Pad.ma 2009: Agaaz (Ek Dozen Pani)
Duration: 00:32:19; Aspect Ratio: 1.366:1; Hue: 236.223; Saturation: 0.082; Lightness: 0.280; Volume: 0.315; Cuts per Minute: 1.207; Words per Minute: 102.708
The first presentation of the day was made by Aagaz, a voluntary youth group from PremNagar, Meghwadi and Sanjay Nagar bastis of Jogeshwari. The presentation was made by Aagaz members Shaali Shaikh, Durga Gudillu, Ismail Sharif, Hakim Liliyawala and Ajeet Mahale. They spoke about the recent use of video in their work.
About 15 hours of footage from their video project 'Ek Dozen Pani' was collaboratively annotated to describe some relationships between infrastructure, water and the city. While infrastructure is hyper visible in most cities in diverse forms, from the rapidly changing built environment to decaying pipes from which water leaks to poorer neighborhoods, the members of Aagaz used the layers of annotation in pad.ma to go deep into their own histories of how infrastructure gets to be made and unmade in urban experience. See: The Depth of Jogeshwari's Waters
Aagaaz functions as a youth development centre and organises camps on education, health, employment, personal development and projects around local infrastructures such as water and rationing (PDS). It is supported entirely by local contributions.
For a report on the event, see http://camputer.org/event.php?id=75
Shaina : ...documentary film makers. They weren't receptive to an idea like Padma. The comments on the left are fragments from a couple of noteworthy conversations. Our attempt at offering simple response....I hope you've read this.
But let's throw aside these hypothetical and proceed losses for today, since today is not about losses, even though, today is happening, because of a collective loss of sleep, for 10 of us, who have been living and working on CAMP. Today, we welcome all of you to look very clearly at Padma. To the film makers, we would like to say, that the Padma framework is based exactly on how we make films - a tape is digitised, launched to time-code, locations and important words are marked, copious hours are spent transcribing...translating or transcribing material. Notes are then scribbled across them, bits and bytes are highlighted, towards the end, even entire texts are written that become the voice over the film. Padma is no different. To the film makers who said to me in the past, "Our craft is about the production of images, not about writing, not about reading, and not about describing them. I would say to them, this is simply not true. You do write, and you do make us read.
Who are We hall, Nehru Centre, Worli
Shaina: To writers, scholars, theorists, film lovers and film fiends, for whom the reading and writing on film is an art, we would say, "Read slowly, write knowingly, but to the time and rythm of the footage." From ground up, inscribe over time, real time. To activists and archivists, who have little (?), we would say, - Let down the old guards. There is much that can be done, even, if about foot soldiers and footnotes. As of today, Padma has 365 events, and over 10,000 layers of annotations. Today is significant, as Padma confidently opens herself up to external contribution. The interface which we have worked closely on, which we worked closely with, as coders, artists, transcribers, annotators, film makers, activists, archivists, lovers and theorists, presents itself now with significant new features, that have incorporated several of the ideas at feedback that has happened in these 11 months since Padma was launched, almost a year ago.
If today is dedicated to some few, then all our Valentine's day lotuses, and Swarnakamals, Padmashrees, and assorted offerings go to Jan Gerber, Sanjay Bhangar, Sebastian Lutgert, Hakim Liliawala, Zinnia Ambapardiwala, Ajeet Mahale, Samira Nadkarni and all those who diligently overclocked the machines at CAMP in the last fortnight.
Shaina: We should mention that Padma is proof enough that collaborations can be successful and highly productive. We, Padma - are Majlis, Point of View, Alternative Law Forum, Chitrakarkhana, CAMP. We are honoured to have you all with us, and without further ado we shall begin with the first presentation. I will quickly say that today's day is really about looking deeply at Padma, and we're very delighted to have 10 individuals - film makers, activists - I mentioned the entire litany(?), with us here, who have given considerable time to Padma - either used Padma as a research tool, or contributed material to Padma, and this day is about them as well.
We have a long line up. We are a bit late. We are in a 'sarkari' hall, and we fear being kicked out, even though we feel we could go well into 9 or 10 pm. So we have to stick to 30 minute snippets. So, 'samay ka pabandi'.
Shaina: We begin with Aagaaz.
