With only two days notification, the Raipur municipality destroys the homes and work of a potter community.
Many people in India still use clay pots to store water, but very few are aware of the living conditions of the community who makes them, and of the hardships they face. In Raipur village, Chhattisgarh, the potter community was notified of its eviction by the municipal council a mere two days before their houses were demolished before their eyes. They had been occupying this land for 25 years, and they were forced out of their homes without any sort of relocation or rehabilitation plan.
Hence, 50 people, among whom are 14 children, have found themselves homeless. “The community’s situation is all the more precarious because the potters used to live, make their pots and sell them from the same place,” said Sarwat. Besides, their potteries were also partly destroyed during the demolition.
Unfortunately, this type of demolition is a common phenomenon in India. Poor communities such as the potters have no choice but to squat on land in the city, on which they build shelters and organise their work areas. These people very rarely manage to claim any form of property rights, and can thus be easily evicted by municipalities.
Because there is nothing new about this situation, the communities hardly receive any support and do not believe it is possible to fight for their rights. Sarwat hopes that his video will raise awareness on this issue, and help mobilise people to assist the potters and other such helpless communities in their struggle for rehabilitation.