Ghettoization of the urban poor and rampant evictions across the country brought together more than 50 housing rights activists representing 32 organisations from 19 states at the three-day strategy meeting of the National Forum for Housing Rights (NFHR). The meeting was held at Bengaluru, from 11th to 13th September, 2013. Indu Prakash Singh, Head, CityMakers Programme, IGSSS and Convener, NFHR, shared that the Housing Bill is pending since 1980s and the forum needs to strengthen advocacy to realize its enactment. He added that ‘housing’ meant the right to have a house with all other basic rights, which also include the right to livelihood.
Participants from various states expressed their concern that despite various laws, policies and schemes there are wide gaps in their implementation. Hence, they have decided to work on an action plan to challenge the denial of housing rights of the CityMakers (urban poor). They have planned to study and analyze the various housing policies of states across the country and demand progressive legislation. The forum will launch a nation-wide campaign to challenge the orchestrated efforts of the state to deny the Right to City for CityMakers. It reconstituted its working groups on Policy Analysis, Advocacy, Community Mobilization, Legal Support, Networking and Resource Mobilization.
The participants also visited the families who were forcefully evicted at Ejipura, Bengaluru. The three-day meeting was organised by IGSSS in partnership with ActionAid.