Skip to main content

In a new turn, protesters oppose ADB proposal to fund smart cities, as they have "no space" for street hawkers

By Our Representative
Nationwide protests against the Asian Development Bank's (ADB’s) 50 years of “inequitable” and “unjust” development, which began on May 1 (click HERE), has taken a new turn, with people’s organizations terming smart city and other urban beautification projects funded by ADB and other international financial institutions (IFIs) “anti-poor.”
Hawkers’ organizations have said, their livelihood would be snatched. Apprehending that proposals would include imposing huge user charges on hawkers for a space to sell their goods in smart cities, Anita Das, general secretary of the All-India Women's Hawkers Federation, wondered, "From where the poor vendor will pay a penalty of Rs 500 for selling their goods when they sell goods worth less than Rs 500 per day?"
According to reports, ADB has agreed in principle to set aside $1 billion for extending loans to the smart city projects.This follows a Government of India’s suggestion to the cities in the first list of 20 smart cities to quickly apply for funding from international bodies, including the World Bank, ADB and the BRICS Development Bank.
Protesters belonging to the National Hawkers’ Federation in Ranchi, Secundarabad and Kolkata organised similar actions of resistance – ranging from human chains and demonstrations to public meetings - to raise voices against forced eviction of hawkers and roadside vendors.
According to Das, city administrations, in the name of beautification and smart cities, are harassing hawkers. "In recent times, they are being jailed for days and charged with the provisions of deterring public servant from discharge of their duty," she lamented.
Pointing towards lack of transparency and accountability, and impunity enjoyed by ADB and other IFIs, the demonstrators said there was nothing to celebrate on the 50th anniversary of ADB during annual meetings being held in Yokohama, Japan.
Anti-ADB protests are being coordinated by the Peoples' Forum against ADB, and are part of over 120 actions of resistance observed across the country, in the current week across 21 states of the country to highlight what they considered “gross human rights violations, loss of livelihood, and environmental destruction caused by the inequitable, unjust development model being pushed by ADB and other IFIs.”
Programmes are being held by civil society organisations, trade unions, women organisations and people's movements such as National Hawkers’ Federation, National Fishworkers’ Forum, National Alliance of People’s Movements, Environment Support Group, Delhi Solidarity Group, Bargi Bandh Visthapit Sangh, Jharkhand Mines and Area Coordination Committee, Chhattisgarh Nagarik Manch, and Machhimar Adhikar Sangharsh Sangathan.
Programmes are being held in metros like Kolkata and Bangalore as also remote parts like villages in Belghana block of Chhattisgarh, with the common thread being “anguish” against the development model, being “peddled” by IFIs.
In the buffer zone of the Achanakmar Tiger Reserve in Chhattisgarh, people protested at the Belghana block of Bilaspur district under the leadership of Susheela Baiga and Indumati Uraon against displacement and social alienation, caused by the construction of the dam and other infrastructure projects in the buffer zone of the protected area.
“The villagers are angry as they are being displaced while the tourism industry is promoted in the region with ADB funds,” said Devjeet Mandi, co-convenor of the All India Forest Movements Forum, who is also part of this movement.
In Jammu & Kashmir, people organised meeting and demonstration at Kathua, Jammu, Chinai, Battote, Bhadarwa, Doda and Rajouri and raised social and environmental impacts of the projects being run or proposed in the state. Programmes were also organised in Andhra Pradesh, Jaipur, Telangana, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Odisha, Uttar Pradesh, Assam and Manipur.

Comments

TRENDING

ISKCON UK 'clarifies' after virus infects devotees, 5 die due to big temple meet

By Rajiv Shah
The International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON), United Kingdom (UK), has admitted that at least 21 of its devotees were infected because of the spread of the coronavirus amongst the UK devotee community following the March 12 funeral and March 15 memorial of the Bhaktivedanta Manor temple president, in which about 1,000 people participated. Regretting that five of the devotees have passed away, the top Hindu religious in Britain body does not deny more may have been infected.

Mallika Sarabhai releases speech she was 'not allowed' to give at NID Convocation on Feb 7

Counterview Desk
The National Institute of Design (NID) in Ahmedabad, a Ministry of Commerce and Industry body, landed itself in controversy following its decision to put off its 40th convocation ceremony, where noted danseuse Mallika Sarabhai was invited as chief guest. The ceremony was scheduled to be held on February 7.

As corona virus 'travels' to rural areas, NGO begins training tribals, marginalised women

By Souparno Chatterjee*
The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared corona virus a pandemic. Originating from Wuhan in China, it has traversed the entire globe, almost, and claimed more than 16,000 lives already. That’s largely the urban population. In India, despite all the preparedness and war-like promptness to safeguard against the pandemic, several lives have been lost , and hundreds of individuals have tested positive.

Rani Laxmi Bai, Tatya Tope 'martyred' by East India Company, Scindia's forefathers

By Our Representative
In an email alert to Counterview, well-known political scientist Shamsul Islam has said that was “shameful for any political party in democratic India to keep children of Sindhias in their flock” given their role during the First War of Indian Independence (1857). In a direct commentary on Madhya Pradesh Congress leader Jyotiraditya Scindia moving over to BJP, Prof Islam has quote from a British gazetteer to prove his point.

COVID-19: Dalit rights bodies regret, no relief plan yet for SCs, STs, marginalized

By Our Representative
In a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the National Dalit Watch-National Campaign on Dalit Human Rights, endorsed* by several other Dalit rights organizations, have insisted, the Government of India should particular care of the scheduled castes and tribes, trans folks, persons with disabilities and the women and children from these communities, while fighting against COVID-19 pandemic.

Coronavirus scare ‘pushing’ people from Northeast India into more hardship

By Rishiraj Sinha, Biswanath Sinha*
“No one is born hating another person because of the colour of his skin, or his background or his religion. People learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite.” – Nelson Mandela
***

Modi, Shah 'forget': Gandhi’s first Satyagraha was against citizenship law of South Africa

By Nachiketa Desai*
Hindu fanatic Nathuram Godse assassinated Mahatma Gandhi once on January 30, 1948 but his followers raising the war cry of ‘Jai Sriram’ are killing the Mahatma every day. In his home state of Gujarat, Gandhiji was killed a thousand times in 2002 when over 2,000 Muslims were butchered, their women raped, homes and shops plundered and set on fire and even unborn babies ripped out of the wombs of their mothers.

Gujarat govt plan to 'banish' Gandhian activist anti-democratic, unconstitutional

By Rohit Prajapati*
The current Central and Gujarat governments, and their bureaucracy, have been and are still unable to answer and address the concerns raised, with facts, figures, and constitutional provisions, regarding the terror of tourism in the name of the Statue of Unity and tourism projects surrounding it.

Gujarat construction workers walk home as Rs 2,900 crore welfare fund lies unused

By Our Representative
Situated behind the Gujarat University, some of the families of the migrant construction workers from Dahod and Panchmahals districts of Gujarat, and a few from Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh, who had stayed put in make-shift shanties in Ahmedabad’s sprawling GMDC Ground, have begun a long journey, by foot, back to their home villages in the eastern tribal belt of Gujarat.