Eating is an agricultural act - Wendell Berry

Thursday, March 08, 2007

chale chalo

now that the community has earned a reprieve to stay on till mid april, there is a easing of the tension.

while the people are getting back to their regular lives, there are more battles to be fought.
1. earlier visits have shown that the other buildings where people have been resettled are already showing signs of decay.
2. lack of leadership in the community means that they could become ripe for exploitation by politicians and power brokers.
3. simple economics work against this community. the new location will involve each family to pay around rs 800 per month for utilities and common expenses (called maintenance).

having seen the worse end of resettlements, i was wondering how to go about the task of ensuring that the new place would not become a vertical slum.
and to put all other timings to shame, indiatogether carried this inspirational article.

i had already seeded a plan revolving around the youth. creating 'youth fauj' for the area as well as individual buildings. why?
1. the men are out most of the time and they are too mired in politics.
2. women will invariably tend to become prisoners, especially when they are middle aged and are in the higher floors of the building, due to their health and mobility.
3. we have a track record of working with these group of children.

so we started last evening with a 'testing the waters' meeting. went overall positively. that's a fair start, but it is just that. the boys will be boys and will prefer to hang out and boss around, while the girls have to overcome a lot of prejudice and family pressures.

the concept which the article nails is 'ownership'. this would be the critical challenge.

koi kithna bhi behakawe, chale chalo,
koi hum se jeet na paave, chale chalo.


Vanessa said...

What kind of houses do they give? I came to know, they are 1BHK flats? Is that true?

Preeti Aghalayam aka kbpm said...

have you read 'Rediscovering Dharavi' by Kalpana Sharma (author of your inspirational article too..) Its an old book, I read it in Mass. Been trying to get hold of it for a while now in India. I was hugely impressed by her positive attitude.

boys will be boys. yeah, thats so true. women have to drive this thing. no doubt in my mind.

csm said...

v - 225 sq ft houses. i room, toilet and kitchen. adequate.
but like murphy says, things multiply to occupy available space.

kbpm - will look around for it. thats the way it will work. to be positive. thats the real challenge in today's existence.