Do not destroy the ‘dreams’ of the poor with a bulldozer, sir! These houses are built on the strength of hard work and skill
Whenever there have been fact and rational studies on the slum policy of cities, they have often recommended that slum settlements and shanties should not be destroyed, but by doing development work at the same place as much as possible, the living and environmental conditions should be improved here. Along with meeting the basic needs like water and sanitation, greenery should also be increased here and in the surrounding area.
Similarly, studies on informal and small-scale employment have shown that the employment of small shops, carts, kiosks, street vendors, tea stalls and dhabas should be protected and policies should be adopted accordingly. Although such policies should generally be for all the time, but in recent times the need for such policies supporting the poor class has increased due to three reasons. The first reason is that in the era of Kovid and its associated lockdown, the difficulties of similar people have increased a lot. Many people have become unemployed. The second big thing is that due to many unfavorable policies like demonetisation, the difficulties of many people from weak economic condition have increased. However, inflation and the post-Ukrainian war conditions have added to the hardships of ordinary poor workers and small entrepreneurs.
Therefore, in this period, action should not be taken to vandalize the means of housing or livelihood in cities and towns. But it is even more inappropriate in the time of scorching heat. Despite this, some time ago in Chandigarh, about 5000 people were demolished and made homeless in a single day, while they were living in the settlement settled about 40 years ago.
At the same time, demolition proceedings have started at many places in Delhi as well. Last year too, during the summer, a huge demolition action took place in Faridabad. This is the time to help the poor and urban needy, not to increase their difficulties. In the midst of many unfavorable situations, people have maintained their jobs on the strength of their hard work and skills and some arrangement has been made for a roof over their heads. The government which cannot arrange a better life for these working people, has no right to destroy the system that people have created for themselves with so much difficulty.
Therefore, the actions of sabotage, which are increasing from place to place, plaguing many cities, should be stopped. Yes, if it becomes very important to remove any encroachment in special circumstances, then in this situation, first proper and equitable rehabilitation should be arranged for all the affected persons or families and only then action should be taken to remove the encroachment.
It is coming out in various studies that the problem of urban unemployment is getting serious and the number of homeless people is increasing in different cities. Therefore, when these problems are already becoming serious, then the government should refrain from taking actions to increase their seriousness. Often it has been seen in many places that people whose livelihood is destroyed and pushed into unemployment, many times gradually come into the condition of homelessness. On the other hand people become homeless due to housing breakdown. In this era of climate change and adverse weather, it is being said around the world that the problems of homeless people will be especially high. In this situation, if the government takes action to make people homeless, then it is very unfair and this policy should be changed.