Interview with Jockin Arputham (Part 3)
Cinematographer: Shaina Anand
Duration: 01:36:13; Aspect Ratio: 1.778:1; Hue: 49.697; Saturation: 0.036; Lightness: 0.376; Volume: 0.286; Cuts per Minute: 0.042; Words per Minute: 46.509
Summary: In this last interview of the three part interviews, Jockin details out the journey from taking on the work of rehabilitating slum dwellers along the railway lines and partnering with World Bank for undertaking relocation and rehabilitation of MUTP affected families. He defends his role of also running a construction company along side the slum dwellers federation and explains the how's and why's of surveys and policy shifts amongst other things.
Simpreet Singh: Last time you were told us the slums is with railway line how did you get the responsibility of survey and the government officers Gautan Chatterjee and others you got the rights from them you can stop the demolition if something happening wrong. And other when Mahila Milan start up in this 2 things come out one is survey, and another collect the money from women when you went ahead with these things so how did you connect with MUTP (Mumbai Urban Transport Project) and World Bank.
Jockin Arputham: This is very important milestone one of the chief of the World Bank was in Bombay they were came to us very interestingly they roamed with us on railway track from here we went to Goregaon and there to came Bandra here and there. And he said ohh! such a vast thing why can't it somebody do it? Why can't (?) do something about it? Then we took them on track that is a time Mr. DT Joseph was the Urban Development Secretary Government of Maharashtra he was with us. He explained to them they have all documents with Spark who is the family, when they came, from when they came, where they work, what is their age, where their children studying this much accurate details we have the World Bank can't even do the collect this.
Jockin Arputham: After watching this they asked me who collected the data? We were sat on railway track I might have that photograph sat on railway track because of senior officials were there train was stopped discussing one of the thick slum in Jogeshwari. I said that area collected my boys, girls in those days Vandana, Prema they all were with us all my young girls 50,60 youngsters were doing this work. After watching this they asked who did these things? I am saying again this is collected by us by the slums dwellers. He shocked so accurate details how you could collected I felt I collected this is my way on that time every thing should have logic conclusion.
Jockin Arputham: What is a logic conclusion by hook or crook by whatever way you mean you will come to natural conclusion that the people can't live on the track, people can't live in the railway line they have to be accommodated. When we shown them map, photographer, (?) how much in 30 ft deep dig, how much slums in 50 ft how much that size. Their co-operative society had been established on that time almost 400 housing society had been formed. Everybody had a knowledge this is our place on that time we had a only one option to put in front of government and went out. So then we said (?) but no no there was one Indian researcher Mr. Reddy who was teaching in Tata Institute he said what is this rubbish data collection they are sum dwellers.
Jockin Arputham: Areeeee!!! reeeee!!! reeeee!!! We need to have only degree holders to do the data collection this data we won't be able to accept. I said that see this is what horrible thing about (?) bank and other people. Whatever qualitative, data comprehensive data this also you want from graduate people! What is the difference if non graduate people will do? So he accepted that is time this professor (?) bank he said no I will go the world bank and I'll arrange it that with this data that is the time they were trying to arrange who could be the agencies to do this. he said very clearly no agencies Spark is the agency, we should give the contract to them and we should get them thing done. You have done completely they are in a position to do everything.
Jockin Arputham: He went to world bank then after 3 months I got a call I went to a Washington then explained to them, team, World Bank, president etc all of them this was accept and approved. And then we came. even today I have went she is sitting here Meena Ramani and she is a woman who got effected. On that time for experiment there is a one slum on western line Boriwali to Dahisar it is a leprosy colony how do you removed them without any government notice? That time the Rajdhani Express is used to get disturb everyday. I said give me a order today I will get ready within 3 days. So Mr Ravindran was the chair person of Western Railway and he told general manager Jockin ji my order is right now just empty them we will support you.
Jockin Arputham: What we have to do is the slums which is near the railway track will put them back that all expenditure you have to do. I said I will take risk of expensive I will do by my own. I have cleared almost 120 slums within one week I had shifted them back and shown them tack side clear. With in 8 to 9 days they came back there was no stopping at Rajdhani Express that is what click today it is called MUTP 2. They given me (?) right when MUTP section built become return agreement with Spark and the (?) started.
