GBGB - Dadar 4
Duration: 00:47:57; Aspect Ratio: 1.778:1; Hue: 143.737; Saturation: 0.028; Lightness: 0.440; Volume: 0.401; Cuts per Minute: 7.840; Words per Minute: 94.867
Summary: On January 19th, 2009, the first Annual General Body Meeting (GBM) of Ghar Bachao Ghar Banao Andolan was held at Ambedkar Bhawan, Dadar. Slum-dwellers from more than 20 slums across Mumbai participated. Activists from cities like Delhi, Ahmedabad, Hyderabad and Bijapur turned up to express their solidarity and support the struggle of Mumbai's slum-dwellers.
Speakers spoke about the rights of slum dwellers, the overall political situation in the country and the loot that has been unleashed by corporates and politicians in the name of development. Everyone underlined the need for a more decentralised and democratised decision-making process.
During the GBM, slum dwellers who were present elected their representatives who would work on issues related to housing, education, food security, land rights and other concerns. The election was on the basis of consensus and ended with a resolve to intensify the struggle to make Mumbai a more inclusive city.
Medha Patkar: We will see what Brother Simpreet and Muktatai Mandala have to say. Lalbabu and Mohanbhai will look after the matter of Ambujwadi- both men and women. Understood? We don't need to see how the matter of Indira Nagar is going on. Salimbhai and his friends are very much ready and are sitting amongst themselves and you also have to see where the women will sit. Two women will be chosen and even you have to choose two men. So the ones involved in Mandala protest please sit like this and talk. Sit in a circle. Move amongst yourselves. Leave some vacant place in the middle and sit.
Medha Patkar: Those of Ambujwadi please go away from those of Mandala. Go behind and sit in a circle. Those of Khar footpath please go extremely behind. Those of Khar footpath find your place and go and sit there behind.
Medha Patkar: They won't get even a dime! That's why it is necessary to elect in peace and in a united manner. Those women who are standing please sit down. The ones of the youth wing have become old. So the people of the youth wing may please sit down. We will give 5-10 minutes to the people of Ambujwadi and SRA and vendors. After that we will start this gathering in 10 minutes.
Youth wing: Raise your voice! We are united! All of you are not raising your hands. And those who are standing behind are not sitting.
Youth wing: We are going to talk about that. That's why we have chosen to struggle.
Youth wing: Will all of you sing along?
Youth wing: Are all of you ready to sing along? How many people are there? How many people are going to accompany me in the song?
Youth wing: (Sings): 'I will trust you. You trust me.' (Audience): 'I will trust you. You trust me.' (Twice). ' We will drown in the sea of suspicion.' (Twice). 'We will bring together nature and make it a heaven'. (Twice). 'This life is worthless without love. (Four times). "All are ours who is a stranger here?' (Four times). 'Every moment of ours will become meaningful' (Twice). 'Sacrifice this life. Don't be quiet. Raise your voice!' (Four times). 'We will make all languages sweet' (Four times). 'We will bring together nature and make it a heaven' (Four times). 'Fire is burning in all villages' (Twice). 'Fire is burning in Mandala' (Twice). 'Umbawadi's every breath is sprinkling (Twice).'
Youth wing: 'We will become the melody in silence (Eight times). 'We will make the earth a heaven (Six times). 'If you try to find then there is gold in this mud (Four times). 'We should not lose the weapon of courage (Four times). 'Join your hands and help each other (Four times).
Youth wing: 'We will together make the eath a heaven' (Twice).
'Raise your voice! We are united'
So all the women who are standing may please sit down. All the people who have been chosen from each settlement, their names will now be announced.
Medha Patkar: Their work is yet to be done. There are further announcements to be made.
Medha Patkar: The two main people of SRA may please come here on the stage. Two people of the Metro may please come up on the stage. Two people of the Vendors development association may please come up on the stage. One person from Mandala may please come up on the stage. Just to read out the names.
Medha Patkar: On behalf of Netaji Nagar.
Medha Patkar: And please tell whether our movement seems to be beneficial to the society or not? Please keep an eye from behind.
Medha Patkar: Some people feel that saying, 'We will fight and we will win' is about fighting amongst ourselves. We will fight amongst ourselves! And each of us will win ! It is not so. We have a big and long struggle ahead. A lot of corruptive, oppressive forces are in front of us. It is not easy. It is easy to give a speech here. But the attack which is there... which can happen even tomorrow, it needs a lot of honesty to stop that. You need a heart. You need a lot of dedication. We need the power of unity which treads on the path of truth. If that is not there, not much can be done. And this is about going a long way. The Narmada movement is 23 years old. Even today the dam has been stalled. 2 lakh people are in the area which can be drowned. Only once have 11,000 families been given land in return. And yet the dam has not been completely revealed. People are now under debt. Yet, everything is in its place. So it is a long fight and a very deep fight yet, we have kept that aside and come here. Because, that battle is half won. But is it possible to traverse such a long journey to win the battle here?
