Tag Archives: Raipur

Jaundice an epidemic engulfing the urban life in Raipur

By Deepika Pandey, PRIA

In Raipur half of the city is under the grip of Jaundice which is dispersing like epidemic in the city. Mostly affected areas are the slums of the city, Dindayal Upadhyay Nagar and Waman-rao lakhey Nagar ward area. More than 25 deaths have been followed, out of which half of the patients were pregnant women, died due to this disease.

 Although the ultimate cause of scattering of this syndrome was not actually diagnosed but it is estimated that the poor sanitation & sewerage system of the city, pitiable water supply system and lack of proper cleanliness of drains, canals & water tanks are responsible for the dispersion of the disease because after notifying 2-3 cases of jaundice from DD Nagar, the Member of Parliament  Mr.Ramesh Baise supervised the area and investigated the water tank where he found worms and germs in the water and a thick layer of sludge within the water tank. After testing the water, the virus of Hepatitis E & A found in the water responsible for Jaundice, which  is a water borne disease occur due to the consumption of contaminated water affecting the liver and reduces its tendency to filter, ultimately resulted into various diseases like liver psorisis etc. Chief Minister Dr.Raman Singh has allotted 19 crores 68 lakh rupees for the repair and maintenance of the pipelines and sewerage system in Durg and Raipur  forJaundice free campaign, 41 lakh 73 thousand rupees was allotted to Raipur Municipal Corporation and 9 cores 26 lakh 42 thousand  rupees to Durg Municipal Corporation.

In this situation to address the role of civil society, a workshop was organized on “The role of civil societies in current situation of Jaundice affected people & area for better health” participated by the representatives of different civil society organizations, slum dwellers and the Doctors were also invited to provide information for precaution from this disease. Dr. Biplav Bandopadhyay said that the jaundice basically occur due to the mixing of faecal contaminated water with drinking water the only remedy to get rid from the virus Hepatitis E is to consume boiled water.

It was discussed in the workshop that Municipal corporation is responsible for all this misfortune their lethargic behavior towards providing basic facilities led into the occurrence of this situation. It is the responsibility of Municipal Corporation to provide cleanliness and safe water to the city and to ensure the cleanliness of the sources of water. The following steps were taken as per the discussion in the meeting:

  • A memorandum was entrusted to the Governor and the commissioner of the municipal corporation to take immediate action for cleaning the water tanks and other sources of water & to organize health camps at slum level.
  • A  JANSABHA was organized against the municipality under the banner of Chhattisgarh slum initiative in Budha-talab Raipur and demands were raised for an Integrated Water policy, a Charter from Municipal Corporation regarding the health facility.
  • A Public Interest Litigation was also filed in the court against Municipal Corporation for supplying polluted drinking water in the city

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PRIA is also a part of the Jansabha where the voices were raised. After the Jansbaha PRIA discussed about this workshop with SICs, they got inspired by this & few SIC’s such as Kashiram Nagar have taken initiative and given application to the commissioner of Raipur municipal corporation to organize camp. The commissioner immediately issued letter to the councilor of the concerned ward to organize a camp in the slum. The camp was successfully organized on 21st May.

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Health checkups in slums with effort of Slum Dwellers!

by Mahesh Dhandole, PRIA

Slum Improvement Committee (SIC) organized Free Eye Check UP camp in Joint Collaboration with MGM Eye Hospital, Raipur

Since last two year, PRIA along with partner organization Chetana Child & Women Welfare society is making an effort to collectivize and strengthening the urban poor and their groups (SICs) by providing information and various platforms so that they could raise their voice in front of various authorities and stakeholders. As a result, various interfaces with govt. & other institutions are happening by SICs for improving the condition of slums in Raipur.

