The Centre for Advocacy and Research (CFAR) has been striving to mainstream the concerns of the urban poor in the seven cities of – Delhi, Bangalore, Jaipur, Pune, Kochi, Kolkata and Bhubaneswar by: creating participatory structures for accountability, establishing a grievance redress mechanism, strengthen civil society mechanisms, enabling community advocates and partnering with urban local bodies in implementing key schemes.
In Delhi, CFAR was also appointed to act as a link between community structures (Gender Resource Centres) and the Deputy Commissioner in the city’s South district. Our role here has been to ensure that the government-community convergence is facilitated and outreach within the community is supported in as many ways as possible.
We have been successful in a number of slums and seen achievements in the training of community advocates, the filing of applications (RTI, Ration Cards, Identity Cards, etc.) and in the setting up of workshops and events to establish vigilance committees, Anganwadi development committees, school development and neighborhood groups. Forum members have actively participated in rallies, demonstrations and press briefings to pressurize decision makers to reconsider proposed policies.
“Now we as members of the vigilance community supervise the ration shops and take action with the help of officials against wrongdoers. So there is pressure on ration shop owners to not only give us good quality food grains and kerosene on time but also talk politely to us.” Namatatai, Bhimnagar
“Earlier, we were not getting kerosene from the fair price shop at concessional rates. But after our morcha, I got 6 litres for the first time. The shopkeeper has also promised to give us the last two years quota in installments.” Sojarbai, Shramik Vasahat, Bangalore