GENRE: Report

Sujanbai, 46, has been living in Anna Nagar in East Delhi for over six years now, earning her living as a street vendor of seasonal fruits. And yet she laments, "There is no space to live in this Dilli. Not even on the footpath. The police come and shunt you out. This is the only space along the nalla (open drain) where I’m able to put a cot for my family to lie on." This space that Sujanbai refers to is the site of a settlement, perched on the ridge of a nalla or drain in Anna Nagar. This was…

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Last month, news reports emerged of ticketed passengers stranded at Chennai Central railway station. They carried bonafide tickets for seats on a train bound for Howrah, but discovered that unauthorised travellers had occupied their coaches; it is said that people began to board the train even as the railcars were entering the platform so that the sleeper coaches were full by the time they made a stop at the station. According to a report in The Hindu, ticketless passengers had not only overrun the reserved coaches but also blocked walkways with their luggage, making it impossible for those who had…

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Stormwater drains in Chennai made headlines during the December 2023 floods. Many residents in areas that were waterlogged complained about their ineffectiveness. Since then, the Greater Chennai Corporation (GCC) officials have maintained that they have identified inundated areas and constructed stormwater drains in those specific locations under various schemes. While most of the construction work is ongoing in North and South Chennai, GCC officials claim that the Integrated Stormwater Drain (ISWD) project is almost at a completion stage in North Chennai. Six months after the floods, we did a status check in parts of North Chennai and found that a…

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The recent approval for revamping seven Bangalore Development Authority (BDA) complexes into retail, multiplex, entertainment centres and offices has not been well received by citizens. Residents say there have been no public consultations and a total lack of transparency. Sneha Nandihal, founder of I Change Indiranagar, says the Detailed Project Report (DPR) is not available in the public domain. "We filed an RTI but received a convoluted response, so we obtained it from other sources." Ajay Reddy, member of third block Koramangala RWA, says the biggest issue is that no public consultation has been done so far: ”We don't mind redevelopment…

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As the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) predicts an “above normal" monsoon for Mumbai, the marginalised residing in informal housing along the coastlines start anticipating and preparing for heavy rains. Citizen Matters visited the slums of Ganesh Nagar located on the rocks of Bandstand, Bandra to explore how the marginalised communities residing close to the sea, face the challenge of rising sea levels, heavy floods during the monsoons, worsened by climate change. Proximity to the high tidal waves — some of them have waves lashing right into their doors during the high tides — impacts their daily living. For the residents…

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27-year-old Salma was a  waste picker at the Ghazipur landfill before she came to Gulmeher, a social enterprise established in 2013 that aims to provide an alternative livelihood to women waste pickers in that area. They train these women to create eco-friendly products using discarded flowers, fabric waste and recycled paper. Till date, Gulmeher has already re-used around 15 tons of discarded flowers and more than two tons of fabric waste.  Salma, donning a red dupatta, smiles as she meticulously picks broken flower petals with a brush, pasting it on a diary before her. It has taken her long to…

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With people from different strata of society living here, Ward 197 is a study in contrasts. East Coast Road (ECR) cuts through the area, moving in a relatively straight line, towards Mahabalipuram and Pondicherry. On the side closer to the sea, large, empty bungalows line canopied streets, waiting for their owners to visit them on the weekend. However, on the other side of ECR, the roads become smaller and muddier, the houses no longer have security guards at their doorsteps, and the dogs are strays, not pedigrees being exercised by a dog-walker. Land closer to the beach is higher in…

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Rekha, a farmer in Delhi's Yamuna Pushta, has been sitting in protest for the last 21 months along with other members of her community. Their demand is clear: “The farms that they (the government) have destroyed were our only occupation; the government must either give us employment in its place, or compensation for the loss we have suffered. Since they have also demolished the homes of farmers, we demand a place to live as well," says Rekha firmly. Rekha belongs to a community of farmers spanning three generations or more, comprising nearly a thousand households at Bela Estate, a slum…

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“My grandfather is 88 years old. Like other senior citizens, he used to go for long walks, but now he can’t. Often, he doesn’t tell us how he feels because he doesn’t want to bother us. Going through this experience of wearing the empathy suit, which simulates challenges faced by older people, is very helpful. It's not that we don’t know about the issues, but experiencing them first hand provides a better understanding,” says Amod. He is referring to a wearable empathy suit being developed at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Bombay that communicates the experiences of older citizens…

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Imagine you are walking around Kala Ghoda, appreciating the heritage architecture, art galleries, food and fashion hotspots, and now imagine that it's a car-free road. The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) is considering declaring five streets around Kala Ghoda in Colaba car-free for specific hours on weekends. This proposal has come from the Kala Ghoda Association (KGA), which organises the popular Kala Ghoda Festival annually for the past 24 years.  At present, the Rampart Row Street, now officially known as the K Dubash Street, is closed for vehicular access for the nine days of the Kala Ghoda Festival. The KGA has…

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