Slum Bombay: Group Discussion (Cont...) with residents of Bhomiheen Camp, Govindpuri. (tape 14)
Director: Ralli Jacob, Rafeeq Ellias, P.K. Das; Cinematographer: Rafeeq Ellias
Duration: 00:21:49; Aspect Ratio: 1.366:1; Hue: 9.503; Saturation: 0.041; Lightness: 0.111; Volume: 0.118; Cuts per Minute: 1.146; Words per Minute: 108.167
Summary: Discussion about Bombay slums and Delhi slums with Delhi and Bombay slum dwellers.
Discussion about Bombay slums and Delhi slums with Delhi and Bombay slum dwellers.
Q: What is Bombay peoples' lifestyle like?
Vijay Kamble: Worse than rats in the gutter.
Q: Did you give any suggestion to the government to improve your situation?
Vijay Kamble: We are trying our level best, but here (Delhi) there is space, in Bombay there isn't. And all the slums are is on government land.
Q: In Bombay skyscrapers are being built... But as you said about living in gutters, don't the Bombay authorities do anything to rehabilitate you?
Vijay Kamble: We've gone to the authorities with our ration cards, everything so often, but would they listen? Though they are supposed to serve and look after the poor, but in reality its like the poor are treated even lower than animals...
Q: But the newspapers talk of schemes to help the poor and to raise them above the poverty line, of all being equal in India... So then why such injustice in Bombay?
Vijay Kamble: We are in the same boat - we in Bombay, you here in Delhi.
Unknown 1: Though we are 'central'... Top leaders, ministers, prime ministers visit, give lovely speeches and then do nothing.
Vijay Kamble: We are in the same boat, that's why we are here to learn more.
Unknown 1: Earlier when our county got freedom, some people who arrived here got 80 gaz plot, today refugees are still coming and getting 40 gaz plot. Can't the government provide for those who have settled here with no other option of surviving?
Vijay Kamble: It should provide.
Unknown 1: Should give, right? So we are also raising our voices about this. As you said you've been meeting with Manjit Singh, the slum director in last 2 days, and he claims all is great. But have you asked him the dimensions of his bathroom, bedroom or his apartment - what are his living conditions?
Vijay Kamble: His?
Unknown 1: Yes, his.
Vijay Kamble: I haven't seen myself, but it definitely would be a big flat because he is director.
Unknown 1: How big even then?
Vijay Kamble: He is a high profile man his flat must be nice.
Unknown 1: How big is the reception room where the guests are seated?
Vijay Kamble: I have seen its very big.
Unknown 1: His guest house is big, and he is providing shelter to our family the size of his bathroom. So this is his justice or injustice?
Vijay Kamble: This is injustice - same thing is everywhere.
Unknown 1: If Delhi commissioner himself is doing injustice, then what should the government do? What we should do?
Vijay Kamble: We should find our own way. I too am thinking the same - what should we do? I want to know what makes us hurt, our people hurt. And the government or commissioner or other officers - their point of view is like this only.
Unknown 1: Just a year back we got 32 gaz plots in Kundali.
Unknown 2: It was Congress government...
Unknown 1: Whichever government, they should help the poor. But just last year we received 32 gaz plot. Based on this transit camp was built in (?)... But now its very tiny and that also double floor which you have made sample whose you have made film...
Vijay Kamble: We didn't make film just saw.
Unknown 1: Yeah, saw and with Kiran which you have made film or what you talked to her... is she working in favour of the poor or in favour of Manjit SIngh? We all slum dwellers think she is working only in favour of director, not the poor.
Q: They are saying population is growing every year, slum areas are increasing, so then where to bring so much land from?
Unknown 4: The population is not only growing in slum areas, but everywhere.
Unknown 1: Population is growing in slum area, doesn't population grow in Kiran's house, or in Manjit Singh Sardar's house? They have done family planning.
Unknown 5: Give them Lalu Yadav example, Lalu Yadav Bihar minister
People: Ha ha ha
Unknown 1: The Chief Minister in Bihar who has a 1 dozen kids...
People: Ha ha
Unknown 1: Still no family planning for Lalu Yadav.
People: Ha ha ha
Unknown 1: And they are warning to poor men for sterilisation or else your family will grow.
Unknown 1: In Delhi many outsider refugees are coming from Iraq, Iran, Kashmir, Punjab - who are being provided facilities. Similarly they should provide for those who have settled in slums.
Q: Whatever development is to be done in Delhi, the same development will happen in Bombay and Kolkata. That's why the Bombay people are saying if it can be done here then there too.
Unknown 1: This is the centre, so whatever formula is applicable here will also apply all over India. Your thinking is correct - our demands should be same as yours. But Bombay is a big city, its considered India's A grade city.
Vijay Kamble: Its not A grade...
Unknown 1: Bombay is #1 in India. The environment there is perfect, there's the seashore, 12 months the weather is more or less same there. And here the poor people freeze in winter. The poor here survive winter by covering themselves head to toe in bedsheets and burning wood. The government should provide such poor people with facilities to make them comfortable, to help them cross the poverty line. The government should set some examples of raising some population somewhere from the poverty line. Or is it that just by printing in the newspapers the poverty line can be erased?
c In this sample here, common toilets, if a person enters the toilet... (?). One courtyard for 7 people - 7 people will park their cycles there. If someone's bicycle falls on a child there'll be daily fights. So this is not suited for our families. If they wish to push us further down the poverty line then Manjit Singh, slum wing director can do so by force and injustice. Our demand is a single apartment of 32 gaz (sq yard) and 20000 rs loan by which we can comfortably live even if we build by their plan and not ours but it should be 32 gaz. We just want to improve our condition and the government should also work towards this.
