Slum Dwellers and Homeless Peoples’ All India Activists Meeting
Dt. 23-24 June 2012, Place: Jatri Nivas, Bhubaneswar, Odisha
Dear Comrades and Friends,
Slums and Homeless Peoples’ number is growing day by day in all urban centres due to Neo-Liberal policies of the Govt. Likewise attack on Slum dwellers, homeless people and roadside vendors/hawkers are also growing rapidly. Every day bulldozing is going on. The recent Nonadanga slum eviction in West Bengal is one example of it. After Nonadanga, massive slum eviction drive have taken in Delhi and in many other cities. In Bhubaneswar-Cuttack of Odisha this eviction drive is a regular phenomenon. But here the massive joint resistance struggle is continuing since last 10 years. Because of this Govt. is unable to take an inch of land from slum dwellers. Not only in Odisha, in other states also the slum dwellers’ housing right struggle is growing and resistance struggle is gaining strength. In this contest The Central Govt. is bringing a bill “Model Property Right to Slum Dwellers Act,2011” and it is declaring many projects (Yojanas ) to make a “Slum Free India”. The Govt. had declared first the Valmiki Ambedkar Awass yojana ‘VAAMBAY’, and after that “BSUP in JNNURM”, now the Rajiv Awass Yojana (RAY) is declared. All these Yojanas are for creating illusions among the slum dwellers. But instead of giving housing rights to the slum dwellers, under these projects lands are grabbed from the slum dwellers. These lands are transferred to the Corporates, Real Estate lobbies and Land Mafias etc . In this manner instead of creating slum free India, the slum dwellers are driven out of their huts. While a small section is provided one room ‘ghetto’ like accommodation, majority are driven out. Though under BSUP Central Govt. declared that 15 lakh houses will be provided, only 11,000 single room houses were not provided. All election promises are proved a hoax.
Slum dwellers question is not only a housing question. It has socio-economic consequences on the life of more than 25% of the urban population who are forced to rely on slums. Especially unorganized workers, small traders and other poor sections. Most of them were displaced from their natural habitat and forced to depend on the slums. So providing a jail like concrete single room in multistoried houses is not the answer to the slum dwellers housing question. Because of the Liberalisation-Globalisation-Privatisation policies slum dwellers and homeless people’s number is swelling day by day. Only localized movements and resistance alone can not resolve their problems. It is necessary to coordinate all the slum dwellers movement against the anti-people policies of the central and state governments. For this purpose in April 2011 a meeting was organized at Bhubaneswar which adopted a Charter of Demands to co-ordinate the slum people’s movement at all India level. All organizations and movements, who are working among slum dwellers and for homeless are invited to the All India Activist Meeting of Slum Dwellers and Homeless People on 23-24 june 2012 at Jatri Nivas, Bhubaneswar, organized by Basti Surakshya Mancha, Odisha - a constituent of All India Coordination of Slum Dwellers and Homeless People.
Agenda for the All India Activists meeting:
1. Reporting from the various states, organizations and movements
2. The Real Problems of Slum Dwellers and Their Solutions
3. Discussion on Nonadanga and other slum-eviction questions
4. VAMBAY, BSUP to RAY: the real motive behind “Slum free India” call.
5. Discussion on the approach to be taken to the “Draft Model Property Rights to Slum Dwellers Act-2011”
6. Coordinating the movements in All India Level and Solidarity Actions.
7. Immediate Tasks and Future Programmes.
8. Other questions raised by the participants
All Organisations, Movements and Activists Who are working among Slum Dwellers and for Houseless People are requested to send at least 2-3 main activists / leaders to this All India Activists Meeting.
All Should conform their participation and arrival details at Bhubaneswar at least 7 days before. Participants should book their tickets so that they can reach Bhubaneswar on 22nd June evening or 23rd morning and book their return tickets for 24th evening or 25th morning. Lodging and fooding will be provided by the organizers.
Convenor, All India Coordination of Slum Dwellers and Homeless People
Mob: 09668844555 / 09437108820
We are attaching the Charter of Demends of All India Coordination of Slum Dwellers and Homeless People passed on 25th April 2011 at Bhubaneswar in the 1st All India Activists Meeting.
Charter of Demands of the Slum Dwellers and Homeless People.
The living condition of the slum dwellers and the houseless people in the urban areas are worsening day by day and it has become a serious political question nowadays. In Bhubaneswar in Orissa and in other cities in the country, the struggles of the slum dwellers who are being evicted and displaced on account of the neo liberal policies imposed are intensifying day by day.
Historically, the slums have come up as an inalienable component of capitalist urbanization as a part of the industrialization under it. Capitalist penetration in to agricultural field has led to large scale migration of pauperized peasantry in to urban areas in search of livelihood. Massive throwing out of workers from the factories coupled with the swelling of the ranks of the unemployed and under employed under the anti people policies have contributed to worsening of the situation, with slums mushrooming in all urban areas. And these mushrooming slums are the inexhaustible source of cheap labor for the elite classes in the urban areas.
In India, like in other Afro- Asian – Latin American countries, slums are the products of the colonial period. This problem has further intensified in the neo colonial period. Under neo liberal regime, the intensification of the tendencies such as corporatization of agriculture, and onslaught of corporate forces and land mafias in to agricultural land, forests and areas where mines are developed are compelling millions of adivasis, dalits and pauperized and landless peasantry to flock to the cities in search of livelihood. Now in the context of innumerable neo colonial projects like SEZs and due to massive land grab and encroachment of urban lands by the speculatve forces and the corporate houses with the connivance of the state forces the slum dwellers are being forcibly evicted, making their life more miserable.
This situation calls for mobilization of these millions of slum dwellers and houseless people for housing rights based on the following Charter of Demands.
1. Immediately ban slum evictions.
2. Rehabilitate all slum dwellers with adequate and sufficient dwelling facilities. Ensure slum dwellers share in the urban property.
3. Provide water, sanitation, electricity healthcare and educational facilities to all slum dwellers.
4. Ensure statutory ration system for subsidised food for all slum dwellers. Include all slum dwellers in the BPL list.
5. Enact and enforce urban land and property ceiling.
6. Suppress all land and real estate mafias.
7. Stop police atrocities on slum people. Ensure their democratic rights.
8. Abolish the neo liberal policies. Implement a pro people, pro nature development policy.