Dr Suman Bhanoo, PRIA
PRIA is organizing State level consultations in major parts of India on urban poverty issues as a platform for dialogue between various stakeholders. At Indore the consultation brought forth a group of Masters of Social Work Students and the local Slum dwellers to interact in a democratic and candid fashion. The meeting was enthralling and hinted towards a ‘change’ that is emerging to spurt out!
Students and informal settlers had a face to face conversation and shared their views, opinions, expectations and feeling towards each other. It was an attempt to dilute some societal norm and existing cast barriers. Both sections came together at one common platform and happily discussed how to change nation and make it caste and discrimination free zone. Anecdote of this amazing meeting is as follows:
Informal Settlers: Informal settlers narrated their plight and made an appeal to the present youngsters. Highpoints of their sincere exepctation in their own words are;
Students know very well our living condition; they know how we are managing to fulfill our day to days needs. They are well acquainted to our miserable situation. All we want from them is to become administrators and take our unaddressed issues forward. We want them to attain success in their life and highlight unnoticed problems of urban poor. No doubt government has conducted many surveys in slums but all surveys were conducted in such way to serve politicians and bureaucrats’ purposes. We are not sure how to trust government after all these bad experiences of past, we want students to conduct genuine survey of our slum. In survey they should highlight actual scenario of slum. We are not enough educated to understand government’s policies, services and schemes. We appeal students to please keep us updated regarding various services & schemes and all different channels to avail it, so that we could take benefit out of it. Throughout our life we have faced inequalities and prejudices; we appeal young generation to try to dissolve gaps between rich and poor. We anticipate them to spread our word all around so that we could live dignified life. They should form Yuva Sangthan in our area so that they could make our children aware of various developmental things.
Indore’s MSW students assured informal settlers to help them and provide all possible assistance from their side. They agreed to from a mixed group of youths from slums to workjointly on an issue which is common to both poor and non-poor. Students agreed on the fact that informal settlers have faced discrimination since ages. Youngsters urged the urban poor to provide all possible support and active participation in this mission.
Their raised hands and burning enthusiasm clearly shows that generation-next is ready to change existing dynamics of society and they all are geared up to dilute societal barrier. Young voices and wise ideas are ready to transform India into discrimination free Bharat.
Loud noise of change is ready to echo in the corridors of society… I could easily sense vibes of revolution. How about you??? Are you able to feel silent gust of transformation??
Yes… the revolution has started…..!!!!!!