Thursday, 10 January 2013


Every household packed their belongings onto trucks, tempos, and/or buses thus starting a procession of vehicles from Byculla to Mankhurd. Banners were put up by the communities associated with NSDF along the roads.

Mahila Milan Byculla and the pavement dwellers federation’s network grew with the number of slum dwellers increasingly benefiting from their insights.  In many ways the Byculla pavement dwellers unknowingly have been the initiators of many of the tools which the federation uses today such as:
1. In 1985 their census for the pavement dwellers stating WE THE INVISIBLE, produced a enumeration protocol that is now an institutional activity of the Indian alliance as well as the SDI.
2. In 1986, they began examining the capacity of the poor with regard to housing.  This was initiated to understand why the poor never get houses.  Eventually the MM and the federation developed a housing design exercise which led to the formation of the house model exhibition which is in use till today.
3. In 1987 the MM along with the federation began daily savings managed by women which is yet another strategy everyone has adapted across the federations.
4. Once the Milan Nagar site in 2000 was allotted, the MM and federation begun design and construction themselves—a system which has been continued throughout the coming years.
5. In 2005, the MAHATMA GANDHI PADAPATH KRANTI YOJANA  was announced.  Its aim to rehabilitate all pavement dwellers in Bombay demonstrated a strategy whose roots began with a small group of women seeking to defend their homes and leading ultimately to all pavement dwellers securing a permanent home.  Others who observed and learnt from the Byculla MM and pavement dwellers federation often got their homes and amenities quicker than those who failed to realize their accomplishments.

The Minister of Housing of South Africa, Dr. L. Sisulu along with the provincial heads of 2 regions from South Africa, representatives from the SDI, local politicians from Mankhurd, and the secretary of housing of the Government of Maharashtra inaugurated the Milan Nagar Housing Cooperative Society  project by lighting the lamp.  Dr. L. Sisulu began interacting with Mahila Milan, NSDF, and SPARC as members of the SDI since she met them in Barcelona at the World Urban Forum. Dr. L. Sisulu  was inspired by the struggle of the pavement dwellers and acknowledged the commonalities it shared with the South African federation.

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