Bus from Burari laden with volunteers and hope

Amid the sporadic sloganeering, the volunteers discuss the victory and the roadmap ahead.

Written by Kaunain Sheriff M | New Delhi | Published: February 15, 2015 4:29:15 am

On the narrow streets of Burari, celebrations start early. At 8 am, school buses arrive outside Model School — not to pick up schoolchildren but to take an army of AAP volunteers from the local office to Ramlila Maidan. Hundreds of volunteers rush in for the window seats, using their trademark caps to reserve their place. It is a ride filled with joy, hope and expectation.

“Namaskar, main Arvind Kejriwal bol raha hoon…Ramlila Maidan pe mere saath shapath lene ke liye zaroor aiyega, kyunki mukhya mantra main nahin, aap sab banenge.” The one-minute radio ad plays in the background. Then there is the first big cheer — “Paanch saal Kejriwal.” This is followed by a new slogan from 40-year old Rukmini, volunteer with the AAP’s women’s wing — “Ab salon-saal Kejirwal”.

Everyone follows in chorus, “Salon-saal Kejirwal, salon-saal Kejirwal.”

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Amid the sporadic sloganeering, the volunteers discuss the victory and the roadmap ahead. Fifty-year-old Shyam Gopalji, who has lived in this northeast Delhi town for 35 years, says, “Tomar colony was one of the first to come up in the area, but there is no pucca road here. I want my CM to build one.”

Savitri, 36, resident of Ibrahimpur in Burari, has a similar expectation. She says she has a road but no water. “I support AAP only because they have promised water. Women here spend hours to fetch water from tankers. I hope AAP brings water pipelines to our area,” the homemaker says.

Also aboard for this 45-minute ride is 18-year-old Rohit Singh, who has his Class XII board exams coming up soon. He promised his parents that he will only take a day’s break on Saturday to celebrate the AAP victory. Ask him why he supports AAP and he says, “Arvindji is an IITian. That is why I like AAP. I got them 10 votes. I will try to be like him.” Rohit has only a one expectation from AAP: free Wi-fi.

“3G is very expensive. I hope AAP fulfils its promise of givins us free wifi,” Rohit says.

As the bus arrives, the volunteers rush out to join the other supporters flocking towards the ground.

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