Skip to main content

Frequently evicted, Ahmedabad's 'untenable' slumdwellers seek viable rehabilitation

By Mina Jadav* 
Nearly 1,000 residents of untenable slums of Ahmedabad held a public meeting at Sarangpur, Ahmedabad, and then marched to the Municipal Commissioner office at Danapeeth seeking an end to constant eviction of their settlements and decent shelter on February 20. The residents comprise of two groups of workers – seasonally migrant construction workers who migrate from the tribal belt comprising of Dahod in Gujarat and Jhabua and Banswara in neighbouring states and long-term migrants from the Nomadic Tribes and De-Notified Tribe (NTDNT) communities.
Workers migrate with their families. They live in squatter settlements all over the city on vacant plots, railway tracks, and sometimes even on footpath. The Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) does not enumerate these settlements as it considers the residents as seasonal migrants. Consequently, it has no record of these settlements and does not provide any public services to these settlements. It keeps bulldozing away the houses in these settlements at frequent intervals without giving any legal notice.
The Majur Adhikar Manch (MAM), a trade union of informal workers, has been working with the residents of these squatter settlements for more than a decade. It has compiled a list of 45 such settlements with 2,308 residents, which has been handed over to the authorities. It has also given frequent memorandum to the Municipal Commissioner and the District Collector asking them to enumerate these settlements and adopt a proper policy of rehabilitation.
However, there has been no positive response so far. On February 20, the Manch organised a public meeting at Ambedkar Statue Sarangpur Ahmedabad from 12 noon onwards. The public meeting was attended by 100 residents and their families. The rally was addressed by MAM activists, including Magiben Bavri, Bhartiben Dantani, Shilaben Dangi, Hansaben Valmiki and Hirabhai.
Majur Adhikar Manch has compiled a list of 45 informal settlements with 2,308 residents, which has been handed over to the authorities
Guest speakers who addressed the rally and expressed support for the movement included Mohammad Lakha of the Shramik Sangthan, Minakshiben of the Kutch Mahila Vikas Sangthan, Hemaben Solanki of the Rashtriya Dalit Adhikar Manch, and Roopabhai of the Bandhkam Majur Sangthan. Representatives from Human Resource Development Centre (HDRC) and Ajeevika Bureau sent their representatives to express support. A number of concerned citizens from Ahmedabad also participated.
After the public meeting, the residents of the settlements marched to the AMC office at Danapeeth and submitted a memorandum to the Commissioner. The memorandum demanded that the settlements be enumerated, there should be no eviction without rehabilitation, and the Government should change its existing policies to keep in mind the special condition of these workers.
As of now the Municipal administration has a policy of using the cut-off date of December 1, 2010 to decide if the squatter family should be rehabilitated. The Union has demanded that this be extended to December 31, 2018. The state should construct family accommodation under its scheme for Shelter for Urban Homeless.
As the Commissioner did not respond positively, the workers started an indefinite dharna at the gate of the AMC that continued late into night. Finally, the AMC called for another round of negotiations. It promised to respond in writing to the demands raised by the residents of the untenable slums. Following this the sit in was ended.
It is noteworthy that Commissioner, AMC, has already expressed his view before the media that there will be no evictions without following proper procedure that comprises of issuing of notices and giving time to produce documentation of residence at the site. He said that no one will be evicted forcefully and AMC has a stock of one lakh houses under its scheme of concessional housing for slum.
---
*Secretary, Majur Adhikar Manch

Comments

TRENDING

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.

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.

Across the board, among Muslims, Hindus, there's enormous fury at Delhi Police: Report

Counterview Desk
A quick report, prepared by Delhi's concerned citizens, "Let Us Heal Our Dilli", based on one-day visit (February 27) to several areas and mohallas of North East Delhi affected by the riots that gripped the country's capital -- Bhajanpura, Chand Bagh, Gokulpuri, Chaman Park, Shiv Vihar, Main Mustafabad (including Bhagirathi Vihar and Brijpuri) -- has said everywhere there is "zero trust" towards that the police.

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.

Big 'danger' of NPR: A babu can tag anyone as doubtful citizen, Jharkhand meet told

' By Our Representative
People in large numbers from across Jharkhand gathered at the Raj Bhawan in Ranchi to demand that the Hemant Soren government reject National Population Register (NPR) and stop all NPR-related activities. The people’s organisations which participated in the dharna under the banner of the Jharkhand Janadhikar Mahasabha (JMM) resolved to intensify their struggle, insisting, NPR is not a Hindu-Muslim issue but is essentially anti-poor.

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.

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.

Haridwar Swamis lead Khudai Khidmatgar peace march in Delhi 'riot affected' areas

By Our Representative
A Khudai Kidmatgar team, which visited the riot-affected regions along with Swami Shivanand Saraswati and Swami Punyanand, has insisted that India's true heritage is the lesson of ‘vasudhaiv kutumbakam', and it is the responsibility of all to carry froward this legacy. Originally founded by Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan in 1930, also known as Frontier Gandhi, Khudai Khidmatgar is claimed to have been revived by young Gandhian activist Faisal Khan in 2011.