Youth For Unity And Voluntary Action (YUVA)

Project Theme

Urban Poverty

Target Group


Project Period

01 Apr 2015 - 31 Mar 2016

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Introduction The birth of Youth for Unity and Voluntary Action (YUVA), a voluntary development organisation, in the year 1984 marked the beginning of a journey of empowering the oppressed and marginalised n urban areas, and later in rural areas. Since 1984, YUVA has questioned social structures along the side of the poor, with the aim of empowering them to participate in a process of meaningful change. YUVA has focused on creating access and enabling processes to a gamut of rights and opportunities within the human rights framework for the marginalised and vulnerable sections of the society.

The foundation of engagement lies in defending, promoting, restoring and creating the civil, political, social, economic and cultural rights of the poor, at the levels of both the individual and the collective. The scope of its intervention spans the relationship between the three fundamental and interrelated themes of Poverty, Environment and Governance. 


About the Project: 

This project is the continuation of the last project cycle. 

Basic service facilitation (BSF) will be the key initiative aimed towards facilitating and securing entitlements for the urban poor, understanding the ground level challenges that the poor face in securing these entitlements and collectivizing and strengthening the poor through knowledge building. BSF will make concetrated efforts on entitlement creation, collectivization processes, networking and advocacy for the Homeless, Pavement dwellers and Children in Informal settelments and their families. 


The objective of the project is :

•To facilitate access to basic services and entitlements for the urban poor populations.

•To advocate for the right of Urban Poor population on housing, basic services and entitlement, and  Child Protection and Participation 


Results to be Achieved / Impact: 

•  Pavement and Homeless Community will be capacitated to independently approach delivery systems for their  social entitlements and access to basic services. 

•Pavement dwellers and Homeless people will get access to social entitlements, Identities and basic services.

• Child Learning Centre will stregthen children's capacitiy  on accessing and monitoring RTE, ICDS and other issues on child protection, development and enough with right opportunites for children to be heard.


YUVA will facilitate processes whereby:

•45 Homeless Community members will participate in regular meetings

•90 Pavement Dwellers will participate in meetings and gather updates and strengthen collective

•15 leaders from Homeless ( 8 women and 7 men) and 25 leaders ( 15 Women and 10 Men) from Pavement Communities will be trained for demanding social entitlements and access to basic services. 

•200 Pavement dwellers and 100 Homeless people will participate in public hearing

•Pamphlets and other IEC material will be distributed to 2000 people in Homeless and pavement communities.

•40 Community leaders will participate in Network meetings

•40 children will participate  in accessing and monitoring RTE and ICDS.

•30 child leaders will participate regularly in the Child Learning Centre meetings.

•250 children will take benefit of facilities in CLC

•20 Adolescence will be participating in Life skill training


Prior Achievements:

•In Maharashtra Slum Areas (Improvement, Clearance And Redevelopment) Act, 1971 Earlier there was an eligibility mandate of Cut off Date till 1995.  With continues demand and dialogue through advocacy campagins with officials and ministers we are able to bring the Change in Cutoff date to 1/1/2000 and passed the G.R. and increased the cut off date due to the advocacy by YUVA's pressure groups.

•YUVA was able to facilitate for more than 500 people through the  BSFC

•Bal Adhikar Sangharsh Sanghatan took a leap in creating child rights awerness among its members and Child Learning Centre  is strated facilitation of co-learning space.

•Able to complete the homeless headcount of 3 wards in Mumbai


Quotes of Beneficiaries

•Mamta Samantrai, explains, “Earlier I used to cook on wood- which was difficult. Now I get 5 litres of kerosene just for Rs 100/- Earlier I could barely get one litre for that cost. I also get 5 kg of rice for Rs 10/- where earlier I used to spend about Rs 130/- in the open market. Earlier we used to work like dogs, only to spend it all on food. Now we can also eat vegetables, daal . There is variety and we spend less on food.’ 

•Geeta Singh says, “Now I feel that I am truly a Maharashtrian. Though I lived here most of my life, I had almost no documents. My in-laws are in UP and husband is no more. Ration and other documents make me feel rooted here.”


Case Studies/Human stories

➢Mamta lives under the bridge at Kings Circle in Matunga. She has been here for the last 15 years. She came to Mumbai with her brother from Amravati. She married here and settled under the bridge. That was the only place they could afford. She has six children. ‘My husband fell off the roof of that building’, she points out to a building right opposite where we are sitting. ‘He was working in its construction’. Mamta cannot afford to grieve him, she merely puts it across as a fact. This happened in 2007. Since then she is a single mother.

Mamta works on contract labour with the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), to clean up its streets. She has a shift of eight hours and she works two shifts in a day to make ends meet. ‘The BMC officials had come for a raid today, but they didn’t take away much’ she tells. Though she works for the BMC, there is no concession for her. She is routinely harassed as are the others, for living under the flyover. 

➢Durga is the community leader in Tilak bridge community.  She and six other families now have a ration card which entitles them to Public Distribution Scheme for the BPL. This year she has taken initiative to write letter to ward officer stating not to demolish and evict them unless they provide them Night Shelter. She also lead the families for getting the Voting card and enroled them as a voter. She asked the election officer, “why can’t we register as voter, if we are saying that we are from India and form 6(application form for citizen as Voter) mentions that it is applicable for citizen of India immaterial of people staying on street or without roof, or anywhere.. The officer was complelled to listen to her voice and agreed to cooperate.