SADED formed a group ‘Pravasi Jan Manch’ to study life style of poor and marginalized internal migrants displaced from their roots in different Indian states and living in hundreds of slums in Delhi. Initially the focus of study was to understand their day to day problems.
Ms. Rita Kumari and Rajni Kant Mudgal were entrusted the responsibility. Ms. Rita Kumari started visited the slums of Delhi. She had experience working with Bihar’s poor women.
Being a young activist she had to work hard to get confidence of poor women of Delhi slums by helping them solving their day to day slums. she was able to from small women groups in many slum colonies.
She also started documenting their stories by way of personal sittings and has documented these (more than 60) and three (3) of them have been published in finish language.
Pravasi Jan Manch had deep impact in Delhi poor women living in Delhi slums due to hard work and one to one interaction style of Ms. Rita Kumari.
The results of Rita’s work were quite fruitful. It awakened these poor women who were treated as slaved even by their husbands and other male members of their families.
Impact of Pravasi Jan Manch work
Most of these women were also working as full time/part time labours and belonged to Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan. Though some pockets are of Orissa, Bengal and South Indian states. Their personal earnings were snatched by their unemployed husbands who needed the money for purchasing liquor daily and consuming they were beaten by them. Rita Kumari formed groups of such victims and started opposing jointly against domestic violence, initicially by way of pacifying and then threatening such male members for informing police. Now such beating incidents are reduced drastically and these husbands have understood the growing joint action of these groups.
Against police astrocities also. they were not allowed even to repair their huts and their doors. These women groups started protesting by way of opposing immediately at the incident site and if not stopped them contacting high officials and calling women help numbers. This continuous protest by these women, local police has started behaving humanly.
Pravasi Jan Manch enlightened them with govt. Welfate schemes such as women rights, pension scheme for widows and senior citizens, health care schemes for BPS (Beow poverty Line) people and handicapped pension scheme. With great efforts Pravasi Jan Manch is able to get these schemes intiated in slum areas also while earlier these were in lower and middle class only.
Now, after great efforts, local govt. has agreed to provide electricity connection to these slum people and have also assured to provide water connection to every hutments (initially joint connections). Many have been helped to get widow and sr. citizen and handicapped pensions.
Earlier these slum poor were afraid of helping accident victims in the area. But after Pravasi Jan Manch enlightened them about helping thm to help each other in fire and road accidents and assured that police and administration will not harass them if they take such victims immediately to hospitals. Now, in many such incidents. The life of victims could be saved due to timely community help and local police and administration has also appreciated their timely help.
Survey in slums
Pravasi Jan Manch also helped in public surveys in slums with many other networks such as Right to Food and Health Swaraj.