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Background

After three years of continuous voluntary work in the slums and organizing slum dwellers the Project Holders felt the need to register their organization and thus Deenbandhu (Friends of the Poor) came into legal existence. Initially their intervention revolved around promoting youth leadership, educating children, sanitation campaigns in the slums, and mainstreaming slum children for realization of their education rights. Deenbandhu’s vision is that all urban inhabitants should have their share of urban space and services. The organization believes that the housing crisis can be solved only if planners and policymakers change their apathetic attitudes about the poorest of the poor and become actively engaged in pushing for workable solutions. The Founders, Late Rajiv John George and Ms. Belu George have been involved in mobilizing slum dwellers through their interventions to promote youth leadership, education aiming at mainstreaming children and sanitation campaigns in slum. The Project Holder, Ms. Belu George, is a qualified Social Worker and a Lawyer. She has been a part of the Right to Housing Campaign since the last 12 years. Currently she is also engaged with the RCH programme of the MP State Government. The current interventions of Deenbandhu are spread across 2 Slum clusters in Indore city, Madhya Pradesh.

Situation

Indore is situated in the administrative region of the Malwa Plateau. The district is highly urbanized at 72% versus the state average of 27%. The buoyant economy of the city is supported by industrial (in Dewas and Pithampur) and agricultural activities (on the Malwa Plateau) in surrounding areas. Though the city’s economic output is significant, employment opportunities are limited with low labor intensive work. In addition, uncontrolled and unplanned growth of this urban centre has led to huge stress on the infrastructure. Slums vary in size, duration of residence, population density, service facilities, employment status, access to Anganwadi centers (AWCs), schooling opportunities, infrastructure, land rights, etc. These factors impact on the quality of life of the residents. Over 94% of the workforce of Indore is in the non-farm sector. However, worker participation rate is low at 30% (urban Indore). Labor-intensive industrial units have either closed down or have drastically reduced staff. Newer industries are capital-intensive and offer opportunities only for technically qualified personnel. Therefore, while the economic output in the area remains significant, employment opportunities are limited.

In urban areas of MP, about 44% of the children are underweight, with almost half (19.5%) of these children being severely undernourished. Most of the children are deprived of birth registration, which may hinder their civil & political rights in future. Health status is poor and the level of immunization is low, which make children exposed to preventable diseases. Most of the children in these slums are deprived of education rights. Many of them are working children and child labor, involved in rag picking and looking after younger siblings.

Objectives

  • Awareness generation & integrated efforts for right to housing with a special focus on child rights issues.
  • To facilitate the realization of right to compulsory primary education for children living in the slum communities.
  • To ensure an improved accessibility of health care to the community.
  • To identify and respond to the protection issues of slum children.
  • To enable community participation for strengthening the basic rights campaign for securing their entitlements.
  • Information sharing and networking among the community based forums and civil society groups.

Review and Impact


Deenbandhu interventions aim towards sustainable long term development of urban slum communities with optimal community participation. Over the past few years, Deenbandhu has been instrumental in raising issues of the urban poor and slum dwellers of Indore in a significant manner which drew attention of the local administration and the media. The process of engagement on the issue started with the community on issues that affected them such as housing rights. The organization looks at the issue of urban housing linked to children’s issues.

Highlights in the review period include

  • 56 new born registrations were done and 51 certificates issued.
  • 45 children were mainstreamed into government primary schools.
  • Campaign on girl child education was undertaken on International Girl Child Day.
  • Women’s groups were formed and strengthened through capacity building inputs and collective mobilization processes.
  • Awareness campaign done on registration of construction workers.
  • Bal Utsav (children’s festival) was organized on the eve of children’s day and children from all direct intervention slums and advocacy slums participated.
  • Perspective building workshop for youth focused on youth leadership, their role and responsibilities.

Plans

  • Deenbandhu to monitor immunization of children and pregnant women.
  • Demand generation for new anganwadi centers for children and improved status of malnutrition among children and women.
  • Identification and inclusion of new eligible families under BPL.
  • Training on health rights focusing on both the National Rural Health Mission and the National Urban Health Mission.
  • Deenbandhu will continue working on the formation and registration of women’s cooperatives.
  • Transit schools will continue in 2 slums where the community will be involved in monitoring the performance of schools.
  • Demand will be generated for new schools and quality education from the government as per the New Education Act.
  • Regular interaction with children in the direct intervention slums to nurture their creativity.
  • Perspective building will be done for youth groups in the community.

ANNUAL FINANCIAL SUMMARY

  • Right to Development
    $2,763
  • Right to Survival
    $2,993
  • Right to Protection
    $3,730
  • Right to Participation
    $4,685
  • Capital Expenses
    $201
  • Administration
    $9,978
  • Total Grant Approved
    $24,350