Community Led Advocacy

CfD takes a community-based approach to bring change in the life of the most marginalized by enabling them to demand their citizenship rights. Advocacy efforts are steered by local committees led by the women and the youth of the community, accompanied by CfD:

A. The strong interventions on women’s rights and gender justice have resulted in the formation of women’s groups in all areas that take leadership to demand basic amenities, dignified rehabilitation and violence against women.

B. Evictions and Displacement: CfD has been working with the families displaced due to urban infrastructure development projects in Ahmedabad. These interventions range from relief to research and documentation of their living conditions. and measures to ensure proper compensation and alternative housing. The advocacy committees have been able to persuade municipal authorities to take steps such as establishing fair price shops (PDS),more water taps and mobile health services which comes periodically to these colonies. The lasting impact of CfD’s effort has been in terms of building of local capacities and strong people’s institutions.

C. Implementation of 74th amendment: 74th amendment to the Indian Constitution was brought for inclusive and participatory urban governance process.

It is prominent that, in urban governance local bodies (nagarpalika, municipal corporations) are dealing all social welfare, security and development programs and project directly in coordination with counsellors or elected ward representatives. These ULB prepares planning and budget where common people never asked or consulted in participatory manner. 74th amendment insists the planning and budget shall prepare in consultation with citizens of that particular ward and then it should send to district and state level for clearance and fund allotment.

CfD believes that in every development process stakeholder should ask and get their views to prepare plan which would be more effective and meaningful for citizens of that town or city. Hence, from 2019 CfD had designed Samaveshi Shaher idea and started working on inclusive and participatory urban governance process.

CfD has formed Samaveshi Shaher Samities (Inclusive City Committees) in 12 Municipal wards of Ahmedabad City.

The other priority issues taken up for advocacy by these CBOs are the establishment of ICDS Aanganwadis, schools, primary health centres and all basic amenities in the vicinity of these colonies, and also in the rehabilitation sites (JNNURM) that the state is building for the displaced families.

Housing is emerging issue in the era of urbanization, CfD and CBOs have conducted studies with renowned institutes like CEPT University to understand the socio-economic effects on marginalised communities, which later produced policy papers for community for advocacy their rights and also became a pathway for city planners.