of Two Women Residents of Sanjay Nagar
Conducted By Ms. Preetiben Patel of SEWA Bank
of a age of 40 years, said that she married in a very young age.
Her husband and father-in-law were daily quarrelling with each other.
She felt that under such condition it was better to live separately
from her father-in-law to avoid quarrels. But the question that
was agitating her mind was that where to go and how to live outside
the home. In her young age she had never went outside excepting
going for school. She was now tired and determined to leave home.
She went to her mother's home. She said she used to go to her maternal
brother's daughter living in Sanjay Nagar and was telling to her
about family's unfortunate incidents. During her visits she was
repeatedly enquiring for a place in Sanjay Nagar. Inspite of her
sister's advise that Sanjay Nagar has no facilities, she decided
to change the place. Ultimately, she purchased a place in Sanjay
Nagar by paying Rs.5000/-.
constructing walls of the house, she took clay from adjoining farm
and used plastic sheet for ceiling. She thus constructed a kutcha
house. She said her husband was not keeping well and she was pregnant.
Her mother-in-law once came and forcibly took away her husband with
him. She was now alone in the home. She was not knowing any work
she had no money. She had also to look after her health. She mortgaged
her home for Rs.2000/- and again went to her mother's place. Out
of this amount she spent Rs.1800/- for her delivery. When her child
was of just 10 months and 10 days, she started selling vegetables
near Raipur Mills. She was saving Rs.2-3 out of her daily income
which was credited in her account.
she was selling grapes in Manekchowk. Manguben a worker of SEWA
collecting union's subscription came in her contact. As she was
educated, Manguben suggested to her to join SEWA to educate her
other female members of the area. She then joined SEWA and started
attending its office at 12.00 noon after feeding her child and was
working upto 3.00 p.m.
In SEWA, she started attending Education Class, Trade Committee
and Area Meeting. As she was regularly attending all the meetings,
other workers were impressed by her work and sincerity. In 1990
she was elected in the Executive Body of SEWA and undergone for
a leadership training. She was daily coming to SEWA Bank and educating
other ladies about the working of bank and the advantages of opening
accounts with it. She encouraged a large number of ladies to open
accounts. In 1991 when insurance scheme was started , she explained
the scheme to her colleagues and within one month she could pursue
1000 ladies to take insurance policies.
She was feeling that it was not good for a married woman to live
in mother's home. In 1993 she released her home form mortgage by
paying Rs.2000/- out of her savings and again started living in
Sanjay Nagar. Since she came to Sanjay Nagar, she was very much
disturbed by seeing difficulties and hopeless living conditions
of the people of that locality. She was particularly not happy that
ladies of Sanjay Nagar had to go to adjoining Rabari's chawl for
washing their clothes, cleaning cooking wares and removing cow dungs
just to get one or two buckets of water. As ladies generally do
not go to burial places, children were asked to go there and get
water from it.
Looking all these difficulties she was very much upset. A meeting
of some of the leaders of Sanjay Nagar was called and they went
to Municipal Corporation for demanding for civic facilities. She
spent from her pocket for 3-4 water taps. But this arrangement for
200 families was inadequate. People had to make queues and were
daily fighting each other for water. One illegal connection was
also taken by spending Rs.600/- which was later disconnected by
was also no facility of drainage in Sanjay Nagar and they have to
throw garbage and effluent in pits and kharkuvas. There was a problem
of removing used dirty water which was over flowing on the roads.
Cowdungs thrown nearby was adding to the repulsive conditions of
the whole area. There were public toilets but they were also used
by people of the adjoining chawls and were not properly cleaned
and maintained with the result the whole area was looking like a
very filthy and dirty place. In monsoon it was a horrible scene
and lot of mosquitoes and insects were seen. The whole area had
thus no facilities of water, drainage and toilet.
Once Uttaraben and Nirajbhai of Slum Networking Programme came to
this place and gave information about slum restoration programme.
They said if all agree to join this programme, it could be implemented
here. Initially people had no trust in it and were not prepared
to join with it. They were misguided by rumours that such activities
are not for their advantage and under such programme their slums
would be demolished. Because in the past they had received notices
for removal of slums and this time they were not sure as to whether
their slums will not be removed. They were also sure as to whether
their slums will not be removed. They were also smelling some political
motives for influencing their votes in elections. They were also
feeling that by such programme Arvind Mills was trying to get back
its land occupied by Sanjay Nagar.
of Sanjay Nagar were explained in detail about the objectives and
advantages of the networking programme. A letter of Municipal Commissioner
Mr. Varma showing the willingness of AMC in joining with this project
was shown to them. The y were informed about how much will be spent
for the programme, what facilities they will get and what contribution
they will have to make towards the expenses. Slides of similar programme
implemented in Indore were shown and some confidence could be created
in them. A meeting with Mr. Asnani, Dy. Municipal Commissioner of
AMC was also arranged to appraise them about various facets of the
anxieties were seen in the people for the burden of expenses. They
were not sure how to contribute Rs.2000/- by each family as a share
for the project. SEWA Bank staff worked hard to educate them for
opening of bank accounts with it for making saving which could be
utilised for making contribution. Initially they had no trust in
such accounts and were feeling unsecured about their money deposited
in the banks. But once they were given bank's passbooks with entries
in it of their amount deposited, it created a trust in bank's services.
