Shared by Anshu Singh, PRIA
Under, ‘Strengthening Civil Society Voices on Urban Poverty’, PRIA, initiated an awareness drive in Jaipur. The team is supporting the slum dwellers to obtain relevant information, avail their basic rights and voice their opinion. In Jaipur, it is working in 10 slums for the improvement and upliftment of slum dwellers to make them habitable. To facilitate dialogue sharing between different stakeholders of urban poverty, a consultation was organized on 4 April, 2013 at State Resource Centre, Jhalana Dungri, Jaipur. The consultation was an effort to shape the civil society debate and also to engage the key policy makers and actors, in shaping the policies and programs from citizen’s perspective.
The objectives of the consultation were
- To bring all the stakeholders of urban poverty to a common platform
- To discuss ways in which government programs can be influenced in a positive manner so that it can satisfy community demands.
The consultation was attended by 84 participants including CSOs, CBOs, Research Institutes, Policy makers, Urban Planners, individual Activists, Professional Consultants, slum dwellers and Media from Jaipur. Mayor, Jaipur Municipal Corporation was the Chief Guest of the consultation. Apart from this, the Chief Executive Officer, JMC, Commissioner, Kachchi Basti and Zone Commissioner also attended the consultation. The consultation was concentrated into two thematic sessions viz.:
1. Civil society engagement on urban poverty issues
2. Ongoing initiatives of Government on Urban Poor
Smt. Jyoti Khandelwal, Mayor, addressing the participants of the consultation
Ms. Shaheen, the Community Leader of Bhojpura slum sharing the problems faced
Mr. P.N. Mondola, Activist, sharing the challenges of Urban Poor
The following are some of the suggestions from the consultation:
- Land rights should be given to persons residing in the city since last three years.
- For the slums which are covered under RAY, houses should be constructed in- situ so that the slum dwellers do not lose their livelihood.
- Implementation of National Urban Sanitation Policy
- IEC for welfare schemes specially those which are for BPL families
- Implementation of schemes should also be monitored by Government (implementing agency)
- Make a ‘Consortium of NGOs’ working on Urban issues
- There should be a monthly interface “Sanjha Sarokar” between the Slum Improvement Committees and respective Zone Commissioners and Parshads to make them aware of the situation
- NGOs should adopt ‘cluster approach’ e.g. groups of vendors, rickshaw pullers, rag pickers etc., so that they could be trained at Resource Center of JMC
- NGOs should conduct research, collect related data and inform the government so that it could be incorporated in the preparation of Master Plan of Jaipur
- Promotion of Right to Information Act, 2005, Right to Hearing Act, 2012 and Public Service Guarantee Act, 2010.
A copy of the suggestions was circulated to the Mayor, Jaipur Municipal Corporation (JMC), The Chief Executive Officer (CEO), JMC, Zone Commissioners of respective zones, Commissioner Kachchi Basti and NGOs who participated in the consultation. A meeting was also held with the Chief Secretary, Government of Rajasthan (GoR), Additional Chief Secretary, Urban Development, GoR, Director of Local Body, Urban Development, GoR for implementation of the suggestions to improve the condition of the slums.
A meeting was held with the CEO, JMC in which the suggestions of the consultation was shared. He considered its incorporation in the Action Plan of JMC. Another meeting was held with the Chief Secretary, GoR, for sharing the issues of urban poor. He marked the letter to Additional Chief Secretary which was again marked to Director Local Bodies for its processing.
The government authorities have shown a positive attitude for addressing the problems of slum dwellers. Hope this dialogue sharing and conversations would be fruitful in increasing coordination between the slum dwellers and the government officials and also for streamlining the marginalized section of the society.