Tag Archives: Jaipur

‘Good meaning’ development schemes fail to reach the urban poor

by Anshu Singh, PRIA

While Rajiv Awas Yojana states in situ development of slums for the slum dwellers on Government land, we came across a different story while working with the slum dwellers in Jaipur. The slum Poos ka Bangla, lies near Jaipur Railway Station, inhabited by people mostly engaged in hawking, wage labour, servants, rag pickers in the nearby area. People belonging to lower castes from the villages of the states of Bengal, Bihar, Nepal, Gujarat, Punjab etc. lives in the slum who are engaged in labour and hawking. Though they stay in government land, they pay rent to those who have encroached the land illegally.

The people residing in adjoining area, engaged in Government services or self employed, have encroached the land using political connection. They have constructed houses- kachcha/ pucca and have given them on rent to the hawkers, rag pickers, labour etc. @ Rs. 1000/month. There are around 143 households in the slum and residents of adjoining area have encroached around 4-5 plots on the government land. Using their political connection and in connivance with the government officials they have got the names of their sons registered in survey list of RAY. So even if the slum redevelopment plan would be taken up under RAY, houses would be allotted to those who already own a pucca house and not to the destitutes as their names are not included in the survey list. The homeless will remain homeless even after the implementation of RAY.

The slum dwellers are daily wage earners and have very limited earnings out of which they have to pay rent to those who do not even own the land where they are living. Both male and female members of the family earn to make their living. Their children are malnourished and cannot even avail basic education. On one hand the slum dwellers lack access to basic services from the Municipality and on the other they have to the people who are not even the owners of the land.

The urban poor are exploited as they were in generations past which have helped in the creation of slums. Exploitation of urban poor has been a clear, direct, and systematic, cause of poverty and social suffering. As per the Planning Commission report 75% of slum households have not received any benefits from any of the governmental programmes designed to alleviate poverty (Report of the Working Group on Urban Poverty, Slums and service delivery system, 2011). The case, as mentioned above where poverty and exploitation are going hand in hand, are one of the reasons why even after several efforts by the government for eradication of urban poverty, in which housing is one of the priority along with food and livelihood, the poor remains poor and initiatives to make the city slum free seems to be a distant dream of the government.

A glimpse of the slum Poos ka Bangla through google map:






The drive to empower urban poor through community led mapping

PRIA along with its partners has been working across the country to ‘Strengthen voices of civil society on urban poverty issues’. This process is facilitated by a community led mapping of urban poor settlements by the resident community itself. The aim is to empower the community with self knowledge and a platform for negotiation with the service providers. Once the community has an authentic set of data, that is even available in the public domain, the community holds the power to communicate, demand and obtain its ‘rights’ from the government.

With help of local NGOs and Settlement Improvement Committee that have been formulated in each ‘intervening’ urban poor settlement, PRIA has equipped with community with a GPS instrument, given the necessary training to operate the instrument and given regular hand holding to the community for the survey.

In Bhopal, GPS mapping has been done in five slums of Deeksha Nagar, Gautam Nagar, Om Nagar, Sanjay Nagar and Shri Ram Nagar in 2013 with assistance of local State NGO – Samarthan, Bhopal. The survey carried out beyond physically locating each slum and its physical characteristics, identifies household information including the status of water and sanitation, displacement and education in these slums. In this activity youth volunteers were identified from each slum and trained on using the GPS instrument. Then with the help of expert each household in the slum was depicted on google earth map. These maps were also shared with ward councilor and municipal community organizers, so that in future if they plan some infrastructure in these slums they may understand the situation of existing resources available in slum and their distribution in each lane of slum. The youth members that participated in mapping process are engaged in other community development work too as volunteers and in future they may take up other initiative of development in their slum also.

