Anchal Vohra wrote a post :
HANDS BUILDING DELHI
6th august 2009, was when I first met Geeta. 4ft tall, not more than 40 kgs, mother of three, Geeta is one of the 6 lakh workers contributing to the real estate boom in India's capital, Delhi. She was building my neighbours house, turning a simple one floor home into a 4 story complex. This complex now has ten flats. Residents- all expats. In the last 5 years defence colony in south Delhi has been inundated with expat tenants. Diplomats, journalists, MNC employees all seem to prefer defence for a variety of reasons, A market full of pubs, the famous defence bakery, Barista, CCD, Mocha.. where they can find ofcourse coffee [which they despise] bread [they think is NOT bread] and something that looks like a cake. More importantly wine and cheese which is home delivered. Along with the coffee shops and stores with food items like ham, bacon, chorizo... the foreigner tenant has brought dallars [$$$ read American] !!! so the unimaginable hike in rents. Each occupant in the complex geeta built, pays above 1 lakh as rent.
Geeta was paid 110 Rs a day. More money for the owners didnt translate into even a 100 Rs hike in Geeta's daily wage.
Visibly malnutrioned but Geeta walks in style. the big red dot, earings and lip colour was never missing. She often buys vegetables for the aunties in the block hoping to make 10 or 20 bucks as bakshish. For her family she can only afford potatoes, onions, tamatoes and green chilly. "Veggies cost more than Chicken, I have not bought fruit in 6 months. I can't afford mangoes. But in my Village Khatoli in western UP we had mango orchard" says Geeta.
She is not alone.
In just one square of A block in defence colony 6 construction projects are on at any given point. One complex emerges and two more single floor addresses are demolished. The owners clearly want to make the best of the real estate boom.
But whats in it for those building it?
Geeta introduced me to her friend Santosh..