Q: It seems that some political party is encouraging you to say these things?
No... but we are not affiliated with any political party... We have come to understand who will support us and who will hinder us. The poor are no longer going to be wrongly influenced.
Q: So in a way there is not much difference between the slums in (?) and these bricks and stone structures?
No... This is a more ruinous mess.
XX: They acquired 100 acres land for Pakshi Vihar. The birds have place to stay, but not humans.
XX2: We've often read in the newspapers that like Sangam Vihar colony in Delhi, there's a lot of space behind it where all of Delhi's slum clusters can be housed if the government intends to do so. But now Pakshi vihar (aviary) is being built there. This means in India the birds have more dignity than us humans. The birds need a place to stay, medicine, water, food. But us people who participate in the development of this country have no facilities, no dignity in this country. If we go elsewhere for work we are asked where we live. As long as they are unaware we come from slums they respect us, assuming we belong to some colony in Delhi. Once they get to know we're from some slum neighbourhood, there isn't an iota of respect left in them for us. In fact they begin to want to get rid of us then. Slum dwellers these days have become a separate sect. We need reassurance that the government intends to and will work towards our upliftment, our status is changing too. Now this transit camp the slum director has built is not to the liking of the slum dwellers because this is more congested than slums even. There is no ventilation here, no room to sit outside, one is to always remain caged inside. Even pigeons live in airier homes! Yet they cram men like us in there. So nothing changes, in fact its worse. Our slums are much better than this, where we can put cots outside, sit outside.
Q: Do you face any problems acquiring ration cards due to living in slums? Or problems in children's school admission?
XX2: Yes, this is happening. There are issues getting a ration card. When we apply for one we're told to get documents from the state we belong to. Okay, we get these documents but then more documents are needed and we get stuck in endless circles of bureaucracy. if we go to good school to administration for our kids they are not taking about we are live in slums we could not able to give donation, more fees. Sending top government school to our kids the 5th std kids don't the 1 to 100 counting.
Q: (?) they will not going to change?
XX2: They will not going to understand what is progress, what is life, there are other life too they will not feel these things, for them the the world is this much.
Q: How many kids do you have?
XX2: I have 2 kids.
Q: How many kids do you have?
Unknown 1: I have 2 kids. Lalu Yadav have 18 kids... I have 2.
Unknown 1: I have 2 kids one is boy and girl. And our chief mintier of Bihar, Lalu Yadav who has 11 kids... He did't make family planning and we are running in family planning.
XX3: We are facing most biggest problem when we slum dwellers go to ration office there are some agent set and they are asking prove of voter list name. And who is coming here to fill the voter list name they are asking ration card prove then only they are able to give voter list name so if we do not issue on voter list how do we issue ration card. The our government has made cast hierarchy, cast system in placement any person who do not match in cast so everyone need cast certificate. When we go to SDM court and their clear asking for ration card and which do we have old ration card that card government had made new ration card. When we go with this ration card they are pushing us very badly and asking for 1000 and 500 rs bribe. If we are giving 1000 or 500 bucks then they are ready to make. And if it is not possible for us then they are telling us that old ration card government has rejected. The government has given us new ration card and through new ration card we won't be able to apply admission in school for kids and cast certificate. And we the citizens who lives here the voter officer should make our name in voter list so that we can make our ration card also and our problem can be solve through this.
Q: I have noticed in all over slums areas where slum dwellers surviving with small scale industries work and government not providing them proper space to live in house. What do you think how would government should provide the living space for you all where you all can work and live delightful?
Unknown 1: There are so many opportunity In Bombay for you all who can teach small scale work and start business and running their own house. The prime minister enter from the date the NGO's are trying to start our work From the date the Prime Minister enter in Delhi the many NGO are trying to help us to start business (?). The resident of here they are working in Okhla state where they are getting wages less them government price. Many Bangladeshi women living with us who do domestic work and surviving their life. The poorest place in all over Delhi is Bhoomiheen Camp here is no Bhoom land that is way the place called Bhoomiheen Camp.
Q: You guys are living here ?
Q: You live here?
XX4: I live in Nehru Camp
Q: That is slum?
XX4: Yes slum
Q: You do want to say something?
XX4: Physically I am disabled and sad I have been living in slum last 11 years and do not have job also have one child he goes to school. Since very long time he did nit get any facility there is no time of school when kids go to school they sending back early. When I ask him why you not study he saying when teacher is not teaching us how do we study teachers are bunk the school and giving holiday to students. The 11 years old ration card they took from us and made us to apply for new ration card which we filled form and received the slip. They didn't put any date and said you all submitted ration card in April you will not get back before May we fought a lot for this and faced many problem they pushed us badly and they were keep making us excuses and still we have not received our ration card.
Unknown 1: The Prime Minister of our country Vishwanath Pratap Singh who visited in Bhoomiheen Camp and first he announced that we will provide you all ration card the last government has stopped this so this government has started. And they haven't increased grains whereby we are facing so many problem when ration shop will not receive the grains than how will we get?. If we writes our problem in letter and submit to all ministers they suppressed our letter and we could not able to reach to government. We took a lot of effort to reach to Prime Minister but we couldn't we wanted to share the Manjit Singh map works just like a sparrow house which we don't like and we do not get proper way grains the need will not full-fill until we gets full grains. We want to get a chance to speak to government directly so we can keep our problems front of them and so that we can solve also. So what do you thing in that?
Vijay Kamble: It should be like this.