MGM eye hospital is one of biggest eye care hospital in Chhattisgarh state, which was established with the mission of providing most advanced eye care to all segments of the society, especially the underprivileged. During the time, PRIA had shared their initiatives with the outreach team of MGM and organized interface meeting between SICs and team of MGM in PRIA office, on 12/05/2014. Mr. Soumya Ranjan, Programme Manager of MGM had shared information about their hospital and outreach activities.  Members of SICs and MGM were discussed the various aspects of organizing free eye check-up camp in slums and fixed the scheduled for camps in different slums. It was jointly discussed, the field level mobilization will be done by SICs and team of doctors and other materials will be available by MGM hospital.

On 20/05/2014, one day free eye check camp was organized at Govt. Primary School, in Kanshiram Nagar slum of Ward no. 44 in Raipur. A five member team of doctors, lab technicians and assistants were present in the camp. Around 120 citizens did their eye screening through various processes in the camp. Slum Improvement Committee of Kanshiram Nagar actively facilitated the camp in their slum. Ex. Ward Councillor Mr. Kuber Safa also visited the camp and appreciated the effort of SIC. During the camp, 15 citizens were identified who had the critical eye disease like cornea & Anterior Segment and 35 patients of reflective diseases were identified. Out them, 5 citizens were referred to the hospital for free operation surgery. In the evening, MGM hospitals arranged the vehicle and send these 5 patients to their hospital for free operation surgery of eye. However, all the other SICs will organize free eye check-up camp in their respective slum. A next camp will be organized on 25/05/2014, in Tarun Nagar Slum of Ward no.30.         

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When slum dwellers are heard! – City level urban poverty consultation at Raipur

Society for Participatory Research in Asia(PRIA) and Chetna Child and Women Welfare Society have been working together in 7 slums of Raipur towards increasing the participation of the slum dwellers in various urban poverty schemes and increasing the accountability of the service providers towards the needs and rights of these slum communities. In this process of strengthening the voices of the urban poor, collectivisation of the community has been the propagated approach. Slum Improvement Committees (SIC) have been formulated and these have further been facilitated by capacity building and adequate orientation towards applicable urban poverty schemes and their own rights. All the SICs have also been encouraged to hold exchange platforms with each other and the service providers and other stakeholders to discuss about various issues and possible solution.

A similar consultation was organised on 9 May 2013 at Viridian Hall at Raipur which brought together SIC members of Tarun Nagar, Chandrashekar Nagar, Gandhi Nagar, Kashiram Nagar, Durga Nagar and Indira Nagar and governing leaders of Raipur Municipal Corporation (RMC) including Mayor Dr. kiranmayee Nayak, RMC Speaker and Chairman of Zone-3- Sanjay Shrivastav, Zone-3 commissioner- Manoj Singh, Zone -4 Commissioner B.K. Bansvar and active participation of several NGOs.

The SIC representatives took this opportunity and platform to make the governing body and other participants aware of the issues that are affecting them, such as lack of tenure rights, unplanned resettlement, illegal  resettlement of already resettled slums, issues faced by slums situated on railway land, need and right of in-situ slum upgradation and need for adequate participation of the slum community in central and state level schemes such as Rajiv Awas Yojana that are directed towards welfare of the urban poor.

The voices of the slum dwellers were heard and the service providers did give certain assurance to the SIC representatives, such as:

  • The Mayor assured that in-situ upgradation shall be taken up as a priority and resettlement to other locations shall be avoided as much as feasible. She also promised a much greater and effective participation of the slum dwellers in slum-free city planning under Rajiv Awas Yojana in the city. Also she promised to discuss the dilemma of people residing on the railway land with the Divisional Railway Managar.
  • RMC Speaker and Chairman of Zone-3 assured that through the formulated SICs, the slum dwellers from now onwards would have active participation in not just issue assessment but also decision making.
  • Commissioners of Zone 3 and Zone 4 also advised the SIC members to register their written complaints to relevant zone offices to speed up the mitigation activities.

The civil society members inclusive of PRIA, Chetna, other NGOs and the formulated SICs pledged to work together towards the improvement of lives of the urban poor and adequately work along with RMC to facilitate a participatory and effective delivery mechanism to the urban poor.

