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Hazards commented on Technical support to collective action

Hi Shane, sure: the technical assistance depends upon the nature of the problem the slum community poses. For instance, a community comes to us with complaints of inflated electricity bills, we would assist them in computing their own consumption and checking the meters and then approach the service provider. Another has problems with accessing food rations and we would help them understand their entitlements, how the policy works, and provide information on how they can write to the relevant authorities, and obtain their food-grains. A third would want to access piped water instead of tanker water and we would assist them to do a survey of how much it costs to supply water to tankers and how much it would cost to lay pipes and then use the data to negotiate with the utility to supply potable water. A fourth would require shelter at night and we would demystify the Master Plan to show how there is no provision for night shelters but what could be a way of petitioning the planners to include such a norm in the plan. A fifth would want to be able to vend goods on the street without harassment, and we would again decipher the Master Plan for that city to show how these trades are incorporated in the law and how they could obtain the licenses to practice their trade. A sixth would want to know what are the health hazards that are faced in segregating waste and we would do a small workshop on what waste contains, how it harms the body, and what are the safety precautions that could possibly be taken. And a seventh would want to know how they could press for housing in G+1 constructions, as against the high rises being planned for them by the local authorities, and we would assist them in mapping, designing, and then lobbying for their needs.

The list is pretty long and varied, and we have been doing this now for about 15 years, with pilots in a dozen cities. And for the last four years we have been helping communities to do material and energy audits to help them demonstrate how their use and restoration of resources is more efficient and sustainable than what local governments and national policies are prescribing.

You can find some of the examples mentioned in the report we had attached along with our Idea, and for more examples you might want to visit our website .