Aagaaz is a voluntary youth group whose members come from PremNagar, Meghwadi and SanjayNagar bastis of Jogeshwari, Mumbai. They are from various religions and caste backgrounds. They function as a voluntary and self-organised youth development centre, and have camps on education, health, employment, personality development, and also, research projects around local infrastructure, such as water and rationing (PDS), Public distribution systems.They are supported entirely by local contributions. This Padma presentation is by Shaali Shaikh, Durga Gudillu and Ismail Sharif, and has been done in quite an intense and productive collaboration with Hakim Liliyawala and Ajeet Mahale.
(Link to 'Ek Dozen Paani - Sanjay Nagar' on Padma
Shaali: (in Hindi)
Hi. My name is Shaali Abdul Shaikh, and I live at PremNagar, Jogeshwari(east). PremNagar, Jogeshwari(east) is also where we have a youth group called 'Aagaaz', where we work with youth, on personality development, and various other projects and issues. We worked on and researched, for example, water('Paani') and along with that we're also working on ration. Like, there are many problems with ration cards, people's names are often incorrect .....
Here on the screen, you see PremNagar. The slum is PremNagar, and the surrounding area with buildings are our neighbours. PremNagar has a 90-95% majority of Muslims. Development and facilities are lacking there. BMC and government facilities and infrastructure is missing.
Now the SRA scheme is coming there, but even there, there are many disputes over which builder should be brought in, what should happen, etc. because various....
voice from audience: Could you explain what the SRA is? Many people here are not from Mumbai, they don't understand this.
Shaali: SRA? - the full form....
Voices: Slum Rehabilitation Agency....
Voice: Slum Rehabilitation Authority.
Shaali: ... authority, yes. So, with the help of the SRA various housing societies can be built, but there is no consensus on which builder to hire for the job. People made various societies and have varied demands as to what they want, but no one can come to a final decision. So, there is no development in this matter.
(clips frpm the project on screen) (?) (put link to padma vid(?))
Ashok: What about the video?
Shaali: As you can see the address says 'L block, Colaba plot'. Sp PremNagar has 3 areas called Colaba plot, Bandra plot and Andheri plot. They say that 50 - 60 years ago, slum dwellers were rehabilitated here from Colaba, Bandra and Andheri, and thus, the names. A few of those who were moved still live here, but they are very few and very old now. Other than the Colaba plot, Bandra plot and Andheri plot, there are also localities that go by the names of RamGarh and Janta Colony, (?) colony, and Sita (?)
(clips from video)
Shaali: This shows you the water situation in PremNagar. You see these pipes...you will see thsee tangled pipes everywhere if you go to PremNagar. If one pipe runs out of water, then another pipe installed, and if that one runs out then a third is installed, and so on. Thus the tangled mass of pipes seems to keep increasing in size there. The number if pipes keeps increasing because the centre...the main supply line that runs in the centre has stopped. It was blocked because of low pressure, and then shut off. (??) So, the pressure reduces, the pipes corrode, and then rot away, and then the water stops. And then the next pipe is installed, and it goes on.
(clips from video of people freshening up as water streams out of public taps)
Shaali: The connection from the pipe goes all the way to the house, and now the other pipes are from the BMC line. these are not yet dry. There is not enough pressure for the water to reach homes, and so each home has a pump, which increases the water pressure.
(clips of a well)
You can see the well, this is PremNagar, and is supposed to be quite old, say 60 years or so. It was first a cooler. In 2006, our district MLA, Suresh Shetty, he repaired it and got a cover installed like a grill. This was because a lot of rubbish would gather in the wells, and also, there are many children in the vicinity, who are at risk of falling into the well. So it was fixed with a grilled lid. But still children play there and its still quite a mess. People dump their belongings here when they don't have enough room at home for it.
(clips of tanks)
Shaali: There are atleast 10-12 of these bore(?) tanks you see in PremNagar. They are installed with pumps which draw water from underground, and then collects in the tank, from where it is distributed to homes. The need to do this was because the BMC water supply is very weak and the water situation is a big problem there. On speaking to Suresh Shetty regarding this matter, he installed bore tanks at many locations. This water is not used for drinking. It is only for laundry, washing utensils or household cleaning.
3-4 of the original 10-12 tanks have also dried up and don't supply any water anymore.
PremNagar has a population of roughly 50,000 - 60,000. Its an area of 20,000...its small...in which 20,000 can live. So, 50,000 - 60,000 people live in an area that can only accomodater about 20,000. On account of this, public toilets, dustbins and sanitation are a problem. All government facilities fall short.