Simpreet Singh: Why did people agree to you?
Jockin Arputham: Why do people agreed because I am talk to people do you want to live front or back side, or you people want to live on track or want to go die somewhere else? People agreed because of people where able to see. We are now in 5 ft near we need to sit 15 ft back he felt this is genial why would I have to sit here? The huts kept back side which was in front they went back. And after all finance is mine there was no any investment from them (get the money from their broken houses materials like bamboo, pole, roof etc?) within one week what I called is Ravan Sena, Ravan Sena means many people came together demolished the slums in one day.
Jockin Arputham: The Rajdhani Express which is come from Western Railway even now at the same place Dahisar to Borivali they are making sound of horn... The signal is Rajdhani Express is coming. Rajdhani Express used o stop there large no of people used to jump down there. (?) Ravindra Andeka, Ravindran Bola loudly clearly I never seen like this. You remove people no one did protest? you cheated us you settled down bind on railway land. They are still there today they are there that is where I can go any track any where up to Bhayandar. Tell the people when Jockin sir is coming everyone standing if the huts is not empty 10 fit then make them empty. What I am like to say that someone should there for people to give message and their safety.
Shaina Anand: So one is the faith and trust they have it what was your strategy and trying trying to get MUTP contract. Where you are telling to Ravindran without charge on that track?
Jockin Arputham: See my idea was I didn't have any idea about the contract my desire was how to get home to who are living on railway track because the Central Government issues there is no home instead of.. Cannot stop demolition, no appeal to anybody you are lost in a situation how to protect people interest. I have worked that's way 20000 people got the home no one sped any single amount they got 1000 rs reimbursement through me each family cash compensation. Where the policy says no.. Areee!! Where the Meena went tell her to sit here.
Jockin Arputham: This after this I went to Govandi this is not the MUTP. MUTP to us mostly Central Railway, Western Railway was not connect to MUTP but it got connected because what I made it demonstration (?).
Simpreet Singh: How was your introduction on road component?
Jockin Arputham: After doing this the government got the agencies who can do better the NGO's culture was like ordering to everyone. That is a time I had win win for everybody slums won, railways won, government also won no one is looser in that.
Simpreet Singh: Some before years if you look at you previous and others struggle you were doing confrontation in that?
Jockin Arputham: I was clicked on my mind my whole life went doing in confrontation (?) that happened in 1976 or 1984, 1985. This is how after I lost for me I lost Janta Colony it is not winning for me I lost biggest...
Simpreet SIngh: Does people got home?
Jockin Arputham: People got home people were in 300 sq ft they were got 150 it's not a (?) at all (?) my fault I was aim to get 300. History is saying small place to big than bigger we failed because of earlier big place to small than more small so that is a failed. If I could not be arrested and could got a more chance I would achieved all that but my unity was become weak because of government had given greed them for home. My powerful strategy was in 1976 I could come at single individual also could not to step out. After I was arrested I was under police custody for 24 polices around me.
Simpreet Singh: Railway is different but whatever the road expansion is done if we see now the traffic problem have been to solved which was the objective...?
Jockin Arputham: But immediately lost of the people where is not lost. People got home who had effected on road in that half of people didn't get home they made false record and shifted them at false placed. It is not the way we wanted I wanted something very transparent, very non-violent that was I was...
Shaina Anand: You was saying MUTP was Central Railway you managed to get it link to western... So how was that?
Jockin Arputham: What I achieved after looking at this before this I have done a demonstration in (?) Kanjurmarg when I went to the all regular meetings, CM meeting this meeting, that meeting all the meeting I was attending on behalf of NGO. All the meeting government able to say no land, no land, no land, no land finally I said in one of the meeting there is a 7 acre land in Kanjurmarg the Ajit (?) was a Secretary for land on that time.
Jockin Arputham: He said they have land but there is a one land in Kanjurmarg if you are interested this slum dwellers... Vikhroli? Before you?
Meena: MIne is Ghatkopar.
