My name is Shakeel. I am involved in a campaign network Basti Suraksha Manch in Delhi. This Manch works for the slums which are under threat of forced eviction or have already been evicted and are now fighting for their rehabilitation. We are working in almost 40 slum areas in Delhi. This is a non-funded, non-project, non-research driven campaign under which community people take leadership to run the campaign. We have made a new beginning in a sense how we can work and raise the issues of slums in a non-NGO mode. Housing is a big issue in the basties as they are informal settlements. We are fighting for their housing rights in Delhi. The contribution of communities who build cities is always overlooked or ignored. For example, when we make Master plan for Delhi for next 20 years, middle class or upper middle class are the main stakeholders in that. Their issues are of utmost concern whereas issues 50-60% people who contribute in building the city are ignored. They also have equal rights on the city like others. If they don’t sweep for two days, city will stink. If they don’t clean the drains, sewage will overflow. If your domestic worker doesn’t come to your house, who will cook for you, who will wash your clothes? So, their contribution is also important in building a city. The right of housing comes from there. If they have migrated from their villages and live in cities. The biggest issue for them is to have a place to live. A proper house without having a threat of eviction; a place which is not near a drain or near a landfill or non- tenable. So that justice comes from there, and it is directly linked to the right to the city Mainly there are two types of actors – state and non-state actors who play a big role around housing. State has the authority to rehabilitate these people and provide adequate housing for them. Role of Non state actors like us is to do advocacy and mobilize people to start a campaign which runs on a non-NGO mode. It should be non-funded, without any vested interest and hidden agenda. It should be a campaign demanding adequate housing for those who are deprived of from proper housing. In the month of September, an order of Supreme Court came about the removal of 48,000 slum clusters located along railway tracks as they pose a threat for railway as well as for slum dwellers. It was an old case, pending for long time. Suddenly a judge passed the judgment before his retirement. When we read the judgment, we were really shocked because nowhere in the order it was defined how far a slum should be located from the railway track. What about their rehabilitation? It is not that these clusters came up in a year or two. Some of them are there even for 40 years. They have proper documents - Adhaar card, Voter ID card. Their children study in government schools. But this order does not mention their housing rights or their rehabilitation. When this order came, we held meetings in clusters. It was time when COVID pandemic was at its peak We could not arrange large gatherings so we held small meetings and made them aware about this order. We formed Railway Sangharsh Samiti. This campaign was quite successful in Delhi. We run this campaign even at national level because you can find slum clusters along the railway track in many cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Jharkhand, Chennai. At national level the campaign was quite effective. It was also highlighted by the media. How this order would be implemented is a matter of concern. To rehabilitate a large sum of money is required. Railway has refused to bear the cost. Delhi Urban Shelter Improvement Board has been formed recently in Delhi to look after the rehabilitation issues. This Board ordered Railway to pay 6 lakh rupees per flat. If you can do the calculation you can imagine how much money Railway has to pay for rehabilitation. That’s the reason they have not taken any action. You must have credibility in these clusters otherwise no one will bother about you. People will join you only if you have credibility. Your credibility in the community is an important factor to connect with people. There are different dynamics in a slum. Some people are politically affiliated. We have to understand them. Some are well settled who do not wish to join this kind of protest or they are not mature enough and they don’t want to get into this. To convince them and unite them is a big challenge. It is not easy to organize something in a slum. We have to keep in mind where this slum is located and accordingly we make strategy. We are fortunate as these kinds of network are already existing specially in Delhi. For example, Delhi Housing Taskforce, Main Bhi Dilli campaign which are campaigning on Master Plan. We have made a network of Railways. In other cities these networks do not exist. This is a big problem. In Mumbai, from where I belong, these kinds of networks are missing. It is very difficult for us to organize people there. So Delhi, in a way, is a much better place as these types of network already exist. It was our vision, we should have these kinds of networks where we involve advocates, researchers, urban planners, architects and grass root activists like us. Media also joins. Delhi was a step ahead in that sense and therefore in last 4 years we protected almost 2 lakh people from forced eviction. It could happen only because many networks existed. Largely media has a perception that these are encroachers they have no right to live in cities, they make the city dirty. In the post liberalization period, this kind of approach has become very strong in the media. On the other hand, there are few journalists who have sympathy on these issues. People write a lot on this issue. The other challenge in Delhi is, Delhi is not a full state like Karnataka or Maharashtra. A state has a lot of powers but in Delhi half powers are under state and half under central government. Delhi government has no control over the major land owning agencies like Delhi Development Authority, Railways, Defence and slums located on these lands. We have faced this challenge in Delhi. 90,000 people live on a 23 km stretch of Yamuna. They also don’t come under Delhi Government. This is a big challenge for a half state like Delhi to resolve this issue. For one issue you go to the state government for another you go to the central government. We worked a lot on it and shared knowledge with people that this kind of dynamic exists in Delhi which you will not find anywhere in India. Delhi has different actors like state government, central government. We tried to sensitize the media on this issue since the beginning and somehow we are successful in doing that. Yes, we used social media tool quite successfully to reach out to people specially during the lockdown period as there was no other source. We used social media for relief work. We helped migrants to reach their homes and also helped them get employment when they returned. Social media played a vital role in this. Nowadays, online alternative news channels are more sensitive on these issues and they write a lot. Even in the Farmers' movement, social media was being used widely. Social media is an important tool for every campaign. Like in the case of Disha Ravi, who was arrested in case of toolkit, it was the effect of social media only that she was released on bail.