook food for them, he admits.

Savita and her family were forced to camp under a tarpaulin for 6 weeks. It was all they had. – When we built our house, we knew that we were doing it without the necessary permits, but everyone has been building here for over 40 years. Why didn’t anyone come up with the idea to liquidate this estate before? – Savita’s question sounds like an accusation.

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The authorities promised new places to live

In an official letter filed with the court, the Indian government promised to provide the forcibly displaced people with new places to live. However, to this day he has not done so. Harsh Mander – a local human rights activist – claims that the Indian prime minister has no such will. – India is clearly ashamed of its poverty. They don’t want it to be visible to others and it’s best if it remains hidden, says Mander.

CNN asked the regional authorities and the authorities in Delhi for comment on this matter. No response has been sent so far.

READ ALSO: Media: The Indian government wants to change the name of the country

About 200 meters from the place where the G20 summit will be held, Jayanti is trying to find the remains of his belongings in the rubble. – Our house, the place where we ate, the local shop – all of it was destroyed. According to the residents, it is because of the approaching peak – confesses the woman.

Jayanti currently sells tea at a stall with her husband. They have been living in a makeshift camp since June. – We are furious, but there is nothing we can do. Poverty ties our hands, says Jayanti.

The ruins of her house are slowly becoming overgrown with wild vegetation. The place where Savita lived was cordoned off by a wall. In the background of the soothing murmur of the fountains, you can hear the quiet cries of those who were expelled from there.

Main photo source: CNN

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