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Poverty Alleviation

Campaign for the rights of urban homeless

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The Hindu  28.10.2010

Campaign for the rights of urban homeless

Staff Reporter

MADURAI: A 20-member national level team campaigning for the rights of slum-dwellers, pavement dwellers and urban homeless with an aim to make them “citizens” through inclusion in census, provision of voter and identity cards organised a meeting in the city recently.

New-Delhi-based City Makers Indo Global Social Service Societyis the campaign organiserCategorising them as ‘City Makers,' and victims of urban life, the campaign was aimed to make sure that the city makers through this effort to mainstream could as well avail of government welfare measures and schemes.Shelter Trust and City Makers Forum organised the campaign activities here in the city at Kaalavasal and West Masi Street. P.Radhakannan, President, Deepam Blind Society, K.Baratheeyan, President, Bharathi Ilakkiya Peravai, and Jawahar, Tamil Nadu Workers Federation, spoke on the occasion.

Reuben Raj, State co-ordinator, City Makers Caravan in Tamil Nadu for Indo Global Social Service Society, gave the special address. Geethan Winson, Financial Trustee, City Makers, gave welcome address, Caldwell, Trustee, Shelter proposed vote of thanks.

Last Updated on Thursday, 28 October 2010 10:02

“Chennai's urban poverty rate is one of the lowest in country''

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The Hindu      19.08.2010

“Chennai's urban poverty rate is one of the lowest in country''

Staff Reporter

— Photo: A.Muralitharan

Informative: The quiz contest under way at the SOS Children's Village in East Tambaram.

CHENNAI: Calling for a relook at many of the poverty alleviation programmes of the government, M.Satish Kumar, a professor at Queen's University, Belfast, said here on Tuesday that poverty in the urban landscape was treated as if it did not exist.

According to him, Chennai has done reasonably well in comparison to other cities that have a population in excess of a million. Chennai's urban poverty rate, which stands at 8.7 per cent, is one of the lowest in the country. To provide a comparison, Coimbatore's is 21.9 per cent and Madurai's stands at 17 per cent, while the national average is 27 per cent.

Dr.Kumar, however, said that much more needs to be done and local bodies have to be sufficiently empowered. “They need to have a central role in policy planning. Chennai like many cities has a Master Plan, but there is a huge dissonance between regional and national urban policy planning in India,” he added.

He was speaking on ‘Urbanisation of poverty in Chennai: Myths, facts and challenges', jointly organised by the Association of British Scholars and the TAG Centre as part of the Madras Week celebrations.

Employing the National Sample Survey data to point out to several myths about urban poverty, Dr. Kumar said “Rural migrants no longer constitute the majority of people migrating to Chennai. The trend is moving towards second tier urban cities such as Madurai and Tiruchi.

Also, migrants no longer contribute significantly to the increase in urban population.”

He added that migration itself could become a poverty reduction strategy if urban centres were geared up to act as points of productivity.

In other ‘Madras Week' related programmes on Tuesday, a debate on ‘Social awareness among students in Chennai' was organised for NSS cadets at the Women's Christian College. Of the 11 colleges that participated, the first prize was won by a team from Presidency College.

In a talk ‘Kovil Suvargal Pesinaal' at the Roja Muthiah Library, Pradeep Chakravarthy spoke about the societal and cultural landscape during the reign of the Cholas.

Earlier in the day, a heritage walk on the Marina beach led by Major (Retd.) V.Raghavan was organised by the Asan Memorial Senior Secondary School.

Quiz on Madras

A quiz on Madras, its history, landmark buildings and food for students of a few schools in Tambaram turned out to be informative and entertaining as well.

It was informative as the children were exposed to notable personalities and importance of landmarks such as Ice House and Ripon Building and entertaining, as children came up with wild guesses that ended up in peels of laughter among their team mates, other students and their teachers as well. SOS Children's Village commenced its ‘Madras Week' celebrations at its Chatnath Homes in Professors's Colony, East Tambaram, from Monday.

The opening day saw a project on Tambaram with models of railway station, educational institutions, Air Force Station, important roads and places of worship on display. On Tuesday, R.Jayabalan, Additional Director, SOS Children's Villages welcomed the students of Jaigopal Garodia National Higher Secondary School, Sita Devi Garodia Hindu Vidyalaya, Zion and St. Mary's Higher Secondary Schools who had come to take part in the quiz. There were five teams (two from Jaigopal) and the first three rounds were dedicated to Tambaram.

A total of 55 questions were asked and the team from Zion school won the event followed by St. Mary's and Jaigopal Garodia.

Last Updated on Thursday, 19 August 2010 04:47

‘First phase of BSUP scheme will be completed by Dec. 31'

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The Hindu      04.08.2010

‘First phase of BSUP scheme will be completed by Dec. 31'

Special Correspondent

Each house cost

Rs. 1.44 lakh

Phase I is initially planned for 12,000 beneficiary families

COIMBATORE: The Phase I of the Basic Services for Urban Poor (BSUP), under which houses are being constructed for slum dwellers, will be completed by December 31, the deadline for this phase, Coimbatore Corporation Commissioner Anshul Mishra said recently.

The first phase involved the construction of houses on the very site on which the slum dwellers lived now. Each house, measuring about 260 sq.ft. cost Rs.1.44 lakh. The beneficiaries had to contribute 20 per cent. To enable them pay this, the Corporation had tied up with banks to provide them with loans for four per cent interest in order. In another phase, multi-storey tenements were being constructed for families living in slums that encroached upon water bodies, roads and other spaces owned by the Government. Phase I was initially planned for 12,000 beneficiary families as per the first detailed project report. But, many families identified as beneficiaries in this were found to be ineligible. A number of them were living on sites categorised as objectionable ‘poramboke.' Of the 5,700 eligible beneficiaries, some were not willing to construct new houses. A few of them said they did not want to demolish recently-constructed walls in order to build a totally new house. A few others said the sites they occupied were too small for even a 260 sq.ft. house. At least 95 per cent of them had been provided with work orders for the construction of the houses. The rest would also get the orders soon. But, a major problem was that beneficiaries did not start the work despite getting the orders.

“We are convincing the people to build the houses and are confident of meeting the December 31 deadline,” the Commissioner said. As for the multi-storey tenements with 9,600 flats, the Corporation had asked the State Government for an additional Rs.140 crore as the original outlay of Rs.185 crore would not be sufficient to provide structures that could withstand an earthquake.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 04 August 2010 06:45

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