Jockin Arputham: Ghatkopar, pathak
Meena: Gauri Shankarwadi, Hariyali Village than Vikhroli
Jockin Arputham: Same place in Vikhroli (?) I spoke to them give me place I will make transit camp and shift my people there. You cannot do this how will you go? People are not getting ready even if we spend a crore of money then how will you convey them? I said I will let them know the government has provided land all which is documented today is all the document is there. There was a development land in Kanjurmarg that land they gave me and said shift your people there. I said very good they gave me letter in writing. I called the all women this woman also was there gathered them did meeting said to everyone will demolished our slums area and built here transit camp there was snakes, khaadi very dangerous..
Meena: Constructed road there was very bad road.
Jockin Arputham: We constructed road by our-self, connected the road after that all slum dwellers filled the mud whole day women and in night men and built transit camp. We took loan 18 thousand per house from HUDCO (Housing and Urban Development Corporation)
Simpreet Singh: Organisation through?
Jockin Arputham: Through a SPARK this is all under SPARK peoples power than they gave us loan before loan we had a lakhs of rupees in saving we levelled the land with saving money and we create transit camp colony map after that made chawls. Said to people go to our home and demolish the hut by your-own. I proved them 1000 huts demolished.
Meena: We demolished our home by our-self because we got the benefit of selling broken houses materials. Before railways was doing demolished so we couldn't get anything from that.
Jockin Arputham: Than we made pakka house chawls we decided by our won how much size should be 10x15 what nature should be? temporary because if it is temporary so we can put pressure on government. After this the Mr Joseph spoke to (?), Ravindran said them look at here your is 100 to 200 huts here is 3, 4 areas emptied. After spoke to them then they called the meeting and converted MUTP into one (Mumbai Urban Transport Project)
Jockin Arputham: This was implemented for all over Mumbai that day I brought one rule because of DM (?) was there. Same (?) road all that demolition (?) all of you know we can refer to that in that slum demolition. But the slum will become eligible on which day NGO has put the number for alternative.
Simpreet Singh: (?)
Jockin Arputham: It is apply even today since phone call coming to me here is a 200 slum empty it how? putting your number still I have put number the slums get eligible. When 2006 is 2000 existing for the government that is cutoff date for SPARK is this but should be a government project...
Shaina Anand: This date of survey?
Jockin Arputham: Date of survey cutoff date 2001
Simpreet : Earlier was 1995
Jockin Arputham: Earlier was 1995 after that 2000 but by doing with problematic, by working with (?) committee because Sheela Patel one of the member of the committee than I know all of them in the committee. I know (?) very personally so I went to (?) say sir please give us some weapons so he said what weapons? When non of them has been counted. For counting this should be happen when NGO appointed NGO is the number to a structure that become the cutoff date that hut should have a right for having an alternative. Even today, today what date? Whatever date is date is today.
Simpreet Singh: August 2018
Jockin Arputham: August 2018 I can put 20 huts coming in the way of the track somewhere in Borivali I can give number tell that they need to be rehabilitated they will do it. This is what policy implication which as a slum dwellers can get it done.
Simpreet Singh: What was the situation on 15 years back so that this policy in rule or they had to agreed...
Jockin Arputham: See on that the government was down they could not do anything there were in no delivery at all here is a delivery. By the time demonstrate I already shown rehabilitation of 35000 hutment dwellers, 35000 families got numbered, 35000 several (?) shifted, 35000 families were rehabilitated living in a better place there is no need for any demolition. Now even I go with that kind of a order and tell the people take us also in this under the new slums. So it is not easy for the government to go for and demolition. But at the sometime some strange people are coming tonight and telling me give me number till morning I will nit do it. Even though I am an activist but I will not go on and say no who they are when they came from when came where was they why they came here all these need to be known.
Simpreet Singh: When anyone get power so you might have faced ethical question many time when you have to decide because your decision will change their life (?) ?
Jockin Arputham: Suddenly but at the time you cannot make (?) decision you have to assert yourself why you are making such a decision. How can you justify somebody who come in the night who going to give a number and now you going to decide about 12 years back somebody sitting there who didn't got number, who didn't got a allotment, who is not got a house so you can't do that.
