By Anshu Singh, PRIA
JP Colony in Vidyadhar Nagar Zone of Jaipur has three sections viz. JP Colony 1, JP Colony 2 and JP Colony 3. Out of these JP Colony 1 has one slum which was inhabited in the year 1981 after floods of Jaipur. At present 450 families reside in the slum majority of who are from Muslim community and few families of Maratha and Rajputs.
PRIA, under the project ‘Strengthening Civil Society Voices on Urban Poverty’, visited the slum. Meetings were conducted to find out the problems the slum dwellers were facing. From the meeting it was found that 70 families did not have their land rights. PRIA conducted meetings to organize the women members of the slum. A women group was formed with two Community Leaders, Smt. Sahida and Smt. Manju.
PRIA conducting meetings with the slum dwellers of JP Colony
After the orientation of the Community Leaders, Smt. Sahida turned out to be very vocal in organizing the women members of the slum. She ensured that all information given by PRIA is being followed by each woman in the slum. After getting organized and forming a group, the women members of the slum felt more strengthened and felt assured that their voicecould be heard by the Government officials. PRIA facilitated by providing them the application forms for land right, informed them about the documents to be submitted with the application form and where to submit their forms. They also asked them to keep a photocopy of the form and documents submitted for availing the land rights.
Smt. Shahida, the Community Leader organizing the women in the slum.
Government of Rajasthan has organized a camp “Prashasan Sehro ke Sang” in which it is providing land rights to the slum dwellers. In JP Colony the camp was held on 21 December, 2012. During the camp the slum dwellers enquired about the status of their application for land rights. They came to know that application files of 30 slum dwellers of the colony went missing. PRIA suggested the slum dwellers to visit the office of Municipal Corporation, Vidyadhar nagar Zone of Jaipur. The Community Leaders and other women of the slum along with PRIA visited the Municipal Corporation office of the zone to enquire into the matter. None of the Government officials cared to respond to the queries of women. However, the women group was determined to make their voices heard as they have come from a far off place leaving their daily wages and that the officials simply cannot ignore them on the grounds that they were women and that they come from slum. After repeated requests when the officials still turned a deaf ear to them, they created hullaballoo to an extent that the Government officials were forced to listen to their voices. The Government officials could now feel the heat of their negligence.
The slum dwellers enquiring the status of their application for land right in the camp.
PRIA discussed the matter with Mr. Kailash Chand Sharma, Zone Commissioner and Smt. Anju Chaudhury, Ward Parshad. Mr. Sharma suggested filling fresh application forms with the photocopy of the documents submitted earlier. The families, whose file went missing, filled the application form but this time demanded the authorities to collect their forms from their slum. The Community Leaders, Smt. Shahida and Smt. Manju along with other women of the slum visited the Collectorate from time to time to get information of their land rights. Finally on 27 February, 2013 the Ward Parshad along with the Junior Engineer and other official from Jaipur Municipal Corporation came to collect their application forms. Their plots were also measured and requisite amount was collected from the families applying for land right. PRIA again met the Zone Commissioner for their land rights who assured that their land rights would be given within 31 March, 2013.
The spark which was lighted by PRIA, busted into flames, strengthening the communities to an extent that they could fight for their rights without any external support!