PROTEST at Maharashtra Sadan, Copernicus Marg, Near Haryana Bhawan, Delhi on 3.06.2015 at 11 am
The massive demonstration going on in Mandala, Mumbai under the banner of “Awas Haq Satyagraha” reiterates the struggle of crores of urban migrant workers who live at the periphery of metropolitan cities in India. These are the people whose labor creates the “cities” and it is their sweat that sustains them. But even after all that, their own existence and shelter remains vulnerable and uncertain.
Thousands of slum dwellers, who had been displaced from Mandala, Mumbai over ten years ago in 2004-05, came together on 26th May 2015 to reclaim their land and rebuild their houses, in a historic struggle for right to housing and basic facilities in Mumbai. Ghar Bachao Ghar Banao Andolan launched the Awaas Haq Satyagraha (Struggle for Right to Housing) along with residents of Mandala, supported by basti dwellers from across the city and at least 5 thousand slum dwellers continued the satyagraha for a week. The Satyagraha also exposed the doubletalk of the government; on one hand government has been making false promises to people while having failed in implementing the Mandala Rajiv Awas Yojana (RAY) pilot project, and on the other hand, as per the recent news, the government is trying to change the RAY policy to favor builder – corporate lobby by “reviving” it on the PPP model and stalling the fund allocation for policy. Even after 8 days of satyagraha, the government refused to indulge in a dialogue with the protesters.
As the protest continues, we fear that sooner or later police action might even be taken against the people. The struggle waged by the people of Mandala needs to be upheld and we stand in solidarity with them. The dispossession and displacement of the most marginalized people needs to stop and people shall reclaim their rights over urban spaces and resources.
For same, let us gather at Maharashtra Sadan on 3rd of June at 11am to protest against the lack of cooperation by the administration and the decade long suffering of the people who were evicted and continue to face oppression.