Nov 29, 2018

Slum Women Assert Democratic Rights with Voter ID

Girls filling application forms for Voter ID
Girls filling application forms for Voter ID

The Challenge: Voter ID Card (for those >18 years) is a common form of Government picture ID and address proof in India to avail schemes, services and entitlements. Slum women and girls in a male dominated society are unaware of how to obtain Voter ID. This deprives them of Government services, schemes and entitlements. For example, a slum woman in labour was denied hospital access for not having ID proof of the city. Voter ID provides legitimacy to slum dwellers for electoral rights and to negotiate for services.

Effort: Regular capacity building sessions of women’s groups and information about Government services, importance of Government ID, of address proof and steps to obtain them (documents required, where to be submitted) are conducted by UHRC facilitators. With motivation, women and girls gradually develop confidence to submit documents to the authorities and obtain Voter ID. 

Outcome: About 30000 persons from Indore and Agra (above 18 years) obtained Voter ID card during 2016-18. Voter ID in addition to being a Government ID, address proof, enabled women exercise their democratic rights as legitimate citizens during elections. They gently assert their democratic value as voters while negotiating with elected Ward Councillors. These efforts are also resulting in overcoming the notion of illegality associated with slums.

Submitting application form to local authority
Submitting application form to local authority
A filled application form with photographs
A filled application form with photographs
Submitting application form at an internet kiosk
Submitting application form at an internet kiosk
Women and girls holding procured Voter ID cards
Women and girls holding procured Voter ID cards
Sep 4, 2018

Slum Children Read, Reflect and Write

Stimulating children to read and reflect
Stimulating children to read and reflect

Sessions of book reading are periodically held with slum children in the slum areas of Indore and Agra. Children manage a mobile library of books containing stories primarily based on moral themes. After reading, the children are stimulated to understand and think the learnings they inferred from the stories and write 4-5 messages. This activity complements the modest education provided by government and private schools in slums or near slums. This exercise is a positive stimulant towards inculcating the habit of reading and introspection. This effort enables slum children to gain exposure to books beyond their school textbooks and think and discuss interesting stories and themes.

Sharing nuggets in group fosters peer learning
Sharing nuggets in group fosters peer learning
Output of the activity through a written message
Output of the activity through a written message
Jun 12, 2018

Slum Women Overcome Water Shortage in Summers

Women's action pave way for water access in slums
Women's action pave way for water access in slums

During summer months in India, slum populations face major challenges in access to water supply. Water sources dry up and the need increases in the hot weather. Municipal Bore-wells operated through electric connection in one slum house are the common source of public water supply in many bastis (slums). These bore-wells dry up in summer season since the ground water recedes, leaving slum residents bereft of water. Insufficient water leads to inadequate household and personal cleanliness aggravating risk of infections. The burden of procuring water from a distance often falls on basti (slum) women and children.

While the ward councillors send water tankers in slums as a substitute for bore-wells, the water is inadequate for many all residents. They end up purchasing water from private suppliers at a high cost. With greater demand, the cost of private water tankers increases in summer months.

The photostory describes slum women's efforts in strengthening access to water in slums.

 

 

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Writing collective petition to ward councillor
Writing collective petition to ward councillor
Slum women gently negotiating for water
Slum women gently negotiating for water
Slum families filling water from tankers
Slum families filling water from tankers
 
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