06 APRIL 2020
Poverty : Housing
Justice eludes Mumbai's homeless
Displaced by the flawed implementation of Slum Rehabilitation Authority's policy and an unholy nexus of real-estate mafia, thousands of slum-dwellers continue to fight for their basic right to shelter. Swati Priya reports from Mumbai.
Displacement Poverty MAHARASHTRA Human Rights

A permanent address at the river's edge
Families in Majuli island are used to the vagaries of the Brahmaputra. But the floods this year have been particularly harsh on them. Ratna Bharali Talukdar reports.

ASSAM Poverty
Can I build my own house?
Were we interested in a comfortable home for Medhi, or were we looking to give her just another house from our stable of development schemes? R Balasubramaniam remembers a lesson he learned well.

Street-side story
Though the homeless exist in large numbers, society tries to render them invisible, says a recent study on homelessness in four Indian cities. Arpan Tulsyan reports on the findings.

Cities Urban Poor Poverty
Where is our space?
I could smell Buddham Bai before I could see her. She was covered with layers of clothes once white, laced with the acrid odour of incontinence, of old age. Arpan Tulsyan reports on one woman's poverty and homelessness in the capital.

DELHI Poverty
Codifying indigenous ways of building
How do we bring back to our streets the Indian identities they once had? The answer lies in documenting and codifying the many elements of construction in the past, for evolving an architecture with an Indian identity, writes Kiran Keswani.

History Society
A model for sanitation for the urban poor
A systematic, participatory effort to map and understand the need for sanitation in Sangli's slums has helped Shelter Associates bring about a change in the mindset of civic officials and residents alike. Its director, Pratima Joshi believes this is a model that can be replicated in many other cities. Rasika Dhavse reports.

Cities Sanitation Government MAHARASHTRA
The great garbage rush
The belief that slum dwellers convert any structure they are given into another slum is thoroughly disproved in Charkop. There is clearly a sense of community, and each cluster feels proud to maintain the cleanliness of its surroundings, writes Kalpana Sharma.

Urban Cities OP-ED Kalpana Sharma Kalpana's Commentary
A spate of neighbourliness
While the sheer scale of the flooding in Mumbai last year made relief operations difficult, there was still much that the government could have done, but failed to do. The citizens themselves, were far more resourceful and sensitive to the plight of others, writes Darryl D'Monte, who served on the Concerned Citizens' Commission.

Low cost rural houses from local materials
A traditional rural residence is almost always based on adaptations to the local environment, and is often built with the labour of the villagers themselves without the need for external mechanised inputs. Surekha Sule reports on the Rural Building Centre, a NIRD initiative showcasing several such homes.

Nobody touches the Act
"This building is dangerous. It may collapse at any time. Enter at your own risk." So goes a warning sign at the entrance to a building in Mumbai. Buildings that crumble are an old tradition in this city, with at least one cause being the Rent Control Act. Dilip D'Souza says the pernicious law must go.

OP-ED Dilip D'Souza MAHARASHTRA Thoughts for a nation
'Middle class' palaces
Who is buying the new homes that are mushrooming in every city? What income group does this class belong to, and how does their affluent consumption compare to the national average, or to home-buyers elsewhere in the world. Darryl D'Monte finds some of the answers at a session with a human geographer.

Cut-off by the date
Not least because affordable rental housing in Bombay is an urban myth, the jobs we invite our fellow Indians to fill so that we can have all those good things of a booming economy, are filled by people who have little choice but to live in slums. And then we raze those slum homes. Cavalier, says Dilip D'Souza.

OP-ED Dilip D'Souza MAHARASHTRA Thoughts for a nation