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Dissemination and Outreach through Media –Efforts of Slum Improvement Committees

PRIA-Raipur

Through facilitation and handholding by PRIA and Chetna Child and women welfare society, 7 Slums of Raipur over the last two years have been able to formulate ‘Slum Improvement Committee’ in their own slums which is a democratic body, selected by the slum dwellers themselves such that it represents the issues faced by the slum dwellers, assists all the inhabitants as and when required and becomes an interface between the governing bodies and the slum dwellers.

The seven slums that have been successful in formulating these slum improvement committees (SIC) in Raipur are:

  • Durga Nagar
  • Tarun Nagar
  • Indrabhatta kushta
  • Chandrashekhar Nagar
  • Kashiram Nagar
  • Gandhi Nagar of Shankar Nagar ward
  • Gandhi Nagar of Kalimata ward

The SICs in these slums have been a focal point to mobilise the community, raise awareness about applicable schemes, take the opinion of slum dwellers to the governing bodies and undertake pioneering steps towards generating a valid knowledge base about their slums through mapping and survey of the slum conducted by the slum dwellers themselves.

These SICs are now further collectivising and holding joint meetings to learn from each other experiences and provide necessary hand-holding support to each other. Each SIC has also formulated a two member committee called “Jan-Jagran Samiti” that represents the SIC and the slum dwellers by acting as a ‘Voice’ in front of media, civil society, governing bodies and people at large.

On 23rd April, the Jan-Jagran Samitis of each of the seven slum, organised a joint media interface at Raipur and took the opportunity to disseminate the issues faced by their own slums, response of the relevant governing bodies to those slums, collectivisation of the slum dwellers under SIC, various initiatives taken by SIC and slum dwellers and various success stories thereof.

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Some of the issues that the Jan-Jagran Samitis elaborated upon are as follows:

  • Durga Nagar residents represented by Mr. Bhagwan Yadav, shared the present condition of the slum dwellers, wherein the slum dwellers who have been inhabiting land of Raipur Development Authority (RDA) since many years are now facing constant threats of evictions through false notices by business men who would like to take over that piece of land.
  • Tarun Nagar residents shared their plight, wherein even though Rajiv Awas Yojana assures of in-situ upgradation, this slum that is inhabited on the ‘nazul’ land is getting notices of eviction since Raipur Municipal Corporation (RMC) claims that tenure rights on the nazul land is not feasible. However, private corporates and business men have been able to get the requisite registry of land on similar nazul land in the area. Sanitation is another one big issue for this slum community for which RMC is yet to provide for.
  • Representatives from Indrabhatta Kushta Basti and Chandrashekar Nagar elaborated upon the challenge that their slums are facing. Both of these slums are situated on the Railway Land and are not included in the Rajiv Awas Yojana, which promises a ‘slum-free city’ and in-situ upgradation or rehabilitation of each and every slum in the city.
  • Kashiram Nagar, as shared by the representatives, also faces issues of ‘tenure rights’. While representatives of Gandhi Nagar, elaborated upon the lack of connectivity of the slum to the main road, that is at present blocked due to a private construction. While cleanliness and irregular services by RMC were daunting issues for residents of Gandhi Nagar

Despite of the challenges faced by these slum communities the Jan-Jagran Samitis shared the pioneering initiative undertaken in these slums to formulate SIC and the positive initiatives towards the development of the slum taken by the SIC and the slum dwellers themselves. Some of the success stories shared by them in the media interface were as follows:

  • Efforts of SIC towards information sharing and spreading awareness about the RMC initiative of Nagar Suraj Abhiyan and even helping the slum dwellers to fill the adequate forms for the same.
  • Information boards that the SIC have formulated in each slum to provide necessary and timely information to the slum dwellers is another positive initiative that has been undertaken.
  • SIC members also assist the slum dwellers in procuring their claims, ration cards, rights from other relevant schemes etc.
  • Efforts of SIC in being proactive about the rights and processes of Rajiv Awas Yojana and equipping the community to conduct its own survey and having a correct knowledge base about their community. They shared in detail the experiences of Chandrashekar Nagar who has been successful in conducting their own slum survey through GPS and google earth. Read more about the community led survey here at Terra Urban