Medha Patkar: Some women are so worried about their daily bread. Till our work will not be done, till then we will sit. Tomorrow if we sit somewhere, if we sit in Azad Maidan there too the same conversation will happen. We will not move till this work will not be over. And all of us are together going to do this work. Not one person alone will do it. If the chosen people will not work efficiently, then others will be chosen. And if we can have a democratic election, then that settlement is great. And if not then that settlement is a failure. So whether to be a failure or a winner is dependent on each settlement. Let's see how it goes. Ordinarily it is said that the scenario of the village is being seen by Bandabhau and Tawde. See how the poor people in the city create a chaos. It is said that people live like worms and pests in the city. They don't know how to function unitedly. We have to prove ourselves! Then we will be able to talk with assurance about the law of the settlements which we are going to discuss tomorrow.
Medha Patkar: The settlements can choose their leaders within an hour and they can choose the right leader. I know that there will be some mistakes. But that's why these chosen people are going to work for some days. And they won't be discriminating. Their duty will be to decide the future of the movement of not only their, but, all settlements. And that's why the names will first be read out and then the chosen representatives will come here on the stage and then with slogans we will end today's session. But not until people sit down. If people have come to see from the market then they may stand. If there are police then they may stand. All the others have to sit down. And all these names which are read out will give us reasurrance with a lot of gusto. The settlements whose names will not be read out will be kept away from the proceedings for some days. And those settlements whose names will be read out will start their work from tomorrow. But these names are for the whole committe and not just for that settlement alone.
Offscreen: I want to thank all those who had been here since the night to attend this last programme. In that first and foremost, Dr. Ambedkar, the volunteers and the workers, in that specially Vinodbhai, I thank him from the bottom of my heart.
Medha Patkar: I will tell you later how the committee of the settlements will be elected and when it will be elected. First Mohanbhai will read out the name of each settlement and we will cheer and go ahead with this work.
(Slogan): 'Raise your voice!' 'We are united!'
'Cheers to the Ghar Bachao Ghar Banao movement!' 'Cheers ! Cheers!'
'Ghar Bachao!' 'Ghar banao!'
'Save the nation!' 'Make the nation!'
Mohan: Cheers to all. All of you are ethusiastic right? (Audience): Yes! They are fighting elections as if these chairs are like... we have kept few chairs here... Tai said don't keep more or elese it will be messed. If there is an election in the settlement then who all will raise their hands? Are you ready if there are elections in the settlement? Now here there are 5-5 representatives. Right! Now after this we will have one in the settlement. Will it do? Very good ! Now of the representatives who have been elected from the settlement, out of them one please come up here- one man and one woman. But I will read out everybody's names... of each settlement. We will call one representative now.
Mohan: One is Indira Nagar. Indira Nagar, Kurla.
Mohan: Mohammad Sharif, Keshavbhai, Mohammad Karim, Ahmedi Begum, Aziza...
Mohan: Next is Annabhau Sathe Nagar, Mankhurd.
Brown: Cheers to all my brothers and sisters. From Annabhau Sathe Nagar, Mankhurd.... Sushilamata Prasad Patel, Rabia Seth, Shabnam Seth, Rafique Neshat, Ranjana Dixit, Amritlal, Ramji Rajbharat, Chandbhai, Rajendra Jaiswal, Vinod Mhatre.
Medha Patkar: 5 men and 5 women.
Medha Patkar: 'Indira Nagar go ahead! We are with you!' 'Sathe nagar go ahead! We are with you!'
Mohan: The footpath dwellers of Khar....
Sari: Suresh Pawar, Sambhaji Kale, Sureshbabu, Arun Naik, Haridas, Shivram Pawar.
Mohan: 5 names have come up. There are 3 names of police.
Mohan: Netaji Nagar!
Rep: 'We all are united! We all are united!' Cheers on behalf of Netaji Nagar to you all. Abhidan and Usha Raghunath Nide, Tara Sheikh, Vakil Ansari, Ramchandra Kamble, these are the four members. Cheers!
Mohan: 'Raise your voice! We are united!' 'We ask for our rights! We don't beg' (Twice) Cheers!
