Yuva Urban

Project Theme

Urban Poverty

Target Group

Women

Project Period

01 Apr 2014 - 31 Mar 2015

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Introduction

YUVA has been active in urban areas since 1984 and is working with various communities for their rights in the city. Its mission is to establish space and rights of urban poor and vulnerable communities within the urbanization phenomenon (inclusive city). The major emphasis in this phase (2010-2015) is to advocate for inclusive cities where the urban poor will have definite identity, entitlements and voice in the governance system.

The work is organized under three thematic areas - Habitat, Economy and Social Transformation. This has been constituted in a way to have synergy among the themes. The habitat theme covers housing and basic services, right to water and governance. The economy section deals with livelihood, informal and social security. While under social transformation child’s rights, youth rights and women’s rights are covered. Yuva ensures human rights to housing, rights of children, youth and women. Yuva facilitate creation of entitlements on basic services, policy responses to housing sector issues – forced evictions, rehabilitation, affordable / social housing. It also ensure adequate and equal access to water in the public domain and participation in local governance institutions and policy Monitoring.

Impact by partner
  • Homeless population: Through regular meetings with 6 groups in Mumbai, the project has been able to reach to about 277 people. (76 women, 81 men and their children – 57 girls and 63 boys). The initial phase concentrated on rapport building and then continued with working on their entitlement rights, whereby we began work with facilitating processes on getting them pan cards and filling up their forms for ration cards, zero balance account, etc . Our advocacy work with the political representatives and bureaucrats have yielded in a passing of G.R. dated May 24, 2013 by Department of Women and Child, which states that every individual residing on streets and under the bridges are classified as people under BPL, who will be given subsidized 35 kg of food grains.
  • Networking & Advocacy – Homeless Collective: The team have been putting in lots of energy on strengthening the Homeless Collective Network, which has build its own identity in the State, that is with the bureaucrats, political representatives and High Court where the members have been constantly following up with the filed PIL. We have also been in touch with Ms. Jyoti Pandya, Chief Community Development Officer, MCGM for discussing the shelter issues and submitting a feasibility report with potential places where shelters can be actually built. We have been following the PIL filed in high court and our constant engagement has helped us push the BMC in allocating 5 crores budget for shelters to be built in Mumbai. We have also created pressure by making the BMC to allocate space in the current development plan process that is on in the city.
  • Nai Subah – Basic Service Facilitation centre: Nai Subah, the Basic service facilitation centre has been able to facilitate work in creating identity of this vulnerable population. We had organized about 20 street plays for creating awareness about Nai Subah. Advocacy efforts for getting free pass for women to have access to public toilets continued. We are also very happy to put on record that our efforts with the Bureaucrats has helped us get the Government Resolution which talks about providing ICDS under the bridges and construction sites which go a long way in creating accessibility of ICDS for these vulnerable population (homeless and children on streets). We will try to initiate ICDS processes with other organizations to help them implement the same.
  • Children on Streets: Since children on streets are a floating population we have faced challenges in the field. We have been able to strengthen the groups that were built last year. We have built 15 groups with membership of 252 children (Girls 75 and boys 177). We have conducted 111 meetings with these groups where several input sessions on substance abuse, prevention of child labour, health care, personal hygiene, etc. through creative ways. First Aid Training was also given to children since they survive alone on the streets. There was demand from children to provide them with cricket bats and other types of sports materials to help them play games.
  • Groups of children in informal settlements at Mankhurd: We have reached to about 150 new children during the past few months. There are about 100 children in 5 groups (60 boys and 40 girls) and the other 50 are in the process of being formed into groups. Children’s day programme was planned and organized by the children where the team members supported them; and also helped them to organize programmes in the community like drawing and rangoli competition. The idea of building network of children’s organization across Mumbai for children’s groups has been initiated and will receive necessary shape and be strengthened in the forthcoming year.
  • Work with pavement dwellers: Our direct outreach during the current year is 3125 (1705 women + 1390 men). The project team also updated them with new Acts Right to Food Act and provisions made for people categorized under Below Poverty Line. As the outcome of our work, currently we have a group with 25 leaders in pavements (10 women and 15 men) and 18 leaders for the homeless (all women) who play an active role in mobilizing their communities for monthly meetings and other required meetings with political representatives and bureaucrats. They are currently working on their issue of rehabilitation of pavement dwellers to expand the cut off dates from 1995 for R & R and include all homeless and pavement dwellers in RAY, and building night shelters as per Supreme Court direction.

Case Study

Name: Kadvi ben Vasant oaniya (Vaghari)

Age: 56 Years

Address: Pandurang Dudhkar Marg footpath, Opp. Bombay Dying, Worli, Mumbai- 400 013.

She is from Vaghari Community of Gujarat. She was child when her parents landed in Mumbai to earn their livelihood. They were engaged in selling garlic, spices and flowers on the streets of Mumbai. Due to poverty she remained illiterate. She was adolescent when she got married with a person who was staying on footpath near Bakari adda. His family background was poor, top of that there were 9 people were staying in one room. They are having 4 son and 4 daughters. She said she is working with her husband to get the enough food and regularize the family.

She said she is having 40 years old proofs of her residents where she was staying. Local anti social elements (Gunda) tried to capture their house; they tried to threaten her and her husband. But she faced them very courageously. Unfortunately she lost the battle. Then she decided to finish the threat and transferred her house stuff to Pandurang Budhkar road. She started staying there on rent basis.

Staying on pavement was the situational choice that they made, because of the poverty. Her husband died and second number young son died after some days. She was stiff and confident in that situation also. She did the marriage of her 2 sons and 4 daughters by taking loan from landlords.

She said that we know that Pavement is for pedestrians and not for residents, but we are staying there because we don’t have option. BMC is continuously doing demolition in our place, now we have question that should we concentrate on earning our livelihood or to protect the house. She said sometimes we don’t go for work because of the fear demolition of house.

She expressed that when she came in to contact with YUVA, She become confident and she got the courage to help the other women who are in need. Now she is specifically working with women and supporting them to file the cases in police station against harassment and abuse. She is said that she got the information from YUVA’s various workshops regarding BMC regulations, rules and how to use strategies during crisis situation. She is always active in meetings government officials, organizing people for various public meetings. She is now so much active that she is doing a direct contact with rationing and BMC officers for discussing basic human rights of the people staying on Pavements. She has facilitated the process for getting ration cards for people staying on pavement. Now she is a head of Sarvodaya Samaj Mandal but she said, she still struggling for community people and women to get free from superstitions. She said that life is struggle for me, I have accepted it. YUVA make me understand that to get the right we have to fight. She is still fighting to get my own house even though I have proofs of residents.