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7-Year-Old Girl Battles Delhi’s DDA in the Courts and Saves Her Park

Of course, Navya Singh had help from her father, a lawyer.

There are stories of everyday citizens doing their bit to hold those in positions of authority answerable, if not accountable, to the people they are supposed to serve.

In the nation’s capital, Navya Singh, a 7-year-old girl has done her bit to hold the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) answerable for their proposed plans to build a community hall at a park, where she often plays.

With the help of her father, Dheeraj Singh, who is a lawyer, Navya took the DDA to the Delhi High Court over their decision to construct a community hall in Hanuman Mandir park, an area frequented by the families living in Rohini, a residential area in Delhi.

Dheeraj argued in court that the decision to build a community hall in the park was an example of “poor planning” since there was another one just 50 metres away from the proposed site, according to The Indian Express.

In response to the petition, the court issued a notice to the DDA, asking them why a community hall was required. Parks, the bench argued, wasn’t meant to be converted into such structures.

After receiving a court notice, the DDA convened a meeting of its screening committee, alongside local MLA Vijender Gupta, and finally came to a decision that they will build a community hall elsewhere.

For representational purposes (Source: Flickr)
For representational purposes (Source: Flickr)

“As per the decision in the meeting, the site (park) is to be kept and developed as green. Due to the emergence of complaints from a few residents and (since the) matter is under litigation, it is viewed that option 2 (a site 50 metres away from the current one) may be explored for providing multi-purpose community hall and same was agreed upon,” the screening committee report said.

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In addition to submitting a petition in the High Court, Navya also wrote a personal letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, requesting him to save “her park.”

Speaking to the Indian Express, Singh described Navya’s reaction to the DDA’s decision. “Navya always asked me for updates on the court hearing. I told her we won. She screamed with joy. The DDA had put barricades in the park, but the court has now asked that the park be restored to its original shape,” he said.

Now, Navya can go back to play in the park.

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