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All / Coexistence & Harmony
Kori Gaon, Shelter
A place called home.
Photo Courtesy: Praveen Khanna and

A week back, I watched Shelter, a short documentary that won the AFI DOCS award by the American Film Institute. Shelter is directed by Smriti Mundhra, a talented and sensitive woman who happens to be my cousin sister. The 35-minute documentary helps us identify with the homeless in a very human and real way.

Today, when I read the news (sadly, nothing new about it) that homes of thousands of people in Khori Gaon, in the National Capital Region of India, have been demolished without arrangements for rehabilitation, I was reminded of the children and families that the documentary followed. Once again a basic human right has been violated and this time with the blessings of India’s highest court of justice.

We have chosen rules over kindness, and apathy over love: Who will right this wrong?


Sleep outside on a cold winter night

No quilts for cover, no hearth or warmth

Stand and watch in scorching sunlight

Bricks and rubble that once were called home

No shelter for those without papers in their name

Belongings in hand they watch as their countrymen do wrong

Batons strike as they plead for relief

Life already uncertain with death and disease

Wages don’t reach

Meals are scrimped and saved

Their home the only shelter from the grief.

Child in her arms, ailing man by her side

She watches her solace crumble

Under the weight of our apathy. 

Oh, loveless world

Step outside and stand by their side

For our homes are no shelter

But a house of cards

It’s land that we live on, not in concrete 

It houses humans, bipeds, minerals, and trees

We live amongst invertebrates and amoeboid too 

None have encroached 

Except those who ignore this truth.

The Author

I began as a blog about a book that was produced with care and respect for the environment, and included the binding skills and creativity of those who may not have use of their legs but their hands have the deftness to make. Today my voice continues to lend itself to topics that include humans, non-humans, nature, and equity. I observe, experience, research, understand, and share perspective and stories.


  1. Lakshmi Krishnan says

    Yes, sometimes I feel it is very important to stand up and be counted among those who.protest against such injustice, regardless of how it would affect us socially, whether people would look askance at us for ‘being political’. The powers that be wouldn’t dare to commit such injustice and oppression if only enough of us stood up!

  2. Gouri says

    Yes we have , lost all empathy . It’s only their resilience that helps them live , no help, love or sympathy from either the system or us as fellow humans ( broadly speaking )

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