This “citizen-media dialogue” was the first of its kind, wherein the slum dwellers finally gathered to have a ‘Voice’ of their own and shared the same, through media. Various leading newspapers of Raipur- Patrika, Central Chronicle, Nai duniya, Navbharat, Hitvada covered this dialogue. See the clippings below:

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Adventures in Microplanning, Raipur Edition

By Eric Kasper,IDS and Deepika Pandey, PRIA

Stesalit, a professional agency from Kolkata, has been hired by Raipur Municipal Corporation (RMC) to survey all the slums in Raipur as part of the Rajiv Awas Yojana (RAY). In 2006 RMC prepared a list of all 282 known slums in the city. Since that time, in part because of housing schemes such as BSUP, some of the slums have shifted. By the early stages of RAY implementation, RMC could identify only 240 of the originally listed slums, and Stesalit has been instructed to survey each of these.

PRIA has been working in Raipur on urban issues for many years. In February, 2012, PRIA took an initiative to list all the slums of the city and found 299 of them.  PRIA also found only 233 of the original 282 slums, but they also found an additional 66. What will become of these additional slums not counted in the RMC’s updated list?

Out of all the slums in Raipur, PRIA selected 10 slums for intervention, in order to organize the slum dwellers to effectively interact with the RMC and to demand proper facilities and basic services. Because Raipur is one of the four Chhattisgarh cities selected for RAY, this initiative of PRIA has also attempted to prepare the slum dwellers to participate in the implementation of RAY from the beginning. In Raipur, the Stesalit survey has already begun. They have surveyed all of the 240 slums. After the survey, they will be carrying out “microplanning” in each slum in which Stesalit will decide priorities for housing design and service needs with a group designated to represent the residents of a given slum.

PRIA has facilitated the process of forming Slum Improvement Committees in 7 slums out of the 10 slums originally chosen for intervention. Of these 7 slums, there are 2 slums – Chandrashekhar Nagar and Indira Bhata Kushta Basti – where the survey has not yet been carried out. So PRIA encouraged one of these, Chandrashekhar Nagar, to use the GPS to do a survey of their own. They have already accomplished this. To share this initiative and to know why these slums were left out by Stesalit, PRIA made a visit to Stesalit’s office. They shared the story of organizing in the 7 slums along with the initiative taken by Chandrashekhar Nagar and asked about the reason for leaving these two slums out.

These slums were not on the official list. They showed interest in learning more about the unlisted slums. In this discussion, they agreed to use the SICs as the main points of contact in those slums. We agreed to visit the slums together so that PRIA and Stesalit could collaborate on the microplanning process.

Stesalit and PRIA planned to meet on 5 March to start microplanning in any one of the 7 slums. Indira Bhata Kushta Basti was decided as the venue. Moumita (The representative of Stesalit) began a meeting and the SIC members and other residents gathered around. She explained that Stesalit has been contracted to carry out surveys and planning processes in all the slums of the city, and that they would like to do these things in their slum. The residents had many questions and concerns regarding how the process would work, including whether or not they would be forced to move from their land, which was not RMC land but Railway land. PRIA and Stesalit answered most of their questions, but there were some issues that neither group had the authority to answer. The decision about whether the slums will be able to stay in their current location must be resolved through negotiations with both the RMC and the Railway department.

