We have the courage to start. We have the courage to succeed.

We have a right to land and shelter. We will live with security and dignity.

Changing development paradigms especially in cities led to increasing poverty, exclusion, and inequality that was devastating for slum communities, eventually leading to their evictions, demolitions and even eradication in the garb of beautification and progress.

AVAS countered this and what we have today is a story of transformation.

AGAINST ALL ODDS
AVAS TACKLES THESE ISSUES FACED BY THE SLUMDWELLERS
MOBILIZING COMMUNITIES AND MOTIVATING PEOPLE TOWARDS SELF GOVERNANCE

EMPOWERING WOMEN AND YOUTH FOR

COLLECTIVE ACTION

Creating awareness, capacitating people to take decisions, engaging them in participatory action, and involving them at all levels of planning and implementation was AVAS' approach to transform communities. Women played a pivotal role at all levels of these processes and the success of AVAS' interventions depended in evolving leadership, forming CBO's or community based organizations locally, and catalyzing between people and the system.

The land, when first occupied

 

 by the poor who built small

 

 huts for mere survival, was

 

 totally uninhabitable.

 

Once the poor made it livable

 

 the market value of the

 

 property increased manifold.

The strength obviously in AVAS’

 

insitu development was that

 

housing interventions were in

 

the exact locale of an existing

 

slum community which therefore

 

required no additional search for

 

extra land to rehabilitate slum

 

dwellers.

Land for the poor in any city is

 

neither accessible, available nor

 

affordable. In AVAS’ projects no

 

additional finance was required to

 

purchase additional land. Insitu

 

housing, therefore, helped in that

 

cost saving on land.

The land ownership titles were either

 

given the jointly to

 

both husband and wife, or only

 

to women in case of women headed

 

households, or as community lease-

 

cum-ownership rights, promoting a

 

cooperative land ownership model.

 

Each community derived what was

 

essentially suited to their needs for

 

the land titles.

AVAS

 

LAND FOR SLUMDWELLERS

 

 

Resolving land and shelter issues in slums of Bangalore, India

The threats, and demolitions and evictions were negated in all AVAS' insitu housing projects. Land issues that formed the crux of the problem have been mostly resolved. In many of the Communities the registrations of the plots has also been completed. In others the processes are ongoing. In rural areas the house lists work is in progress

When policy makers and implementors listen to the voices of the people in the communities, hastening the processes of change on site.

For AVAS empowering the urban poor living in slums meant convincing policy makers and implementors to actually interact on site with the community, its youth and women, to see and understand the responsible roles that people play in self-determining their development. In each area women especially have been important decision makers involving in the participatory processes that AVAS initiated to thwart evictions, and in converting dreams into action. Recognizing this the authorities were influenced by the credibility of the projects and made conclusive decisions in favour of the communities.

Lakshmipuram slum rehousing plans being studied on site by the City Commissioner  of the erstwhile Bangalore City Corporation

Principal Secretary, Housing & Urban Development, Govt. of Karnataka inaugurating the waste management program at G.Byappanahalli, Bangalore

Hon’ble Minister for Housing, Govt. of India and the Housing Secretary , Govt. of Karnataka and other official at Wahab Garden Slum Housing project.

Parsi Garden slum is renamed Bhandhavyanagar and inaugurated by the erstwhile Hon’ble Chief Minister of the Govt. of Karnataka who called it a ”beacon of light to the rest of the country”.

Melinda Gates visits G.Byappanahalli slum to learn about the community water and sanitation program successfully managed by the people themselves organized by AVAS.

The south zone Round Table conference with Mr. Deepak Parekh, Chair person of the Govt. of India Affordable Housing for All Committee to set policy guidelines at National level. This meeting was organized by AVAS and Anita Reddy, a member of this committee.

The Deputy Commissioner of Chikkaballapur district visited the Kandawara slum rehousing project and sanctioned basic amenties onsite immediately.

TRAINING AND CAPACITY BUILDING  WOMEN AND YOUTH TOWARDS THEIR

SOCIAL ENTITLEMENTS, LAND RIGHTS DOCUMENTS, GOVERNMENT SOCIAL SECURITY SCHEMES.

AVAS has addressed issues of urban and rural poverty by building awareness in all the communities on their social entitlements as envisaged in both State and National schemes. The spectrum of available Government programs is vast, but ignorance about those by the poor is a critical reason for seeing apportioned funds lapse, or even get shrouded by corrupt systems that tamper it from reaching those for whom they are meant. AVAS believes it is the right of the people to access them, especially as India is considered a welfare state that is based on the principles of equality of opportunities and an equitable distribution of resources.

AVAS has consistently created awareness, and made efforts to educate the women and youth to follow up on their social entitlements and documentation. This has included enabling people to get their Aadhaar Cards, Voter Id Cards, Ration Cards, Bpl Cards, Pensions, Income Certificates, Caste Certificates, Birth Certificates, Death Certificates, House Lists, Land Registration Documents, Land Possession Documents, Kathas, E-Kathas and AVAS has facilitated approximately over one lakh such entitlements in the indigent communities.

EACH TIME A WOMAN STANDS UP FOR HERSELF, WITHOUT KNOWING IT POSSIBLY,WITHOUT CLAIMING IT, SHE STANDS UP FOR ALL WOMEN.

