Urban Poor

EQUALITY INDIA NEWS : A SHAKTI VAHINI RESEARCH INITIATIVE

The Second Administrative Reforms Commission (ARC), in its sixth Report has recommended that “an exhaustive survey to identify the urban poor should be carried out within one year. The parameters to be used for such identification should be simple and easily comprehensible, allowing objective measurement without the use of discretion. The identification should be based on a door to door survey with the survey teams including at least one person from the area Sabha concerned. The urban poor so identified may be issued multi-utility identity cards for availing benefits under all poverty alleviation programmes”.

 No State-wise recommendation has been made by the ARC.

 Other major recommendations of the Commission with regard to urban poverty are:

 (i)       After identifying the urban poor through surveys, a mission mode approach would need to be adopted for alleviating urban poverty in a time-bound and systematic manner. The urban local bodies may also have their own poverty alleviation schemes with adequate background and forward linkages converging with the other poverty alleviation schemes.

 (ii)      The thrust of the urban poverty alleviation schemes should be on upgradation of skills and training.

 (iii)     In case of setting up of micro-enterprises, the urban poverty alleviation schemes should be flexible in selecting projects and providing financial assistance.

 (iv)     To maximize the benefits of micro-finance, formation of Self-Helf Groups (SHGs) need to be encouraged. Institutions and NGOs with good track record should be encouraged to promote SHGs for availing micro-finance.

(v)      The education plan should form an integral part of the development plan for the city.

 (vi)     Urban Local Bodies should adopt the concept of ‘Primary Health Care’ for providing health and medical facilities to the urban poor, particularly to women and children with the help of auxiliary staff. These should specifically cater to the population living in slum areas.

(vii)    There has to be total redevelopment of slum areas. While redeveloping, it should be ensured that adequate provision has been made for schools, health centre, sanitation etc.

 (viii)   It is necessary to earmark and reserve a certain percentage of land in housing projects in each town and city for the urban poor. If a construction cannot allocate housing for the poor, the developer must, at his own cost, provide suitable housing in any other appropriate place acceptable to the authorities.

 (ix)     A detailed programme for the provision of night shelters needs to be drawn up in all cities, beginning with large cities having Metropolitan and Municipal corporations, for implementation.

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