Mumbai, WHD: Rally, Memorandum and Joint Anti-Evictions Task Force announced
A new alliance of inhabitants organizations organized the World Habitat Day. About 500 grass-root communities submitted a Memorandum to the State Chief Minister demanding to Stop Forceful Evictions and open a dialogue with Local Communities, NGOs and CBOs to find appropriate solutions to the Mumbai’s housing crisis in full compliance with the ICESCR. To support the demands, it was announced setting up of the Joint Anti-Eviction Task Force involving all the stake-holders.
National Forum for the Urban Poor(NFUP) which is an active member of Leaders and Organisors of Community Organisations in Asia(LOCOA), Asian Coalition for Housing Rights(ACHR) and International Alliance of Inhabitants(IAI) was one of the main organizing partner who is sincerely committed to the implementation of the decisions taken by the World Assembly of Inhabitants at World Social Forum(WSF)-Dakar, 2011.
NFUP which is a network of more than 100 grass-root, non-political and secular, NGOs, CBOs and Social activists working for the betterment of urban poor on the issues of eviction & housing rights in different parts of India along with other NGOs and Allies involved in Housing Rights issue in Mumbai including People’s Responsible Organisation of United Dharavi(PROUD), People’s Organisation of Wadala for Equality and Rights(POWER) Bombay Urban Industrial League for Development (BUILD), Committee for the Right to Housing(CRH), Human Rights Organisation, Mumbai, Rashtriya Safaay Kamgar Union, & Slum Rehabilitation Society(SRS) came together and jointly organized World Habitat Day Programme in Mumbai on 31st October, 2011.
People’s Responsible Organisation of United Dharavi(PROUD) first organized a Public Rally earlier on 31st October, 2011 from Mahim Phatak to Pivla Bunglow in Dharavi which was followed by the Public Meeting at the premises of Sant Chennayya Samaj Seva Sangh, Sion-Bandra Highway, Mumbai-400017 at 5pm.
About 500 of grass-root communities from different parts of Mumbai represented to arrive at the following demands to the State Chief Minister:
- To Stop Forceful Evictions and open a meaningful dialogue with Local Communities, NGOs and CBOs to find appropriate solutions to the Mumbai’s housing crisis in full compliance with the ICESCR.
- In case of Unavoidable Displacement, Provide Appropriate and Alternative Resettlement linked with livelihood.
- Do not impose any Cut-off date for State Housing Schemes but provide basic civic amenities to all irrespective of their land-ownership.
- Bring-up State Housing Policy to protect the Housing Rights of Urban Poor with affordable houses.
- “A Decent Shelter linked with livelihood is our Basic & Fundamental Right”,
- People’s Participation for Speedy, free and fair Implementation of all SRA Projects especially Dharavi Redevelopment Programme(DRP) which is long pending even after several election promises.
Earlier in the public meeting, Mr. Prashanth Anthony, National Co-ordinator of NFUP welcomed the participants and spoke elaborantly on the importance of World Habitat Day Programme, World Social Forum and the process of WAI and it’s commitment towards poor. He also emphasized the need of financial resources for strengthening our efforts towards solving the problem of forced evictions and announced setting up of Joint Anti-Eviction Task Force involving all the stake-holders details of which would be further discussed in a National Seminar to be organized soon.
Next, Mr. Hariram Dilliwala, Gen. Secretary of PROUD spoke on people’s struggle and their long standing dream of having decent homes and the importance of Dharavi Redevelopment Programme to realize those dreams of millions of poor people in Dharavi.
Later on while, Dr. Jalinder Adsule from College of Social Work spoke on Maharashtra State Housing Policy and on Shri Rajiv Gandhi Awas Yojana, Mr. Azad Saif from BUILD remarked gradual fading away of significance of People’s Democracy and urged people to stand-up to demand good governance and transparency in Government’s functioning.
Mr. Sharadchandran of Committee for the Right to Housing(CRH) said that there is lack of information among the people about the govt. policies and programmes which may deprive people from getting those benefits.
Finally, Mr. Vinnet Joglekar from Vineet Yojana summed-up the whole programme to remind the importance of regular meeting of this new alliance for greater solidarity to fulfill the dreams of the poor homeless people and concluded the meeting with vote of thanks.