01 Jul 2015 - 30 Jun 2016
01 Jul 2015 - 30 Jun 2016
Globalisation opens up new opportunities for the world and at the same time it also carries serious risk for the urban poor. Reduction in availability of public services post liberalization, unbalance distribution of resources, knowledge and land amongst the population have often exacerbated the situation. International Forum for Urban Poor, 1996 argues that the poor not only experience a lack of income and access to assets and basic services, but also a devalued social status, marginalisation of urban spaces and degrading living environment; limited access to justice, information, education, decision making power and citizenship.
Guwahati in the state of Assam is one of the rapidly growing cities in India and the biggest in the north eastern part of India. Guwahati lies on the south bank of Brahamaputra at an altitude of 55 meters above sea level, with the latitude and longitude being 26010’45” (N) and 91045’ (E) respectively. The city's population is 2,602,465 (2011 census).
Guwahati happens to be the destination of flocks of people from the rural areas into the urban in search of a livelihood and for some, a place to belong to – the pull factor. Crisis in rural economy, natural disasters, soil erosions and social tensions in Assam and neighbouring states resulted into high migration to urban centres in search of livelihood – the push factors. This has evidently influenced the inflow into the city. But the city could hardly accommodate a decent employment for all those who have come in. The current polity and institutions are not geared to deal with the evolving and changed circumstances.
Most of the poor in the city are homeless and live either in makeshift shelters in public spaces or are tenants of shacks in slums either in encroached government land or in private properties under the control of local mafia. These settlements continually spring up on illegally encroached vacant government land low lying areas which used to serve as natural drainage system for the city. Settlements are mostly adjacent to railway tracks, on the banks of the rivers, unoccupied government land, pavements, the reserve forests on the hills spread across the city; and inevitably given the illegal status of the settlements, are overcrowded, and without clean water, sanitary systems, electricity, infrastructure of health and education, and other essential amenities provided by the government such as fair priced shops, facilities of communication and so on.
To address some of these issues associated with urban poverty and urban poor, Oxfam India has partnered with Society for Social Transformation and Environment Protection (sSTEP) to initiate a project in slum areas, especially in the poverty pockets of Guwahati.
About the Project:
The project aims at contributing to the enhancement of living and working environment of women street vendors and poor vulnerable urban population living in two designated slums of Guwahati city through promoting well informed community groups and improved access to the basic services (health, education, social services and safety net schemes).
The project has proposed to intervene in three recognized slum areas of Guwahati, namely Bhaskar Nagar, Carbon Gate and Siva Nagar through addressing issues of water, sanitation, hygiene besides working towards increase access to basic services (health, education and food security related safety net schemes) for the urban poor. The project has also proposed to focus around women economic empowerment to address the issues of livelihood and violence being faced by the poor women street vendors, from scheduled tribe communities engaged in petty trades on the pathways of Guwahati, and women living in slums. The project is proposed for a period of 2 years and involves multi stakeholders for implementation. The implementation strategies includes: - direct provisioning of services, implementation through partnership and advocacy components to reduce the gaps between the urban service providers and service receivers. The learning and experiences from these interventions will help Oxfam India and its partners to develop future strategies to engage in urban poverty issues in a more meaningful ways.
Results to be Achieved / Impact:
The above project is expected to have the following impacts:
Outcomes: The project has so far achieved (Achievements 2014-15):
Water Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH)
Women Economic Leadership & Livelihood