Shaali: We are more involved with the water issues because we live in K-east ward(?). Jogeshwari falls under K-east ward. In 2007, the K-east ward(?) was to (?)
....Like us, there are mahy other groups in Jogeshwari. So all of us combined forces and opposed this. After the opposition they cancelled their decision. ....and 3-4 months later Dinanath ...water prepare....
Shaali: Like this, we have put up a lot of issues Padma, and I have shown you some of this, afterwhich Durga and Sohail will tell you more. So now Durga will tell you more.
(Durga comes on to speak)
(Link to 'Ek Dozen Paani - Sanjay Nagar
' video on Padma)
Durga: Namaste. My name is Durga. I too live in K-east ward in Jogeshwari. I will tell you about my area, SanjayNagar. Firstly, there is a community called Vaidu Samaj(?), who are the primary settlers here. I belong to this community. This is a community of nomads, that rest only a few days at a time in a place and then move on. This community made the SanjayNagar settlement.
Durga: So, SanjayNagar was first populated by people of the Vadiu Samaj community. Now people from many other communities too resettle there. But now in a few days the builders will arrive there. I feel that the poor d on't have any rights, even over the places they create settlements in. No matter how much effort is put in by the poor to better their residential space, the builders get away with the rights to the land. I personally feel, this is wrong. Along with this, I would also like to tell you about some more aspects of the water supply and related problems at SanjayNagar.
(clips of a boy drinking water from a 'jalna'(?))
This tank(?) you see is quite old, say about 50 years old. At first this 'jalna' was not like this. It used to be a lot like waterfalls in the mountains(?), but now a structure has been built, and some work done around it.
Durga: The people from SanjayNagar were the first to go there to fill water for their requirements, since they had no other option, like the BMC water supply or anything. So they used this water for drinking purposes, as well as for all other household purposes.
(clip shows image of a deity placed on the wall)
The people there have their own blind faith and superstitions about this photograph you see - wherever there are natural resources, reside spirits, or gods even. The people there have this sort of mentality. So they put up a picture of a deity so as to ensure the security of that precious resource.
(The clip on the screen now of a well)
Durga: And now this well we see, has gone bad and wasn't in use, but, so that the residents of SanjayNagar could have a closer source of water, this well was made about 25-30 years ago. Water from this well was used for all purposes, including drinking. But today this well is in such bad condition that people don't use it at all. In fact, it is used in construction for housing(?).
(Screen: another well)
Durga: This well, now the SanjayNagar residents use to fill water for their requirements. It is now about 17-18 years since it was built. People do not drink water from this well, though it is used for many other purposes, especially when the BMC water supply runs dry. People from all neighbouring areas come here to fill water.
So what I would like to point out that, as such, there are many natural resources. But, in the hope of getting BMC water supply taps, the natural resources were forgotten, and eventually went bad. If they are used and maintained in the appropriate manner, they could still be used today. Atleast the needs of villages that even today don't get any water, could be met with. But, we are content with what remains, and don't think too much about it. I feel the BMC should look after the natural resources, so that even that water can be used. This could eliminate a lot of disputes. Also, we must not overlook or forget that which is available to us.
Durga: Another thing about the water condition there,... the natural resources are gone now. But, until taps are installed there so as to increase the water supply and pressure, the situation today, as you will see, is such that, it seems its a 'mela'(fair). There is such a shortage of water, that many people gather in one place of availability and scream and fight for their water.
(Clips of the basti
Durga: Thess are the lanes of SanjayNagar....
(Clips of narrow lanes, full of people gathered to fill water and a lot of commotion)
Water pressure is very low in homes, so in many places pipes are broken in the middle. The water shortage drives many to such desperation. People need water, but don't get it at home. So, they can do anything. They will fight over it and even break pipes themselves.
Durga: All these are BMC taps and yet water does not reach people's homes. So they have broken the pipe somewhere in between - there are no meters or anything - and continue to fill water from there. Bickering and quarreling over water is common place. The BMC officials are aware of this, but do not take any action. Then an important public meeting on water took place at Dinanath. Our friend, Praveen will present that event and our observations of the attitude and behaviour of the BMC officials, the fights, and developments in the water situation. All of this is in the footage, Praveen will walk you through it.