Offscreen: Cheers! You may please sit. See, these names that have now been written...people from the settlement quickly gave their names. They wanted a chair. But please understand that all these people whose names are there, they have to devote their full time and it is their responsibility to do all the work of labour in Mumbai. They don't just have to do the work of their settlement but of the whole of Mumbai. Now did you understand what I am saying? After this the committee of the settlement will be inaugurated. This will happen in the settlement. The names which have been given will have to work for every settlement, for the Mumbai labour committee and for every movement. Understood? I women it is Shantidevi, Amati Chaudhari, Sushila Sudhakar Upadhyaya, Aiyesha.. I request them to stand up in their places.
Offscreen: 'The power of the women has come, it has brought a new light with it.'
'We will fight. We will win!'
And among the men it is Chandrakant Baba, Ashok Godhre, Manohar Hussain Sheikh, Phoolchand Yadav- please stand in your places my brother. Please listen carefully. Listen again that you have to devote your fulltime. Not that my work is not happening, what is happening to us. You have to give your time. Even now is the chance. Cheers my friends!
Mohan: Yes, cheers! Tulsiwadi, Mumbai.
Mohan: Geetabai, Shivram Jadhav, Ambubaiwala, Vasant Kurman, Kranti Soliya, Hansraj Helia, and Ganga Jadhav.
Mohan: Now the biggest Metro Yard Movement.
Offwhite: 'Raise your voice! We are united!' I am from the Metro yard. Ganesh Dalal, Laljipada, Sanjay Nagar, Kandivali (West). Abdul rehman, Prakash Chandashekhar Pandey, Jeetu Verma, Bajrangi Mishra, Deepak Chaudhari. Among the women Prabhavati Kudwekar, Babli sharma, Monisha Kamble, Nanda Bhave, Seema Sheth. All those men and women whose names I have taken may please stand in their places. Abdul rehman, Prakash Chandashekhar Pandey, Jeetu Verma, Bajrangi Mishra, Deepak Chaudhari, Prabhavati Kudwekar, Babli sharma, Monisha Kamble, Nanda Bhave, Seema Sheth.
Mohan: Kanpur Mandala. Sati Development Center.
Offscreen: Cheers my friends! The list of women is Shanta Chauhan, Saira Banoo, Nirmala Gupta, Nirmala Sheikh... All of them please stand up wherver they are so that everyone can see them.
'The power of the woman has come! It has brought in a new light!' (Twice)
Offscreen: Among the men- Rashidbhai, Raam Ratan, Raizbhai, Atarbhai, Sharfbhai. All the men please stand up wherever you are. So this is the Navjeevan Dal
. ' We are united!' (Twice). 'The power of the woman has come! It has brought in a new light!'
Medha Patkar: So many people and all their selfishness. And their own castes, religion, classes, discriminations.. someone is rich, someone is poor... can all of them sit together and choose their representative? This can never happen. And hence we have to resort to collective voting. So this was a challenge that the talk that was there of democracy, and which we have been doing... everyone is saying that the government should have a settlement rule system, they should make such a law. So, today is a very important evening which has told us that people in the settlements... atleast the people in the Ghar Bachao Ghar Banao movement... they can select their representatives in a united manner. Is this right?
Medha Patkar: If anyone is upset with the people chosen now, if anyone is thinking badly of them, if anyone is unhappy, then things won't go ahead. Mohanbhai has said just what I wanted to say-that, these people have to look after the work of the movement in the whole of Mumbai. Understood? And for that women have to get out of the settlement also. If there is a demolition somwhere, if something happens somewhere then they have to go there. So all these people who have been elected now, they will try to work together on the progress of the work of the movement. With them, all our volunteers are associated, they too will be involved in it. As we have brother Simpreet. Right? Should he be in this committee or not? Lalbabu is there. Should he be there or not? Sister Mukta is there. Should she be there or not? Brother Mohan is there. Should he be there or not? These friends of ours have been giving their whole time to our settlements they will be here. If there are more names in your mind, you can add them.
Medha Patkar: And this working committee that is there, this committe will have a meeting on the 21st at 12 in the afternoon. Please get information from your office as to where the meeting will happen. And those who have given their names as representatives will have a meeting on the 21st and decide on the further working of the movement. Okay? And if there is a decision of making one more small committee out of this, then that will be made sitting there itself amongst themselves. Is it right? Do you agree? Now these don't include all the names of the people that have been chosen. Right? You have not chosen me also. So many people have not been chosen now. That is not a problem. Those who have not been chosen now have a lot more work to do. Because from now to the end of this month, till the 30th, every settlement has to elect their development committee. Settlement development committee. Is it right? And within that there will be different and small committees like waterm electricity, security, employment, education, women's rights, rationing.
