Shared by Suman Bhanoo, PRIA
Recently on Terraurban, you read about the peaceful protest conducted by the ten slum dwellers of Chhapra city. The event was first of its kind, a new strategy to raise their voice and defend their rights. (Voice of the urban poor – Chhapra). Below are more updates on this event.
This peaceful protest was named as “public meeting”, aimed to raise the attention of the media, public, administrators and municipal authorities. Media was used as an intellectual tool to spread their issues across several sectors. Event was jointly organised by the PRIA and its local partner Vikas Vihar (NGO). To follow the administrative norms, before conducting the event PRIA and Vikas Vihar took permission from municipal authority.
Under the project “Strengthening Civil Society Voices on Urban Poverty” in Patna, PRIA team is working with the urban poor of 66 slums of 4 cities. The ten slums that organised themselves at Manik Chowk on 10th April, constitute a thick population of 800 families.
Besides basic problems of sanitation, hygiene, potable water and drainage problem, here are few problems which slum residents mentioned during public meeting:
• Government has not revised BPL cards since 2010. Though government has conducted all possible survey still it is showing reluctance to make it public.
• Ironically rural areas of Bihar, BPL list have been revised but in urban areas still it is pending.
• All ten slums of Chapra are registered; still slum residents are struggling for voter cards.
• Quick transfers of official authorities are another reason behind slow process of development.
Slum dwellers also submitted a memorandum to the Chhapra Municipal Council. The memorandum comprised a list of seven official demands aiming to fulfill the entitlements of slum-dwellers, as below:
1. As per Bihar State Slum Policy 2011, there should be quick provision of basic amenities like potable water, garbage management, cleanliness and health facility in the slums of Chhapra city.
2. Government should publish latest BPL list of Chhapra city.
3. Roopganj Slum dweller’s name should be added in the voter list and there should be provision of potable water and housing for them.
4. To fulfill the water requirement there should be provision of hand pump for the residents of Brahmputra Slum- Ward no.4 and there should be proper drainage facility. slum dwellers should get the land right and houses.
5. There should be housing facility for all slum dwellers of Chhapra city
6. All the slum dwellers of Husse Chhapr- Ward no. 33, residing on the both sides of railway track should get land rights and houses.
7. There should be a provision of registration for all the slum dwellers associated to the construction work in the Labour Welfare Board, so that they can get the benefits of all schemes.
The Municipal Corporation is yet to grant the above demands, but the slum improvement committee formulated in all of these slums with support of PRIA and Vikas Vihar are in dialogue with the corporation.