Skip to main content

With more Mumbai slumdwellers likely to be uprooted, protest rally in Andheri against government "plan"

By Our Representative
Uprooted slum-dwellers of Malvani, Mandala and Mankhurd area off Mumbai took out a rally in the city's suburb of Andheri to demand housing rights, which they alleged they were deprived of following “reckless demolition” by the Maharashtra government authorities. Andheri (West) is the next target the demolition drive, they declared.
Ghar Bachao Ghar Banao (GBGB), housing rights movement which led the protest, said, “Recently, homes of the people living in slums were brutally demolished citing various reasons and vague excuses. Thousands of people including senior citizens and children were rendered homeless overnight.”
“Still unsatisfied, the government is now planning demolition drives in Sidhartha Nagar, Chaar Bangla (Andheri West) where there is massive unrest among the people”, the GBGB statement says.
“Sometimes slums are demolished in the name of cut-off dates, sometimes citing forest land or sometimes encroachment but there is no procedure for alternative shelter or rehabilitation for the displaced”, the statement says.
“Grand promises are made by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the name of Housing for all by 2022. If the government is serious about providing housing, then why has Maharashtra government declared January , 2000 as the cut off date which will decide the legality of the slums and shelters of the poor?”, the housing rights organization wonders.
“While slums are being razed in order to protect mangroves, the same spaces are being parceled to builders who are building complexes and multi-storeyed in these protected lands causing more environmental damage”, it points out.
“In a megapolis like Mumbai cost of livelihood is so high that a poor person cannot buy a house or even rent a decent house”, the statement points out, adding “Facing the brunt of unemployment in their respective states, many landless labourers and skilled artisans migrate to the city looking for a livelihood and are ready to work even for wages below the minimum rates.”
“After they set up small shacks in lands and make them habitable, they are uprooted and the lands are given off to builders”, the statement underlines.
Jamil Akhtar, a GBGB worker and a tailor by profession, speaking at the rally, said the government mentality is that “slum-dwellers are a burden on the city”, adding, “For every Rs. 250 of a minimum wage that a labourer is paid, the business owners earn a profit of Rs. 2,500-3,000.”
“Domestic workers from bastis take care of the homes and food of people who work in white collar jobs”, he said, adding, “How can their invaluable contribution to the society be denied?”
Girija Gupte and Mary from Jagruk Kamgar Manch said, “Politicians woo slum dwellers for their votes and later ruin their homes and livelihood.” Zubaida and Asha. The rally reached general body meeting in Sidharth Nagar in Andheri (West).
Putting up a list of demands, the GBGB has said, it wants the slumdwellers be given give legal rights at places they are based. The slum, it adds, should be give “the basic necessities like water, toilets, electricity, public distribution system facilities, primary schools and health centres, and withdraw the cut off date clause for demolishing the slums.”

Comments

TRENDING

Girl child education: 20 major states 'score' better than Gujarat, says GoI report

By Rajiv Shah
A Government of India report, released last month, has suggested that “model” Gujarat has failed to make any progress vis-à-vis other states in ensuring that girls continue to remain enrolled after they leave primary schools. The report finds that, in the age group 14-17, Gujarat’s 71% girls are enrolled at the secondary and higher secondary level, which is worse than 20 out of 22 major states for which data have been made available.

Savarkar in Ahmedabad "declared support" to two-nation theory in 1937, followed by Jinnah three years later

By Our Representative
One of the top freedom fighters whom BJP and Prime Minister Narendra Modi revere the most, Vinayak Damodar Savarkar, was also a great supporter of the two nation theory for India, one for Hindus another for Muslims, claims a new expose on the man who is also known to be the original proponent of the concept of Hindutva.

Congress 'promises' cancellation of Adani power project: Jharkhand elections

Counterview Desk
Pointing out that people's issues take a backseat in Jharkhand's 2019 assembly elections, the state's civil rights organization, the Jharkhand Janadhikar Mahasabha, a coalition of activists and people’s organisations, has said that political parties have largely ignored in their electoral manifestos the need to implement the fifth schedule of the Constitution in a predominantly tribal district.

Hindutva founders 'borrowed' Nazi, fascist idea of one flag, one leader, one ideology

By Shamsul Islam*
With the unleashing of the reign of terror by the RSS/BJP rulers against working-class, peasant organizations, women organizations, student movements, intellectuals, writers, poets and progressive social/political activists, India also witnessed a series of resistance programmes organized by the pro-people cultural organizations in different parts of the country. My address in some of these programmes is reproduced here... 
***  Before sharing my views on the tasks of artists-writers-intellectuals in the times of fascism, let me briefly define fascism and how it is different from totalitarianism. Totalitarianism is political concept, a dictatorship of an individual, family or group which prohibits opposition in any form, and exercises an extremely high degree of control over public and private life. It is also described as authoritarianism.
Whereas fascism, while retaining all these repressive characteristics, also believes in god-ordained superiority of race, cultur…

Ex-World Bank chief economist doubts spurt in India's ease of doing business rank

By Rajiv Shah
This is in continuation of my previous blog where I had quoted from a commentary which top economist Prof Kaushik Basu had written in the New York Times (NYT) a little less than a month ago, on November 6, to be exact. He recalled this article through a tweet on November 29, soon after it was made known that India's growth rate had slumped (officially!) to 4.5%.

With RSS around, does India need foreign enemy to undo its democratic-secular fabric?

By Shamsul Islam*
Many well-meaning liberal and secular political analysts are highly perturbed by sectarian policy decisions of RSS/BJP rulers led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, especially after starting his second inning. They are vocal in red-flagging lynching incidents, policies of the Modi government on Kashmir, the National Register of Citizens (NRC), the demand for 'Bharat Ratna' to Savarkar who submitted 6-7 mercy petitions to the British masters (getting remission of 40 years out of 50 years' sentence), and the murder of constitutional norms in Goa, Karnataka and now in Maharashtra.

Post-Balakot, danger that events might spiral out of control is 'greater, not less'

By Tapan Bose*
The fear of war in South Asia is increasing. Tensions are escalating between India and Pakistan after the Indian defence minister's announcement in August this year that India may revoke its current commitment to only use nuclear weapons in retaliation for a nuclear attack, known as ‘no first use’. According to some experts who are watching the situation the risk of a conflict between the two countries has never been greater since they both tested nuclear weapons in 1998.

Ships recycling Bill 'allows' India to be turned into a landfill for foreign hazardous waste

Counterview Desk
In a letter to M Venkaiah Naidu, chairman, Rajya Sabha, senior activist Gopal Krishna of the Toxics Watch Alliance has said that the Recycling of Ships Bill, 2019 should be referred to the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Science and Technology, Environment, Forests and Climate Change to "safeguard country’s maritime environment from harmful and hazardous wastes and materials".

Worrying signs in BJP: Modi, Shah begin 'cold-shouldering' Gujarat CM, party chief

By RK Misra*
The political developments in neighbouring Maharashtra where a Shiv Sena-NCP-Congress government assumed office has had a trickle down effect in Gujarat with both the ruling BJP and the Congress opposition going into revamp mode.

'Favouring' tribals and ignoring Adivasis? Behind coercion of India's aborigines

By Mohan Guruswamy*
Tribal people account for 8.2% of India’s population. They are spread over all of India’s States and Union Territories. Even so they can be broadly classified into three groupings. The first grouping consists of populations who predate the Indo-Aryan migrations. These are termed by many anthropologists as the Austro-Asiatic-speaking Australoid people.