In reality they had neither trust in their leaders nor in the management
of Arvind Mills. When they had seen that the work has already started
in Sanjay Nagar, every one came forward t open their bank accounts
and started depositing their contributions. Out of 181 families
of Sanjay Nagar 118 families paid their contribution fully, while
others demanded for loan which was arranged through SEWA Bank, inspite
of its bad experience in the past.
street lanes in Sanjay Nagar were narrow and there was no lighting
facilities. There was a danger of drunkards. Ladies could not sleep
outside. The slums were haphazardly built without ventilation. Everywhere
there were pits and hollow surfaces. The homes were without flooring
and a lot of mosquitoes and insects were seen particularly in monsoon.
There was no system to clear garbage which was getting accumulated
in trenches and pits mixed with dirty water. Children were playing
in such rotten places and were frequently getting sick. In absence
of regular cleaning of streets and even houses, the whole atmosphere
was unpleasant and filthy. People were explained about the implications
of such conditions and dangers of spreading epidemics of different
getting amenities they are now feeling happy with widening of streets.
Hand carts are now coming inside. People themselves are keeping
roads clean. Mosquitoes are not seen. There is dust bin for every
20 houses which has helped a lot in solving the problem of garbage
collection and disposal. Public toilets are demolished and each
house is provided with individual toilet which has helped in improving
cleanliness of the location. After providing drainage lines and
kharkuva, pits and trenches are removed. Street lights are also
provided. Each slum is now built of pucca construction and they
have been assured that their slums will not be removed or shifted
elsewhere. A Health Centre is also started which examines patients
on every Wednesday. Medicines are given with the result fatal diseases
which were common are now controlled.
is now teaching each other for keeping cleanliness both in and outside
their homes. People themselves have become civic minded to keep
cleanliness. They now understand that civic services should be properly
used and maintained. Garbage should be put only in dustbins.
of people have been radically changed. Everybody in the family now
takes bath before going for work. Formerly people did not like to
come to Sanjay Nagar for living. People's mental and economic frame-work
has been now considerably changed. Everybody wants to make saving.
They went to add more amenities in their homes and for that many
families have taken loans from bank.
is of 40 years age. She purchases fruits from wholesale market of
Kalupur and selling it in Jamalpur. She earns Rs.30-35 daily. Champaben
a SEWA Worker once told to her that a programme of rehabilitation
has come to your doorstep. She advised her to open a bank account
which could be used for getting better facilities. She can attend
her children better and their health could be improved. The problem
of fund for doing business could be solved. Ultimately Laxmiben
opened a account in SEWA Bank and got a loan which helped her a
lot in meeting business needs and increasing civic amenities. She
is now saving Rs.10/- everyday and paying Rs.125/- every month towards
bank loan. She has now built a confidence that if she could regularly
pay her bank loan she would be able to get another loan for constructing
a pucca house.
people had to go for toilet on open land outside chawl near Anil
Starch. Males and unsocial elements were harassing ladies going
for toilet and making their cruel jokes. Their behaviour was shameless.
Ladies were thus feeling ashamed and were put under embarrassing
was no facility of water in Sanjay Nagar. Even drinking water was
not available. They had to go to Anil Starch for it where they were
daily quarrelling with Rabaris, Thakores, Harijans etc. They were
not allowing them to take water. After abusing like anything and
calling them Vagharis with harsh words they were allowing people
of Sanjay Nagar to take only 1-2 buckets of water.
Sanjay Nagar garbage was accumulating near home which was creating
a lot of dirtiness and mosquitos with the result it had affected
the health of people. They had to remove this garbage in the adjoining
open lands which was spoiling the surroundings and causing epidemics
like Malaria, Typhoid, TB etc.
absence of lighting facilities they were facing a lot of difficulties
for cooking in the evening and attending other household work. Ladies
were unnecessarily beating their children. In absence of lighting
there was always a risk of thefts and danger of falling in trenches
of kharkuva. Because of kacha roads a lot of garbage was lying on
them and water was over flowing which was creating mosquitos and
causing widespread diseases.
There was no facility for drainage with the result pits were dug
near the house in which people were taking their bath, washing clothes
and utensils etc. They were removing the used water of pits by buckets
and discharge them in open grounds nearby. This had affected their
health for which they had to spend a lot for medical treatment.
each house had its own toilet with the result ladies have not to
go outside. This has stopped unpleasant incidents of harassment
As each house has been provided with separate water tap, people
have not to stand in queue and there is now no incidents of quarrels.
Atleast problem of drinking water is solved and so also they are
getting water for washing and other domestic use.
now puts garbage in dustbin kept near the house which has helped
in removing surrounding filthy atmosphere. Persons from AMC now
collects the garbage. By providing lighting facilities ladies can
do work in the evening and prepare meals thereafter. This has also
minimised the risk of thefts which have become common.
of pucca roads, accumulation of filthy materials and garbage on
roads have been minimised. People are now able to meet and sit together
in the evening on the roads, which are free from garbage.
the construction of drainage lines, pits and trenches are filled
up as there is no need to throw garbage or water in them. This has
helped to control diseases.
short with the provision of basic amenities, the risks of epidemics
are minimised which has reduced the expenses for medical treatment.
There is no an overall improvement in the quality of life in Sanjay
Nagar and people are feeling happy.