Simpreet Singh: But the value frame work also come in at the other place you are referring to constitution right to live means everyone has equal right?
Jockin Arputham: This is not for the equal right arbitration should not be totally avoided in this in your end therefore, you cannot say I have a power so give home to anyone so what happened to them who was already? It can justify when they can get after them but they want before them not decided them. Only because of in corner I will give 3 hut to number then who will gets benefit in that accept that 3 peoples.
Simpreet Singh: When you was doing the survey it might have many people had disputed?
Jockin Arputham: There is so many dispute we had completely observed I have decided only one-thing I agree with the government. There is a 3 floors home my number doesn't protect upper floors it only protect the land coverage its only about land not the floors all the join families. In our Tamil culture foremost father than son, than daughter-in-law, than mother-in-law if we decide for one home than have to give them 7 homes. You have a right to give one family one house to the not to house whole family.
Jockin Arputham: So when you acquire the power practically, struggling you have to agree that was the reason so strictly they have worked of following even till today.
Shaina Anand: No than you are self saying 300 ft home so should get 300 ft home but way RNR the new going and sitting in 180 sq ft not (?) development they thrown in Mankhurd now when you lived and say in Mahim or in Sion?
Jockin Arputham: Mahim was very clearly 225 sq ft, 180 sq ft last was 225 even today they are talking about giving 352 Dharavi for which I don't agree I don't work for it, I don't put a demand, I don't agree. Why you need 350 because you make money, because your Dharavi, your united, your power therefore you want to show power how many people can get 350 that mean you are depriving another 80% of the people no house. So, I am not done anything wrong for anybody the have a limited policies says everybody to 25, everybody to 25. Here I have try to make in Dharavi for somebody that is eligible for everybody I made it for the policies of the government.
Meena: When they came to survey in our area they were giving us 225 sq ft in that he did G+1 spend money 1.5 lakh rupees on that time. He told if you come in our area to put number than I will fire you and me applying kerosene. Sir said I am sorry it was my fault I will not come because he know no one can win with railways fight later they have to come back we have to face so many pain so he didn't allow the number he didn't come we made him out. We was already join that's way making understanding to him but he didn't listen some few neighbourhood had allowed them top put number at the end he got to know there was 8 people who did case they are demolishing our home we don't have to move they still not get the home they are still there. It is impossible to win with railways so we faced lot of difficulties Mr Prakash Mehta he was collected 30 rupees to everyone before one day demolition in night he did a meeting with us and said I am with you not to worry...
Simpreet Singh: BJP leader?
Meena: Yes BJP leader. Next day disturbance was started that other place is happening demolition so people had to move from here. Some leader went there they said this is a government place you have to move from here, our 30 rs also went wasted and at the end we had to moved means we can't fight with government so we faced a lot of troubled in this. Then also we have tried took one by one area in our society there were 104 peoples near by railway where I become leader...
Shaina Anand: What happened after transit camp?
Meena: We went transit camp later...
Jockin Arputham: Before we made transit camp model that is a idea is how transit camp after that is a real rehab building.
Simpreet Singh: Who did the construction?
Jockin Arputham: That is all (?) Developers. Nobody did development I am doing it wherever they didn't do it I built around 7, 10 thousands houses.
Simpreet Singh: That was through SPARK Nirman?
Jockin Arputham: Yeah. Many builders don't have money to built so I am built myself
Simpreet SIngh: When you felt to do your own construction means from the survey...
Jockin Arputham: No, I have seen during survey those who didn't get home who want to built home there was a place at Goregaon I took that place said to government give this place to them no builders here, I am the builder I will make (?) made building gave it to people, people saw...
Shaina Anand: How does it happened on the one hand Mahila Milan Bachatghat you said that this savings was always a surety and a guarantee?
