NATIONAL ALLIANCE OF PEOPLE’S MOVEMENTS
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Awas Haq Satyagraha Continued for the Second Day
Mumbai | 27th May: Awas Haq Satyagraha for right to housing on the prime land at Mandala-Mankhurd, Mumbai is carried forward with enormous enthusiasm and energy by the poor in the urban slums on the second day.
Those who form the part of the slum dwellers, constituting 60% of the Mumbai’s population have to be determined to struggle against total neglect, callousness as also discrimination faced by the toiling masses.
Having neglected in granting no right to shelter, the people of Mandala are compelled to occupy the open land lying vacant from where they themselves were evicted at least 6 years back, that too second time.
It is now known from the dialogue so far with the state and Municipal Corporation authorities that they are going back on Rajiv Awas Yojna. Just as the Land Acquisition and rehabilitation Act, 2013 is amended and turned backward by the Modi Government, against the farmers and farm labourers, so is the RAY, somewhat favoring the slum dwellers, brought out after much struggle and resistence in Mumbai and elsewhere, is shelved !
When BJP is celebrating one years of its rule in the country, claiming success, the urban poor have realized that the government has not finalized any scheme for them after secretively shelving the RAY! The ward authorities, MCGM, are instructed not to carry out work related to RAY. In M-east ward, where Mandala is one of the tens of such slum communities and households surveys is carried out in almost all the work of preparing DRP for the first pilot project in Sathe Nagar too is at a standstill, as per the orders! This is not even informed to the people treated as guinea pigs over last more than a year, administrating survey and doing out promises!
The Mandala Satyagraha by thousands of evicted slum dwellers is also a challenge against dropping RAY and the likely PPP model of slum development. All that people want and rightfully deserve is a small self built shelter and then the authorized house under an official scheme. Amenities in every slum is also to be provided to each slum as per the slum act.
It’s, therefore, necessary that the Collector and Additional collector, Mumbai reply to the demands and ensure right o shelter at once!
Support is expressed by various people’s organizations from across Mumbai and the country. Republican Party of India (A) with Gautum Sonanwane and others came and expressed their support to the movement, assuring to reach out if government taken any adverse action.
Republican Panthers were represented by Shri Sudhir Dhavale and Harshali while TISS students too visited the Satyagarah site and expressed solidarity.
People at Satyagraha carried out one hour cleanliness drive in the morning followed by prayer and then the mass assembly, mapping of the land, songs and so on.
About 2 quintals of rice and 20kg o daal was collected through small contribution by the people themselves. Satyagrahis appealed to the Principle Secretary, Housing and Principle Secretary, Urban Development, Government of Maharashtra as well as to Shri Venkaiah Naidu, Minister for Urban poverty alleviation. The Satyagrahis demand immediate dialogue failing which they would intensify the Satyagraha.
Savitri Devi Jainuddin Uday Mohite Medha Patkar