Session 3: National Consultation on Urban Poverty, Delhi

Schemes and Services for the Urban Poor: Issues and Challenges

 2011 census has indicated a growing urban population and continued migration from rural to urban areas. Urban centers are bursting to their seams, with lack of planning and services for its inhabitants. These urban centers are facing a very big problem, where a high proportion of the population lives in informal settlements lacking basic infrastructure and services and the right to live in the city. The institutions of urban governance are constantly battling with this challenge as rising urbanization is also leading to increasing ‘urbanization of the poverty’.

The third session of the Urban Poverty consultation to be held in Delhi on 20 – 21 June will explore the understanding and current state of schemes and services for the urban poor.

Highlights of the Third Session: Schemes and Services for Urban Poor

Urban poverty is multidimensional and the inherent vulnerability of the poor is manifested by their lack of access to economic and livelihood resources, land and housing, physical infrastructure and services, health and education facilities, social security networks and empowerment. At present there are various State and Central level programs that are working towards urban renewal, city upgradation, housing for the poor and several announcements have been made by the central government about its policy commitments towards urban development. These include such populist slogans as ‘slum-free cities’, ‘inclusive cities’, ‘cities without  poverty’, etc. New schemes are launched such as Rajiv Awas Yojana (RAY) which aims to  guarantee security of tenure for the urban poor.

Here are the few important questions which this session will raise:

(1)   Are schemes and services for the urban poor designed in the most appropriate and realistic manner? (refer https://terraurban.wordpress.com/2012/10/14/ignorance-is-not-bliss-for-small-and-medium-cities-towards-addressing-urban-poverty-through-jnnurm/, https://terraurban.wordpress.com/2013/01/25/hoping-against-hope-bsupjnnurm-a-failed-promise/, https://terraurban.wordpress.com/2012/10/03/poor-living-for-the-urban-poor-tracing-jnnurm-housing-projects/)

(2)   What challenges/difficulties are faced by the urban poor in availing various government schemes and services?

(3)   Do issues of identity, caste, class, gender etc., have implications on the accessibility of these schemes and services?

(4)   What roles can associations of urban poor play in efficient delivery of services? (https://terraurban.wordpress.com/2013/05/18/multi-stakeholder-consultation-around-urban-poverty-bodhgaya-bihar/, https://terraurban.wordpress.com/2013/03/07/adventures-in-microplanning-raipur-edition/, https://terraurban.wordpress.com/2013/03/03/slums-identity-in-the-hands-of-its-slum-dwellers-community-led-slum-survey-and-gps-mapping-in-chandrashekhar-nagar-raipur/)

Moderator and Speakers of the Session:     

Ms. Sheela Patel, Director of SPARC, Mumbai shall moderate the session. Mr. Brij Kumar Agrawal, Joint secretary, Ministry of Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation, Government of India shall share the concrete ideas and inputs from the government side on various schemes and services, Mr. Vignesh Jha (FIUPW)- Federation of Rickshaw Pullers of India and Mr. Shashi Bhushan Pandit (FIUPW)- All India Kabadi Mazdoor Mahasangh   shall represent the community and bring forth the challenges faced by urban poor in availing these government schemes and services. Ms. Twinkle Uppal, Enactus, Shri Ram College of Commerce, New Delhi She will raise the issues of how urban non-poor youth mobilization can help us in creating buzz on urban poverty issue in metropolitan cities like Delhi and Mr. Aromar Revi, Director, Indian Institute of Human settlement (IIHS) Bangalore will bring forth his vast knowledge and understanding of urban poverty issues in India.

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