Medha Patkar: So all this work that is at the level of the settlement, for that those who have to be chosen, they too have to be chosen with equal seriousness. And the settlement which will chose the wrong people will fail. Then howmuchever one tries, that settlement will not progress. So this is your chance of not choosing corrupt people, of not choosing oppressive people, of not choosing people who deal wrongly with women. And that you choose those who work with all their heart and with strength. And there is no need for those who won't be chosen to start sulking. They all will keep working and they will work well and after four days, four months or six months they will be handed over the task and responsibility completely. So this is also necessary-that those who are working should be assisted by all the others. If this is the matter that is going on in Ghar Bachao Ghar Bano andolan then it will be a matter of right democracy and right movement for the people. Or it will be something like a weak and small election for politics.
Medha Patkar: And it will be something like the way we blame our politicians. So after exiting this hall there will be no further discussion on this. Now our session is ending here and our time has also come to an end. It is 6 PM. Now we cannot wait. One of our friends, a Mumbaikar, Mr. Rawat has come here. So I request Mr. Rawat that he may please come here and congratulate the people and shout some slogans. And with one song which has been composed by the youth and the women-with that song, we will end our session today. Now all those whose names have not come up are with me. Isn't it right? 'We all are united!'
Medha Patkar: Those who didn't read out their vows... all those who have been elected, they may please read these vows an go. And Lalbabu will give a copy of this vow to each friend who has been chosen from each settlement. He will give it to all other members who have been chosen. And this copy will be pasted on some lane, tree or shop so that everyone knows how it is. Second thing is that we didn't go to the Mantralaya to meet the Chief Minister. Lalbabu will read out the letter that has been written to him. And it has been signed by the head of each settlement, each area. And on the basis of that we wish that the new Chief Minister, and all the related ministers and authorities... and we are attaching a detailed sentinence with it...which we have kept ready from the programme of 2 June at Azad Maidan... we hope that they may have a dicussion with us on that.
Medha Patkar: If they will have a discussion and not demolish anyone's house before that, if they won't crumble anything, and if they try to give each person his rights and development- we are completing this sentinence with this expectation. If these expectations will not be fulfilled then there will be a protest. And if these expectations will be fulfilled then there will be peace. Isn't that right? And the programmes after this which have been suggested...the people who have now been elected will think of schedule for that now by sitting together. It will not be a discussion at the level of the settlements alone but it will also be a discussion about the level of the settlements. There will be discussions about the MMRDA and Mantralaya. And there can be some discussion about the whole of Mumbai. The street vendors are being displaced. There has been some attack on them somewhere today. So our session doesn't imply that once you have the authority you can sit back and rest.
Medha Patkar: It is definitely not so. Instead, for being aware we have made an announcement today. We have blown the horns, we have lit the lamp. So it is very necessary to go and give our strength to those who have not been able to come here today. First Lalbabu will read out the letter to the Chief Minister and then Mr. Rawat will give the last message and we will end our session loudly with songs and slogans. Till then no one will get up. It is necessary to have discipline. Not more than 5 mins.
Brown: The people of Mandala will not leave. There are a couple of things to be placed before all. We have to make a request. It will all be in front of you all. Hence, the people of Mandala will please not leave.
Brown: What have you come here for? You have come for a purpose right?
Lalbabu: This is the last stage. This is the letter written to the Chief Minister on behalf of all. 'Respected Chief Minister Ashok Chavan, Chief Minister of Maharashtra State, Mantralaya. Warm Regards. We are writing this letter to you on behalf of all the poor in Mumbai. We wish to place before you the points and the alternatives to the various questions that have been thought of collectively by us. We had requested the ex-Chied Minster, Vilasrao Deshmukh to have a discussion by writing to him. The discussion that had happened in the presence of many corporators, authorities, at that time, Shri Vilasrao, the ex-Home Minister R R Patil and some other ministers were present. But, after that Shri Rajesh Tope had a discussion with the higher authorities. Yet, after commitment the Chief Minister was not able to devote time. We all request you humbly that you may please suggest a date and time to discuss the various issues of thousands of poor families. Expecting your reply. Yours faithfully." Names of various settlements have been written. This is the letter to the Chief Minister.