Jockin Arputham: Mahila Milan money collection was a power collecting people, uniting people and it is in the hands of the women the leadership is (?) of the women. The women should decided which building they will go, how they will go, who will be there on the top it is very very difficult (?) 7 storey, 100 (?) who will live on top, and ground floor everyone is interested to live on ground side. No, we will sit and discussion how the room is young family will go in highest on the 7th floor. Who is oldest they will go on lower in between will go like this. First pregnant cesarean cases like this ladies (?) for the ground floor then after that 1st floor, according to this we decided like this base was allotment was done. Where the government policies says take out lottery I said I will not take out lottery.
Simpreet Singh: But in this many fights, disputes, allegations?
Jockin Arputham: There is impossible without allegation to huge work to rehabilitate 28 thousands families self slum dwellers vanished rehabilitation government only there was only 3 officers totally worked in MUTP was only 3 officers. Signing was Shekhar signing was that people I used to never sign and allotment co-operative society, society chairman will sign, Shekhar will sign allotment. First time in Indian history a slum dwellers had given a power to sign a official document of allotment for an house was implemented in MUTP.
Simpreet Singh: So these all allegation and all that...?
Jockin Arputham: It has to be proved there was no single case of allegation came to us.
Simpreet Singh: Even to deal with it many energy we have to put in that...?
Jockin Arputham: That is a none of the beauty as think is that some went to court, allegation, fight and all that Mahila Milan ladies will managed. All ladies was dealing with bigger leaders like MLA they saw 50 women together no men was there men went than women decided.
Simpreet Singh: Could you give some example?
Jockin Arputham: Many many example that was I am telling the process of allotment left to the woman ladies women are the one who is solving the disputes, women are the one who is leading all the rehabilitation.
Shaina Anand: So for example Lallubhai Compound 48 thousands families?
Jockin Arputham: Not 48 thousands...
Simpreet Singh: 4800
Jockin Arputham: Yeah, yeah, 4800
Shaina Anand; Sorry! Sorry! 50000 people
Jockin Arputham: Yeah.
Shaina Anand: So this was a process that (?)
Jockin Arputham: Same everywhere Oshiwara, Goregaon, Mankhurd, Andheri, Lallubhai Compound, Vashi Naka, Makhurd everything the same model.
Shaina Anand: So because Memorandum of Understanding MOU we have seen the first MOU was just to evict the people the MOU which start was empty the place. Than how did the second phase which was...?
Jockin Arputham: No, no. no the first MOU was first to clear the track the safety zone, safety zone was 30 meters from both the side of the track which we had majored it and marked it. Than we told the people these are the people eligible all those who are coming under the 30 meters they will go into this therefore, there is a read number, blue number, white number. The number was given on the house based on the people was selected, based on that the demobilisation was organised and people were given the number based on that. Everyone has a co-operative society wherever is Lallubhai all of them caught into the co-operative society. That society s and the people have to accepted there is no other new formula, there is no government. no MLA, no councillor in this whole exercise all the councillors kept out. all the MLA's were kept out, no MP interference.
Simpreet Singh: (?) good thing or bad thing?
Jockin Arputham: No, I will argue for myself it is a only good think because this are the people meant make policy not to come and meant with the people.
Simpreet Singh: In the sense in one level we are saying he is our representative...
Jockin Arputham: He is our representative to make a policy change not to come and play with us. I am making toilet so their job only the inaugurates not into look at the construction materials hence, they took votes, that's way they have leadership. If they will involves they will suggest to buy materials particular shop for commission that is where the corruptions (?)
Simpreet Singh: The question is linked to transform our-self in construction company so this decision...?
Jockin Arputham: No, no, no I am not done any transformation in my company. Where building was impossible to built there only we didn't change any policy where building was available. For example I had made 9019 (?) nobody was ready to work there simple reason they were asking behind one room 3,85000 + 50000 +20000 including all 4,50000 rs.
Simpreet Singh: Who was asking?
Jockin Arputham: Builder
Simpreet Singh: Means to you?
Jockin Arputham: To the government, government had 3,0000 money limits and after that have commission for contractors said it was impossible. I said I will do in 2999. That was cleared opened documents was put on that was okay put the tender I made their work in less amount as other was asking. I worked where was needed where is demand there not there is no demand and I will do it if there is a demand I will not do it.