Through facilitation and handholding by PRIA and Chetna Child and women welfare society, 7 Slums of Raipur over the last two years have been able to formulate ‘Slum Improvement Committee’ in their own slums which is a democratic body, selected by the slum dwellers themselves such that it represents the issues faced by the slum dwellers, assists all the inhabitants as and when required and becomes an interface between the governing bodies and the slum dwellers.
The seven slums that have been successful in formulating these slum improvement committees (SIC) in Raipur are:
- Durga Nagar
- Tarun Nagar
- Indrabhatta kushta
- Chandrashekhar Nagar
- Kashiram Nagar
- Gandhi Nagar of Shankar Nagar ward
- Gandhi Nagar of Kalimata ward
The SICs in these slums have been a focal point to mobilise the community, raise awareness about applicable schemes, take the opinion of slum dwellers to the governing bodies and undertake pioneering steps towards generating a valid knowledge base about their slums through mapping and survey of the slum conducted by the slum dwellers themselves.
These SICs are now further collectivising and holding joint meetings to learn from each other experiences and provide necessary hand-holding support to each other. Each SIC has also formulated a two member committee called “Jan-Jagran Samiti” that represents the SIC and the slum dwellers by acting as a ‘Voice’ in front of media, civil society, governing bodies and people at large.
On 23rd April, the Jan-Jagran Samitis of each of the seven slum, organised a joint media interface at Raipur and took the opportunity to disseminate the issues faced by their own slums, response of the relevant governing bodies to those slums, collectivisation of the slum dwellers under SIC, various initiatives taken by SIC and slum dwellers and various success stories thereof.
Some of the issues that the Jan-Jagran Samitis elaborated upon are as follows:
- Durga Nagar residents represented by Mr. Bhagwan Yadav, shared the present condition of the slum dwellers, wherein the slum dwellers who have been inhabiting land of Raipur Development Authority (RDA) since many years are now facing constant threats of evictions through false notices by business men who would like to take over that piece of land.
- Tarun Nagar residents shared their plight, wherein even though Rajiv Awas Yojana assures of in-situ upgradation, this slum that is inhabited on the ‘nazul’ land is getting notices of eviction since Raipur Municipal Corporation (RMC) claims that tenure rights on the nazul land is not feasible. However, private corporates and business men have been able to get the requisite registry of land on similar nazul land in the area. Sanitation is another one big issue for this slum community for which RMC is yet to provide for.
- Representatives from Indrabhatta Kushta Basti and Chandrashekar Nagar elaborated upon the challenge that their slums are facing. Both of these slums are situated on the Railway Land and are not included in the Rajiv Awas Yojana, which promises a ‘slum-free city’ and in-situ upgradation or rehabilitation of each and every slum in the city.
- Kashiram Nagar, as shared by the representatives, also faces issues of ‘tenure rights’. While representatives of Gandhi Nagar, elaborated upon the lack of connectivity of the slum to the main road, that is at present blocked due to a private construction. While cleanliness and irregular services by RMC were daunting issues for residents of Gandhi Nagar
Despite of the challenges faced by these slum communities the Jan-Jagran Samitis shared the pioneering initiative undertaken in these slums to formulate SIC and the positive initiatives towards the development of the slum taken by the SIC and the slum dwellers themselves. Some of the success stories shared by them in the media interface were as follows:
- Efforts of SIC towards information sharing and spreading awareness about the RMC initiative of Nagar Suraj Abhiyan and even helping the slum dwellers to fill the adequate forms for the same.
- Information boards that the SIC have formulated in each slum to provide necessary and timely information to the slum dwellers is another positive initiative that has been undertaken.
- SIC members also assist the slum dwellers in procuring their claims, ration cards, rights from other relevant schemes etc.
- Efforts of SIC in being proactive about the rights and processes of Rajiv Awas Yojana and equipping the community to conduct its own survey and having a correct knowledge base about their community. They shared in detail the experiences of Chandrashekar Nagar who has been successful in conducting their own slum survey through GPS and google earth. Read more about the community led survey here at Terra Urban
This “citizen-media dialogue” was the first of its kind, wherein the slum dwellers finally gathered to have a ‘Voice’ of their own and shared the same, through media. Various leading newspapers of Raipur- Patrika, Central Chronicle, Nai duniya, Navbharat, Hitvada covered this dialogue. See the clippings below: