Many families whose stored material, including grains got lost, are even hungry, especially since on are hand, they have no source of income, , hawking etc. too is severely affected during these days and public distribution system is almost defunct.For some families, such as that of Baswanram a blind person from Mandala there is no space and support to live on. Rahul Roy from Anna Bhau Sathe Nagar flew away, as the water rose, is still unfound and the Deonar Police Station that was avoiding lodging of FIR, finally had to do it with activists intervention. Amidst this kindling a hope, are the stories of common people_s brevity and solidarity with each other. n Anna Bhau Sathe Nagar, slum dwellers rehabilitated nearly supported the families who had to take esort to the half constructed, half occupied buildings overnight. Feeding for a few days was also done by the previously slum dwelling families who remembered their woes. In Mandala, women now empowered, were looking after the old, sick single women and people took upon themselves the task of saving children and shifting people. Many had to spend the rainy night on the streets, with water flows underneath. In Rafi Nagar and Sanjay Nagar the damp garbage all around, stinking and the cemetery they were thrown into also got flooded, leaving them with no dry space to step on. The families around, themselves poor were the first helping hands.
Ekta Nagar on the western side had the worst flood of its kind. These suburbs where the waters could not be drained, are facing the worst due to blockage of the natural drains which has happened due to ad-hoc planning while digging the roads, reclaiming the lands and building highways and flyovers or closing gutters in the name of beautification of Mumbai.
The shocking statement of MMRDA chief Mr. Chandrasekhar and the Minister, Mr. Ajit Pawar declaring slums as the main reason, are indicative of not just callousness or ignorance but also conspiracy. These leading men are certainly all out to promote further eviction of the poor and grab the land and the projects, now in the name of Mumbai Bachao ( Save Mumbai), with no bounds. There are many in governmental and Non-governmental sectors that will surely be all only to extract resources and waste it. We must be committed to work with communities, involve people and undertake relief as a step towards rehabilitation of these poor.
It_s with this approach that a team of 20 students and faculty members from Tata Institute of Social Sciences and the local and trained activists as well as supporters of NAPM and Narmada Bachao Andolan, Nirbhay Bano Andolan, Shahar Vikas Manch involved in Ghar Bachao Ghar Banao struggle of the Mumbai urban poor have taken up the work in these localities.