Reported by: P.V. Swati, Officer, Gender Mainstreaming, H.O.
Edited By: Communications Team
New Delhi: IGSSS organized a two-day event on 3rd and 4th March, 2015 to celebrate the journey of IGSSS’ trainees who have worked on the issue of housing for urban poor for past 3 years in nine cities of the states of Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Bihar and Haryana. The sustained engagement at the ground level was concluded with a national workshop addressing the challenges of civil society in the work on housing for urban poor.
Setting the context to the event our Executive Director, Mr. John Peter Nelson said “in the contemporary times of rapid urban migration it has been a challenge to find equal and meaningful housing as the emphasis has been on growth which solely concentrates on creating habitat for middle class groups with higher income marginalizing the poor”.
Commemorating the three year journey of the training, a short documentary was screened capturing the struggles and achievements of the trainees. The celebration was also graced by the esteemed presence of Mr. Kulwant Singh, UN Habitat, who was the chief guest.
The leaps made by the trainees while being a significant milestone for IGSSS also posts an effective model for capacity building of young community leaders committed to securing housing rights for urban poor. Thus, the first day of the event was tribute to the nine IGSSS trainees and their stories of struggle.
On 4th March a day long national workshop was held to address the challenges of civil society while work on housing for urban poor based on the issues and case studies as identified by the trainees. The workshop was aimed at determining a way forward to continue a sustained engagement towards securing meaningful and dignified housing for the urban poor. Representatives from all mentor organization and other stakeholders who partnered together in the wider struggle for housing rights in different parts of the country participated at this national workshop.
Esteemed guests like Mr. Dunu Roy, Director, Hazard Centre was the key note speaker to this national workshop and stressed on the urban poor being the agents of infrastructure development in a city. Mr. Ravi Singhla, Senior Town Planner from the Faridabad region also attended the workshop to present the perspective of the government units in catering different groups while designing city space.
The two-day event came to a meaningful conclusion as all the partners who have been part of this journey came together to form a consolidate network which will act as communication and knowledge management portal to support any future engagements for housing rights for urban poor. Thus, while a project came to an end, a new spirit to the movement for housing rights was found to sustain the struggle.