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For them,the fast ended a little too soon

Santosh Sewra,hailing from Godda in Jharkhand,was more than enthusiastic to be a part of the anti-corruption movement launched by social activist Anna Hazare.

Written by Dipankar Ghose | New Delhi |
August 30, 2011 2:38:37 am

Santosh Sewra,hailing from Godda in Jharkhand,was more than enthusiastic to be a part of the anti-corruption movement launched by social activist Anna Hazare. Having set off for Delhi by bus on August 26,he did not have a cellphone through which to check the progress of the fast.

He arrived in the Capital on Monday,only to find himself in standing in an empty Ramlila Maidan.

“I couldn’t come earlier because my daughter was unwell. As soon as she got better,I left. On August 26,the news channels reported that talks had broken down,and the matter would take a little longer to be resolved,” Sewra said. He now plans to go to Gurgaon,where Hazare is recuperating at the Medanta Hospital to try and catch a glimpse of his idol.

“After that,I will go home. I thought I would sleep here at the Maidan itself,as I have no money. I can’t afford a hotel room. I have no regrets,though,” Sewra said.

The scene at Ramlila Maidan on Monday was in complete contrast with what it was like four days ago. The grounds were dotted only by about 30 people — some journalists,most labourers involved in removing tents.

There were a few,however,who were seen lamenting that the movement had come to an end.

A case in point were the owners of business establishments around the Maidan. Neelam Singh,who runs a grocery shop near the entrance of the Maidan,said,“Till yesterday,I had to stack extra bottles of water and food. Even then,they would sold out by the middle of the afternoon. It was the best business I did in years,and I could shut shop by 5 pm. But things have come back to normal now.”

Then there were a group of homeless persons who added themselves to the numbers supporting the fast by making the Maidan their home for a while.

Pawan Raj Gupta,who was resting under the shade of the tents that were still to be removed,said,“Till yesterday,we had access to free food and water,and there were tents to shelter us from the sun and rain. From tomorrow,I will have to go back to begging near Daryaganj Chowk. I don’t know anything about Anna’s cause,but I am glad the volunteers did not refuse to feed us.”

The days of plenty were over,and it was time for Gupta to begin ‘fasting’ again.

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