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Awas Haq Satyagrah concluded on the 5th day with a warning rally
Struggle to intensify if the government doesn’t respond
Mumbai | 30th May 2015: The Awas Haq Satyagrah concluded on its 5th day with a massive warning rally today. Despite various attempts, the government failed to respond to the demands of the poor slum dwellers, raising serious questions about its commitments towards its citizens. Not only several calls made to the Collector Bandra remained unattended, even water for drinking was not provided to the people, a promise that the Assistant Commissioner of M (East) Ward had made earlier but didn’t fulfill. There were no water and toilet facilities at the site of Satyagrah, hinting towards the miserable conditions of slums and callousness of the government.
Satyagrah which started on 26th May saw more than 3,000 families of Mandala, who were evicted in the demolition drive in 2004-2005, reclaiming their housing right by occupying the land and demarking the boundaries to build their homes. The Satyagrah has also exposed the doubletalk of the government; on one hand government has been making false promises to people while having failed in implementing the Mandala RAY pilot project, and on the other hand, as per the recent news, the government is trying to change the RAY policy to favor builder-Corporate lobby by “reviving” it on the PPP model and stalling the fund allocation for policy.
To oppose the indifference to their demands and continuous oppression by the Government and administration, the Satyagrahis carried out a massive torch rally on the 55 acres of occupied land. A clear warning has been given to the administration, the police and the MMRDA that struggle would be intensified, along with rebuilding of houses, if no response comes from their side in the near future.
Awas Haq Satyagrah, which is yet another milestone in the long history of struggle of the Ghar Bachao Ghar Banao Andolan since 2004-5, received widespread support and solidarity from all over the country. Several activists and eminent citizens, including Teesta Setalvad, Sukla Sen, Prof. Dr. Uday Mehta, Jatin Desai and many more have extended their support to the Satyagrah.
Namrata Jadhav Neha Jaimati Jainuddin Nadir Sheikh