Rawat: I will shout one slogan, 'Hear carefully O Authorities! We rule our settlements!' You are being very low... the CID's should be able to see if the people are tired or not. 'Hear carefully O Authorities! We will rule our settlements!' (Twice). Obviously, I have come from Delhi and I want to congratulate everyone. One thing is clear. How many people are there, who want to stand up unitedly to make the houses that have been demolished. Round the fists and raise your hand tp say it. Make a vow that we promise that the houses of the poor that have been demolished, if the government doesn't agree then we will go and build those houses.' So one thing is to make the houses. Second thing, be it on behalf of SRA, or be it because of any kind of development, or because of the Metro Yard, this system that is there of demolishing the houses... the system of the government... from all your heart, taking a fim decision, how many people are ready to save the houses?
Rawat: I won't say anything revolutionary. You have taken it. It is said in other manner that in democacy, as our sister Medha Patkar also said very clearly, it is a very big thing to count the heads in democracy... the headcount of all the people is taken, and wherever the count is more, there is unity. There is no one who can break them apart. I want to congratulate all of my friends who have come from different settlements... tha you have come here in this yearly gathering of Ghar Bachao Ghar Banao... and that you attended it. And you are taking a decision from here and going that we will make houses, and we won't allow those that have been made to be demolished. 'Ghar banao! Ghar Bachao!' (Twice). 'Cheers to Ghar Banao har Bachao!' Cheers to all of you. And when I will talk about you all in Delhi I will definitely take this message also that the poor in Mumbai who are unprotected but united have taken a vow that the houses that are demolished will be made. And the houses that are there, at any cost, be it for Metro Yard, be it under the name of development, under the name of beautification, under the name of road widening, or under the name of highway, they will not allow them to be demolished.
Rawat: And alongwith this, the question arises that if today we are staying in poor settlements, I wanted to end this quickly because it has been a very long time. I want to say that if we are coming and staying in Mumbai from other areas, be it Uttr Pradesh, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Haryana, Punjab, Delhi, or if we are coming from Karnataka, Kerala or Tamilnadu and staying in Mumbai, then we are away from our villages, away from our farms because it is the question of our daily bread. Before I had said in a hurry that if foregin companies will produce goods then the Government of India, the Central government, and the court, the shops, and the coporation, the Central Government that is there, they are trying to displcae the street vendors because the daily bread of the poor should be destroyed.
Rawat: So, it is a big thing that the government, big companies, court, all of these three together are trying to grab the means of earning the daily bread of the poor because we had not been united. Second thing, the election that you all had today - I want to congratulate you on that. All of you, with honesty tell me, especially the women-how many of you want to drink contaminated water? Contaminated water! Who is there who will have contaminated water in their house! This means that your movement should not become stale. The day it will become stale... the government, companies of India, the court will dispose it. We won't be able to do anything. Even if Medha Patkar stands up... no one can help a stale thing.
Rawat: The government used to ignore us, our daily bread and our houses because... we were not active and when water is stagnant, it becomes stale. Now that we have made our committess here by elections, they will be moving in the water like fish. And everyday, by some excuse, in 24 hours, our campaign that is there of Ghar Bachao, Ghar Banao, Light the stove of the house and save the daily bread, will you discuss it once in 24 hours? Dicuss it when you go to work, discuss it when you go to drop the kids in school, whenever you get a chance. Ghar bachao! Save the daily bread! Jai Hind! Jai Bharat! Jai Jawan! Jai Kisan!
Brown: The friends who are seated on the stage... the people who have come from Mandala... the people who have been elected... please bless them and support them.. that they may keep fighting for justice. And the election of the settlement that is there, make preparations for 1-2 days for it. And I request Tai to meet the ministers in Mantralaya as soon as possible and talk to them about Mandala.
Youth wing: I request the ladies to wait for 2 minutes. All the ladies please wait for 2 minutes.
'Raise your voice! We are united!' 'We will fight! We will win!'
'The world is shaking. The time of the people has come. The world is shaking.'
'The kings and the emperors have gone. There is a tide in the sea. The world is shaking.'
' The government is shaking. The police are shaking. The government is shaking. The military is shaking.'
'The youth's troupe has come. The world is shaking. The troupe of women has come. The world is shaking.'
'The worker is fighting, the farmer is fighting. The hut dwellers are fighting. The youth are fighting.'
'All the poor in this world are fighting. The world is shaking.'
Youth wing: 'The workers are fighting. The farmer is fighting.'
'All the thieves of regions are fighting. The world is shaking.'
Friends, the youth have shown and done that... our youth friend, Manmohan Khari...
Offscreen: I want to thank all those who had been here since the night to attend this last programme. In that first and foremost, Dr. Ambedkar, the volunteers and the workers, in that specially Vinodbhai, I thank him from the bottom of my heart.