(Link to 'Pre-paid Privitisation D-Day at Dinanath'
Praveen: My name is Praveen.
This footage is of the Dinanath - BMC 'Pilot Project' - which proposed the privitisation of the entire K-East ward water supply. There is a large economic reason for this. K-East ward is the largest ward in Mumbai, turning in 1.000 crores in profit only from the business of water. They suggested compulsory pre-paid meters, claiming that this would improve the water supply issue. Our friends, Shaali and Durga, pointed out the condition of the 'basti', the condition of the pipes. And yet, the BMC does not suggest how they will provide water inspite of all this. It is the governement's duty to look after our basic needs. But instead we were invited as potential customers for their 'product'. They showed samples and attempted to show how we would gain from it.
Praveen: To oppose this, we had to take the drastic final step of banning the meeting. Unless we raise our voices and forces, the authorities will continue to take advantage of us. To put a stop to this, the entire audience of about 100, strongly opposed and closed the discussion on the 'Pilot Project'.
(Clips of the Dinanath meeting, agitated audience members shout slogans and quieten the presenters)
Praveen: There was a reason we reacted this way. If we had not opposed the meeting so strongly, the project would have gone ahead to cover the rest of Mumbai as well. The 'Pilot Project' was to be first tried out in K-East ward, and then extended to cover all of Mumbai. All of Mumbai's water supply would have been privitised.
(Clip goes on to show police on stage, as one of the presenters attempts to calm people down)
Praveen: Instead of citizens, we are treated like customers. Any opposition is simply crushed by the government. It is very important to put all this in the open, because, we have even been attacked once by members of the Shiv Sena. Shiv Sainik politicians and members that were insulting us. We demanded an apology after that, but never got it. On the other hand, they actually attacked us outside the hall. They filed a case of disturbing the peace against us. We still have to go for those hearings. So the government carried out investigations on us, but not on those goons.
(Link to 'Ek Dozen Paani - Pipes' on Padma
Ismail: Hello. My name is Ismail Sharif. I too am a member of Aagaaz. Since time is short, I will only speak little.
Ashok: How did you acquire the footage for this film?
This footage was shot last year with Nikhil Anand, Aagaaz group, Akanksha and CAMP. We worked together on a short documentary film called 'Ek Dozen Paani'. This footage is from that film. I would like to draw your attention to these huge pipes. They water from various Maharashtrian lakes - Bhatsa, Tansa, Vaitarna, Vihar. Tulsi - to Mumbai city. These pipes pass through all sorts of terrain - mountains, forests, villages, etc.
Ismail: This scene shows us Bandra... the Marol pipeline on Andheri-Kurla road. We see people performing their early morning 'latrine' rituals here, also people walking on top of the pipes as though they form roads themselves. It is so congested there. And yet, people have managed somehow to adapt to this congestion, going about their daily routine.
You can also see 'bhangarwallas'(scrap dealers) use the pipes as storage space for their belongings. All this is under the BMC's jurisdiction and control, it is the BMC's duty to keep the area clean. There should be service tracks so their service vehicles can come to clean, but we see no such service there. Practically enclosed now, this used to be a very open, airy space before.
Ismail: As Shaali and Durga have shown, the lacking PremNagar facilities and infrastructure
makes this area a slum. Children use this as their toilet every morning. There are other people too, the cost of whom, perhaps, some other people must bear. We even see water leakages. Even these leaks are not wasted. Most often we hear of so much water being wasted in leaks, but in reality, not much is wasted. Somehow or the other some people will find a way to use it.
Ismail: This is Powai lake, where Hiranandani constructions are. I am not sure about this, but I have heard that earlier at some point, water from Powai lake was used in Mumbai. But now the city has developed around the lake, and this has spoiled the lake. So, for many years now it hasn't been used. Water from Vihar lake is mostly used now.
The need for water is a serious issue, driving many to serious stress. This is an example of how this need can drive to do all sorts of things -
(Clip: entaglement of pipes going into a well)
..This well is close to Powai lake. Possibly the BMC water supply does not come on time. People have installed so many pipes into the well to draw water from it. People don't have time. They install pumps that cost 5,000 - 6,000 rupees ...they can spend so much money, just for water. If instead, the BMC themselves gave us clean, filtered water, people would not resort to such means. Water is the most basic human necessity after air. A human cannot survive without water.
Thank you, very much.