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During the discussion, it was realized that Stesalit had completed the survey for only one section of Indira Bhata Kushta Basti. The residents of this rather large slum consider themselves to be two separate entities. Only one of these has been surveyed, but not the area with an SIC. So it was decided that Stesalit would begin with the microplanning in the section already surveyed but delay microplanning with the SIC until a survey could be completed. They realized that they had missed this section in the previous survey, and the oversight was discovered as a result of this collaboration between PRIA, Stesalit and the SICs. Furthermore, Stesalit realized that since neither the second section of Indira Bhata nor the slum in Chandrashekhar Nagar were on the official list, they do not have authorization to include them as part of the RAY survey and planning process. They are now seeking approval to include them as “newly discovered” slums, even though these areas were highlighted on maps in Stesalit’s own office and have been known to PRIA for more than two years.

So in this situation, the community, organized in such a way to effectively interact with the implementers of RAY; the NGO working with the community; and the contracting agency responsible for carrying out the planning are all working together. This is how RAY was supposed to work, according to the policy guidance. However, where is the RMC? They are ultimately responsible for implementing this policy. It has been expedient for them to outsource some of the technical work, but some issues cannot be resolved by contractors. The negotiations over land rights and the inclusion of overlooked slums are important examples. How can the RMC meet its obligations regarding these issues? Should there not also be a representative of the RMC at these microplanning meetings?

Slum’s Identity in the hands of its slum dwellers! Community-led Slum Survey and GPS Mapping in Chandrashekhar Nagar, Raipur

by Eric Kasper and Deepika Pandey

Chandrashekhar Nagar is a slum nestled along a railway line in Ward 25 of Raipur. It is one of 7 slum areas where  PRIA has been facilitating community activities under its 2-year long initiative to strengthen the voices of civil society on urban poverty. Each of these 7 communities has formed a Slum Improvement Committee (SIC) which has taken on the responsibility of representing the community and sharing all relevant information with residents. Residents of Chandrashekhar Nagar are working to mitigate the precarity of life in an informal settlement by building the strength to more effectively take collective action in their own interests. The log below highlights how the community of Chandrashekar Nagar  are becoming agents of their own development.

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One major feature of the current policy climate in Chhattisgarh is the on-going program of the Rajiv Awas Yojana (RAY), the central government scheme which aims to create “slum-free city”. It is to be the capstone project of the scheme related to Basic Services to Urban Poor (BSUP) and other housing schemes. The policy has received wide acclaim, but the details of implementation, as always, have the potential to derail the project and undermine the potential for real transformation. To this end, PRIA and the slum-dwellers of Raipur plan to be ready for the kind of meaningful community participation that will be absolutely necessary for successful implementation of RAY.

Raipur Municipal Corporation is the body that is responsible for the implementation of RAY in Raipur. However, in line with the policy guidance, which encourages public-private partnerships and technical assistance from civil society, most elements of the project are being tasked to contractors. Stasellite, a contracting organization has been hired to carry out the survey of all slums in Raipur to identify eligible neighborhoods and households. This survey has already begun in several slums. Communities have reported that surveyors enter the neighborhood and chalk numbers on houses without talking to anyone, even though one of the prime guidelines in RAY is community participation starting from the time of survey!

Slum Improvement Committees (SIC) that have been formed in certain communities are raising the concerns and voice of the community regarding this practice of surveying. For example in Kashiram Nagar, the SIC members objected on being not included in the survey process and not being provided enough and prior information regarding the same. They held a dialogue with the local councillor and demanded that the survey needs to be conducted again with involvement of the community members, and refused to sign on any survey form till then.

Various SICs together also facilitate knowledge and experience sharing. Durga Nagar slum for instance was able to familiarise itself with the process and requirements of RAY based on Kashiram Nagar’s experience prior to the survey activities. Chandershekar Nagar on other hand has initiated a self – survey of their locality, to be done by the community itself.

Chandershekar Nagar was facilitated by PRIA for this self-survey task, and a format for slum profiling that would include all relevant data about the residents, community resources, neighbourhood etc. was chalked out. This slum profiling was to be carried entirely by the community with the aim of self – knowledge and limiting any level of discrepancy at the time of RAY survey, such that rights of all are included. The slum profiling by the community themselves also aims to bringing in the community together and preparticiing them for the participation process in the RAY process.

