Highlights of the interview: Ashim Roy have been involved in the trade movement for 30 years now. He has been working with the social movements. Right to city is about people, where they can live and enjoy their life or in other words, people who constituents the city and majority are the working people who constituents the city. Therefore, right to city is the right of the working people, to have democratic space, economic space of their work, social space where they can spend their time with the family and friends and the common space where they can enjoy being together. Political and social injustice that is happening to a large section of poor people, dalits and the minorities. The working population cannot earn enough to sustain both their lives and the city that they live in, and if they cannot earn something that they cannot contribute to better housing or better spaces. 2 things are important for right to the city campaign:- First, the main wage of a worker in the city should be one that they can support their independent family in a decent house and live their life on a dignified fashion. Their wages should be such that they can afford schooling, health, and food so as to live in a comfortable and healthy way. Second, it is important to have a transportation system in a city which they can access and afford.
Highlights of the video: Working in Patna for the past 21 years on right to shelter, right to livelihood and right to food. According to her, a city is made up of different types of people, it is people who serve the city. A city cannot exists with only one section of population, so the service providers (as for example: the rickshaw pullers, construction workers, vendors etc.) are equally important because they contribute to the economy of the city.
Encroachment is one big problem in the city. Encroachment is caused by big vehicles, buses but it only comes when the poor becomes a soft target because perhaps they have no other capacity to fight it out.
Through the right to city campaign we can bring different sections of the population all together under one umbrella.
Lakhi Das is a member of the Adarsh Seva Sangathan (Jamshedpur). They work in collaboration with the Sanyukht Basti Samiti in 6 cities of Jharkhand. The main focus of their work is on helping the slum dwellers get access to basic amenities and the live in a secured and safe surroundings and all combined focusing on shaping the process to establish the true identity of the slum dwellers in the city.
Highlight of the Video: Her understanding of the Right to the city is multi layered. As she explains from personal experience of being a slum dweller, the perception of Right to the city implies to an individual’s participation in the local governance, its about being an integral part of the city growth and development, having access to basis services and to be able to establish one’s true identity in the city in its entirety. And the process of establishing all of this encompasses the Right to the City.
Main issues of injustice in the city according to her are the absence of the policies/rights/rules for the slum dwellers of the city.
According to her the movement of Right to the city has to be a deep rooted movement with utmost importance to the people’s participation.
POORNIMA CHIKARMANE is a member of the Kagad Kach Patra Kashtkari Panchayat (Pune) which consists of the rag pickers in the city and also a member of the Swatch Sewa Sahakari Santha which consist of the door to door garbage pickers and recyclers.
Highlights of the video: Her understanding of the Right to the city implies to conglomeration of all sections of the city from different economical backgrounds. All sections contribute to the functioning of the city and thus claiming their right over the city. All sections should be involved in the decisions regarding the city whether it is related to growth, access to basic amenities, or economic functioning. The main issues of injustice in city according to her is the injustice in the budget distribution among all section of the city. Also the budgetary spendings on the municipal education and health care in comparison to the amount spend on road construction and building municipal offices and government houses is meagre. Therefore injustice lie in the lack of knowledge of the poor in these processes. Right to the city as movement or campaign needs to focus on the what does right to the city as concept means, what does it entails and from where has the concept originated. And also what is the people’s understanding of this concept.
Highlights of the Interview: Pratap’s understanding of Right to the City has a big debate around it. According to him Right to city encompasses of all living in the city whether red light area workers, transgenders, rickshaw pullers or street vendors. It is not a one dimensional understanding that the right to the city is only to the rich.
The major issue of injustice according to him that is bothering his city Bhuvaneshwar in particular is the recent launch of the Smart city Project in the city. Due to this development intiative there has been a proposal of evicting 50,000 slum dwellers from the 25 slums of the city. In return of the land lost the government has assured to give houses under the PMAY scheme to the slum dwellers. These houses are as small as pigeon holes. Pratap sahu with his union and the collaborative union of the slums have been engaging in dialogue with the government to stop this from happening.
Highlights of the Video: The meaning of Right to the City need to be integrated with the constitutional rights provided in a Democratic country like ours. There is a need for a proper definition that combines all the city related movements in place like street vendors, informal sector, etc.
The major issue of injustice in our cities, according to Rajendra is that of the interpretation of policies in our cities. For example, when the policy takes about easing urban mobility we make elevated roads or flyovers, which have been made with few in consideration and affecting the masses.
Right to the City as Movement needs an integrated framework, which brings activists working in different sectors like mobility, health, education, housing together on one platform and then move forward with an idea. People’s participation in the city’s decision making is a necessity and should not be dictated by the state. Thus bringing people together as an organisation is a must.