A similar exercise has been carried out in Bhojpura basti in Jaipur. The map can be accessed at : https://www.google.com/maps/ms?msid=206436946251815631253.0004f72622b8ebd7b01cb&msa=0&ll=26.897159,75.792537&spn=0.001457,0.002642

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‘Story’ of the Urban Poor – Rajasthan

PRIA is running a national level campaign for ‘Putting governance of Urban Poverty on Political Agenda’ which becomes even more significant in respect to the up-coming Lok Sabha elections. Recently PRIA organised a state level consultation in Jaipur, addressing and highlighting various issues of the urban poor in the state of Rajasthan and in Jaipur. Here is a look at the quick facts shared at the consultation:

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Multi-Stakeholder Consultation on Urban Poverty- Jaipur

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:

  1. Land rights should be given to persons residing in the city since last three years.
  2. For the slums which are covered under RAY, houses should be constructed in- situ so that the slum dwellers do not lose their livelihood.
  3. Implementation of National Urban Sanitation Policy
  4. IEC for welfare schemes specially those which are for BPL families
  5. Implementation of schemes should also be monitored by Government (implementing agency)
  6. Make a ‘Consortium of NGOs’ working on Urban issues
  7. 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
  8. 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
  9. 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
  10. 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. 

Schemes for Urban Poor- ‘one point information’

by Anshu Singh and Suman Bhanoo, PRIA

The biggest dilemma  of the urban poor in availing their rights, is not knowing how to! Even though for private players government makes quick ‘single window clearance mechanism’, the same doesn’t happen for the poor. The urban poor does not even have a cumulative access to the applicable schemes for them!

PRIA has embarked on a set of key initiatives focusing on capacity building, knowledge building, participatory research, citizen-centric development, and policy advocacy. With a combination of training, research and consultancy, it has grounded its work with conceptual rigor and understanding of social reality to command the strategic direction of interventions.                                                                                        


Read below to get detailed information about these schemes:


Finally, Their Voices Were Heard!

By Anshu Singh, PRIA

JP Colony in Vidyadhar Nagar Zone of Jaipur has three sections viz. JP Colony 1, JP Colony 2 and JP Colony 3. Out of these JP Colony 1 has one slum which was inhabited in the year 1981 after floods of Jaipur. At present 450 families reside in the slum majority of who are from Muslim community and few families of Maratha and Rajputs.

PRIA, under the project ‘Strengthening Civil Society Voices on Urban Poverty’, visited the slum. Meetings were conducted to find out the problems the slum dwellers were facing. From the meeting it was found that 70 families did not have their land rights. PRIA conducted meetings to organize the women members of the slum. A women group was formed with two Community Leaders, Smt. Sahida and Smt. Manju.


 PRIA conducting meetings with the slum dwellers of JP Colony

After the orientation of the Community Leaders, Smt. Sahida turned out to be very vocal in organizing the women members of the slum. She ensured that all information given by PRIA is being followed by each woman in the slum. After getting organized and forming a group, the women members of the slum felt more strengthened and felt assured that their voicecould be heard by the Government officials. PRIA facilitated by providing them the application forms for land right, informed them about the documents to be submitted with the application form and where to submit their forms. They also asked them to keep a photocopy of the form and documents submitted for availing the land rights. 


Smt. Shahida, the Community Leader organizing the women in the slum.

Government of Rajasthan has organized a camp “Prashasan Sehro ke Sang” in which it is providing land rights to the slum dwellers. In JP Colony the camp was held on 21 December, 2012. During the camp the slum dwellers enquired about the status of their application for land rights. They came to know that application files of 30 slum dwellers of the colony went missing. PRIA suggested the slum dwellers to visit the office of Municipal Corporation, Vidyadhar nagar Zone of Jaipur. The Community Leaders and other women of the slum along with PRIA visited the Municipal Corporation office of the zone to enquire into the matter. None of the Government officials cared to respond to the queries of women. However, the women group was determined to make their voices heard as they have come from a far off place leaving their daily wages and that the officials simply cannot ignore them on the grounds that they were women and that they come from slum. After repeated requests when the officials still turned a deaf ear to them, they created hullaballoo to an extent that the Government officials were forced to listen to their voices. The Government officials could now feel the heat of their negligence.


The slum dwellers enquiring the status of their application for land right in the camp.

PRIA discussed the matter with Mr. Kailash Chand Sharma, Zone Commissioner and Smt. Anju Chaudhury, Ward Parshad. Mr. Sharma suggested filling fresh application forms with the photocopy of the documents submitted earlier. The families, whose file went missing, filled the application form but this time demanded the authorities to collect their forms from their slum. The Community Leaders, Smt. Shahida and Smt. Manju along with other women of the slum visited the Collectorate from time to time to get information of their land rights. Finally on 27 February, 2013 the Ward Parshad along with the Junior Engineer and other official from Jaipur Municipal Corporation came to collect their application forms. Their plots were also measured and requisite amount was collected from the families applying for land right. PRIA again met the Zone Commissioner for their land rights who assured that their land rights would be given within 31 March, 2013.

