We believe that the media can play a crucial role in addressing social inequality. Interventions by the media can shine a light on abuses, promote transparency, highlight corruption, and ensure access to information necessary to legal empowerment of communities. Nazdeek collaborates with media practitioners at local and international levels to assist in documentation and dissemination of human rights violations.
FORCED EVICTION AND ILLEGAL DEMOLITION IN BALJEET NAGAR, DELHI
Since the late 1980s the Government of Delhi has initiated a surge of demolitions and forced evictions under the justification of “slum up-gradation” and “city beautification.” However, this crusade is taking place at an alarmingly high cost to Delhi’s residents; thousands of whom have lost their houses and property and been rendered homeless. These losses are a result of massive eviction drives central to the Delhi Government’s aspiration to develop a “world class city”; a city which sadly has no place for the urban poor. For example, in the run up to the 2010 Commonwealth Games, the Government displaced over 200,000 persons by demolishing entire settlements, clearing out large areas, and deporting slum dwellers and homeless citizens away from the city centre and thus from the sight of international media and foreign visitors.
Meanwhile resettlement colonies, when and if provided, boast grossly inadequate conditions with no sewage systems, electricity, or garbage collection and located unrealistic distances from public services such as hospitals and schools. Factors such as residents’ access to health facilities, schools, public transport and workplace are patently disregarded. Despite existing policies and regulations, coupled with strong domestic jurisprudence and international law obligations, most evictions take place illegally and rights of the poor are trampled on.
Andy Ash is a documentary photographer from the UK. His work looks at socio-political issues , with a focus on human rights violations. For more info: http://www.fireflyphotofilms.com/component/k2/item/25-andy-ash
HOMELESS YOUTH, DELHI
New Delhi is often referred to as one of India’s most progressive cities. Modern shopping complexes and relative privilege line the city streets of central Delhi. Once the sun sets behind the metropolis however, a phantom city reveals itself. A second population, nocturnal, and elusive manifests itself on the same streets and pavements that held the traffic of a modern, developed India just hours before. The population of Delhi’s homeless people.
Little of India’s celebrated economic growth reaches these people. According to studies, 51% of respondents claimed they resorted to homelessness due to unemployment, and the need to send money home. In the year 2000, there was a reported housing shortage of 41 million units. Official estimates, widely regarded as drastically under-representative of the true population state over 100,000 people live homeless in Delhi. A 2001 census enumerated 1.94 million homeless people in India. Despite this alarming figure, the state provides little support for homeless persons. Government shelters for example, operating at maximum capacity, can only accommodate 3% of the Delhi homeless population. Furthermore, these shelters are only available in the nations capital, despite their national need.
The marginalisation of homeless people does not exclude them from exploitation. Many survive through casual, unprotected labour such as construction work, rickshaw pulling, domestic work and street vendors. Their weak bargaining power results in poor wages, vastly below the minimum wage. Without their sweat, blood and forced input New Delhi would not have its modern appearance. They are the unknown city builders.
Mark Esplin is a Freelance Documentary Photographer and Multi Media Journalist from the UK, currently based in Beijing, China. For more info: http://www.markesplin.com/
Housing is a core component of the right to an adequate standard of living. Read More.
It is a fundamental right under Article 21 of the Right to Life, observes Supreme Court of India. Read More.
State has to guarantee that the right to health is available, accessible and of high quality. Read More.