PRIA introduced a Global Positioning System (GPS) device to the community and the SIC members. This GPS instrument was a tool for the community to map their own locality. The community was excited and eager to work with the GPS and prepare a database of their community. SIC members created a team of literate community members who could devote time to carry out the survey. PRIA provided a satellite image of the slum from Google Earth Maps with a GPS device and trained them to use the same. A questionnaire also supported this what recorded all RAY eligibility aspects along with other features of the slum such as residents’ access to electricity, toilets, water, Smart Cards, Shramik cards, and other things. The survey began in full swing in the month of February. The team was able to organise themselves and divide their tasks amongst themselves such as recording points on the paper map, filling questionnaires and recording points on GPS device.

Interestingly the team comprised mostly young enterprising mothers of the community! These young women were spending most time in the slums and the older women were able to support them and take care of their children while the younger women went for the mission of surveying their community! 

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GPS team making the boundary “track”

The team began its task by making a “track” to record the boundary of the slum. Carrying the GPS, the team walked ceremoniously around the entire slum, starting at the Hanuman Mandir, walking down the main street to the corner, turning right, walking along the Public Distribution System offices, and then carefully following the railway tracks back to the beginning. The group saved the “track” and gave it a name in the GPS, and the group cheered their first success. A small crowd had gathered around, and the team explained that the SIC was making the survey as a community resource, and that it would help prepare for participation in the Rajiv Awas Yojana that would be starting soon.

The team then started marking points in the GPS for each house in the slum. For each one, the team would ask the questions from the questionnaire to whoever was at home. It took three afternoons, but information was recorded for each house in the slum, noting all those eligible to participate in Rajiv Awas Yojana, and alerting the SIC members that many families still had not received Smart cards or ration cards.

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Slum Survey in Action

The team of young surveyors of the community also built up their knowledge and strength of participation and communication in the process. Initially for explaining the task they had initiated in their won slum to the other community members, they would look for support from PRIA representatives. But by the second day itself, the team themselves were equipped with knowledge and became leaders for their community!

The team and PRIA have also uploaded the GPS points on Google Earth and now the slum has a permanent and valid record of their existence and identity! The SIC and team members of Chandershekhar Nagar have a new vigour and zest in them. The believe that this whole self-mapping and survey experience has been transformative, giving them invaluable knowledge of their own community as well as the confidence to engage with others on technical issues. They are prepared to assist the RAY surveyors, and they are eager to help other slum communities carry out their own GPS-based slum survey.

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Chandershekar slum – marked and mapped by the community

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GPS team marks the points on Google Earth and  reflects on the experience

Hoping against hope- BSUP/JNNURM a failed promise!

On TerraUrban (Kya Hua Tera Wada, Pro-poor governing climate ) you read about the only ‘in-situ’ slum upgradation project initiated by Raipur Municipal Corporation which still hasn’t resulted in any provision of housing for the displaced.

Read the recent article by Jyotindra Prasad traces the plight of 5000 residents of Telibandha locality in Raipur who have been uprooted from their homes about 20 months ago. These residents were promised a temporary abode till the up gradation work was to be initiated in their locality. Only 800 of these residents who originally inhabit the area around the Telibandha pond where temporarily settled in Boriakala which is 16km away from Raipur with an assurance that they will be back to the original place in a year. However construction work at Telibandha has not even began!

The situation for the 800 who were resettled is as traumatic as those who were left in lurch! RMC has stopped the services of buses, doctors, anganbadi school from this resettled area. Electricity is being charged for which the slum dwellers are unable to pay for therefore that shall also be soon cut. The slum dwellers are complaining that they have found that their names have now been excluded from the voters list and were not even counted in 2011 census.

For all this RMC quickly puts the blame on procedural issues of tenders and contractors! This is the plight of our poor under a pioneering centrally sponsored scheme of JNNURM!! What hope do we have now from the second phase of JNNURM or the complete slum eradication under Rajiv Awas Yojana

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