Legal intervention, sought by activists including our correspondent Ajeet Bahadur has helped 200 slum dwellers escape eviction in Allahabad.
The slum dwellers – mostly daily wage labourers and rickshaw pullers – have been living for 35 years in a plot of land which is owned by the army. But now the army wants to reclaim the land and so it sent bulldozers to raze the slum. Activists of several organizations appealed to the court seeking a stay order on that. In July they managed to get the stay order and thus nearly 50 families were saved from being homeless.
Ajeet Bahadur informs, these poor slum dwellers are migrant workers from different districts of Uttar Pradesh. They are entitled to a permanent home under the Rajiv Gandhi Awas Yojana – a govt scheme that aims to provide housing for slum dwellers and the urban poor. The scheme aims to make India a slum-free country in five years.
According to Ajeet Bahadur, the slum dwellers of his city are too poor to approach the court on their own. They are also ignorant of their rights under various schemes such as Rajiv Gandhi Awas Yojana. As a community correspondent Ajeet was able to take note of the eviction drive, the order of the court and also speak to several community members about the housing scheme which they had never heard of earlier.
According to UN-HABITAT, India is home to 63% of all slum dwellers in South Asia. This amounts to 170 million people, 17% of the world’s slum dwellers.