The spark which was lighted by PRIA, busted into flames, strengthening the communities to an extent that they could fight for their rights without any external support!

In unity there is strength: Initiatives taken by slum dwellers made their life easy

By Anshu Singh, PRIA

Ambedkar Kachchi Basti is located in Malviya Nagar which is one of the most affluent areas of South Jaipur. This slum is located near Satkar shopping centre and surrounded by Multi-storied buildings from all sides. It was formed in the year 1978 when around 40 families inhabited this place for labour works. Slowly habitation started in this slum and the number of families began to increase. At present 250 families reside in the slum, which have been staying there since last 20 years. The slum inhabits 150 families of Bairwa community, belonging to Scheduled Caste and 20 families of Meena communities belonging to Scheduled Tribe. Besides these, there are few families of Gujjars, Rajputs, and Muslims. In the early days of habitation there was no facility of electricity and water. The slum dwellers used to avail from borings in park or nearby construction sites. Since last 25 years they got water supply and electricity connection from Jaipur Municipal Corporation. This slum falls under Ward No. 38 in Motidungri Zone of Jaipur Municipal Corporation.

Society for Participatory Research in Asia (PRIA), under the project “Strengthening Civil Society Voices for alleviation of Urban Poverty” funded by Ford Foundation and Rockfeller Foundation approached the slum. On probing the problems faced, lack of sanitation facility surfaced as the most pertinent problem of the slum dwellers. There was no sewer line in the slum. Only ten households had temporary toilets. Others used open spaces on road sides for toilets. Ladies faced a lot of difficulties for accessing toilets. They avoided going for toilets in broad day light and therefore, could only go in early mornings or late evening after dark. Their security was threatened. Also the place was filled with dirt and filth and un-hygienic condition prevailed in the slum. Also in absence of drainage there was water logging at every nook and corner of the slum which became the breeding ground for mosquitoes and therefore, seriously affecting their health and hygiene.

Meetings were organized by PRIA for sensitizing the slum dwellers on the problems faced. As a consequence there was increased interaction among the slum dwellers. In successive meetings, two community leaders viz. Smt. Rukmani Devi and Sri. Jagmohan Bairwa, were selected from among a group of 40 people. The community leaders were oriented to discuss issue of sanitation with the slum dwellers and that they can take their own initiative to solve the problem instead of waiting for the government. The slum dwellers become more organized and started thinking to solve the issue of sanitation. PRIA was called again to discuss the matter in the meeting. 

In the meeting during a brainstorming session, community leaders suggested contributing money from each household in the slum for construction of sewer line. Other slum dwellers opposed the suggestion. PRIA asked them to talk among themselves over the matter. The community leaders again conducted a meeting on their own and only three people agreed over contributing money for construction of sewer.


Figure 1: Meeting with slum dwellers of Ambedkar slum along with their community leader

When PRIA conducted the meeting, it was found that ten people from the slum were ready for contributing money. The meeting ended with the decision that these people would contribute money and construct sewer line joining their houses only. Hearing this, the rest of the slum dwellers felt that they would be deprived of this facility if they don’t contribute in sewer line construction. As a result every household of Ambedkar slum agreed upon contributing money for sewer line construction. In successive meetings it was decided that Rs. 400 would be contributed form every household for laying of sewer line. PRIA also discussed the issue with their Ward Parshad, Mr. Sanjay Verma. Mr. Verma supported the slum dwellers and extended the sewer line to connect with the main drain. Their problem of sanitation was solved by the community themselves. At present 90 percent of the households in the slum have their individual toilets. With the construction of sewer line, the problems related to drainage was solved.


Figure 2: Toilet constructed in the house at Ambedkar slum


Figure 3: Man hole of sewer line

 The case of Ambedkar slum presents a good example “Where there is a will, there is a way”. The slum dwellers of presented a good example of solidarity and cohesion where without any external support and financial assistance they could solve their problems by organizing themselves.