Maya Angelou

Youth Don’t Wait For Tomorrow To Come…….

Over the last two decades AVAS and DRIK Foundation have focused on tapping the potential of youth as the most creative force for social change. Harnessing their inherent strength and creating opportunities to develop value based and responsible leadership, platforms like DRIK Jeevanotsava and DRIK CEF were established. Empowering them with rights-based knowledge, teaching them to mentor the children, relate well with their elders and guide their communities to a life of security and dignity, AVAS continues its efforts to carve out many more youth ambassadors and teen leaders.

HEALTH

When AVAS began working in the slums, the health of people living in subhuman environmental conditions was very poor due to factors such as poor drainage, flooding of their living spaces, highly congested and densely populated housing in dilapidated huts and poor air quality leading to respiratory issues, water borne diseases, increased infant mortality rates, and the spread of communicable diseases. AVAS first created awareness with families, especially women, and trained them to recognize the health problems that would require intervention, and then gradually, though intense training by experts built up community health cadres. These women would be excellent referral points for people.  AVAS & DRRT, having networked with hospitals to respond to the poor who came in as emergency cases or otherwise, saved many a life from the jaws of death itself. Combined with training camps, awareness building exercises and interventions to tackle malnourishment, women’s reproductive health problems, adolescents counselling etc. AVAS impacted and tackled several health issues.

INFRASTRUCTURE

The deplorable state of conditions for mere survival in all the slum communities that AVAS first began to work with, spurred us to act to resolve issues pertaining to basic amenities, just as we struggled for people’s social entitlements. Helping Communities have access to water within their living areas, way before the State’s Cauvery water scheme came, and helping women who went to fetch water from distant collection points, AVAS and DRRT found solutions that helped mitigate the immediate problems women faced, helping them save precious time and energy, and find peace in their slums. Community water posts with shared timings etc. were put in place first. Then, with housing, came independent water connections for each home, as did toilets with underground drainage, and electricity for all the families. Improved roads and water drains helped to change the health, hygiene and environmental impact AVAS had on each community that it entered, resolving the infrastructural needs of those communities.

BANDAHALLI TOILETS

For AVAS this was an exciting infrastructure project

because of the innovative modifications we made to enable

a successful prototype for a toilet. Over 60 were constructed on a hard quarry hillock in Bandahalli village near Chikkaballapur. For the women and adolescent girls of the area this was indeed a dream fulfilled. Habitat for Humanity extended part financial support to this project, and the rest was from the Government program.

SOCIAL HOUSING FOR INTEGRATED DEVELOPMENT AND HOLISTIC TRANSFORMATION.

Over the years, for AVAS, housing the poor has meant that cities can be transformed from cesspools of subhuman  surroundings, unhygienic environments, densely populated and overcrowded spaces gripped in fear of evictions and demolitions that could happen any day, anytime leaving hundreds on the streets with no hope for the future. AVAS used housing as a tool to collectivize such communities, garner united action, empower people through participation and decision-making processes and finally determine their own histories of self governance for better and more sustainable ‘humane’ settlements.

SALIENT FACTORS IN AVAS’ HOUSING THAT MADE THE DIFFERENCE TO URBAN POOR COMMUNITIES

“Sarojamma, Kanakamma and Lakshmiamma have left an indelible stamp on my life” says  Anita Reddy, the managing trustee of AVAS . “All three of them had once lived in Lakshmipuram slum. I met them first 40 years ago when I entered their community in 1978 to work with them as a young woman in my early 20’s. They  have passed on now but not before having taken on the challenges of the urban goondas who wanted to do land grabbing from the slum dwellers. Their consistent perseverance set the way for other women to follow, and together they, with guidance from AVAS, motivated the entire community to complete the first ever participatory, gender centric, affordable and viable alternative model in-situ rehousing project in an urban poor community in Karnataka, India” she says. “It is a testimony in time to the struggles and victories of an indigent community that never gave up on the challenges they faced. Lakshmipuram slum became the front runner to a score of such projects that followed and were successfully implementd by AVAS over the years.

THE IN-SITU, POLICY IMPACTING RE- HOUSING PROJECTS DONE BY AVAS
LAKSHMIPURAM
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G. BYAPPANAHALLI
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683 families mercilessly bulldozed from different parts of the city were all “dumped” like cattle in an overcrowded and hostile environment called G.Byappanahalli slum. AVAS helped them get rehabilitated gradually. A visit from Ms. Melinda Gates to “learn from the AVAS’ experience” gave the areas WASH program a new impetus.

Lakshmipuram, an urban poor community nestled in the elite neighborhood of Indiranagar, had 127 families living in it. They were all unorganized workers catering to the need of the residents there. When faced with threats of eviction AVAS intervened and today the project has won a National Habitat Award from HUDCO for participatory, in-situ, people centric housing program.

SUDHAMANAGAR
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MRS PALYA
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MRS Palya was a huge stretch of urban poor settlements in the midst of the city. The value of the land there made the community a victim to constant threats. AVAS evolved a housing project for 165 families and all of them are now living in good houses with their rights established.

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After

Sudhamanagar slum dwellers and Gulbarga huts families were integrated together in this housing project where AVAS facilitated the housing processes by helping families access finances from HDFC and build their own homes. It was for the first time ina slum rehousing project that this sort of financial arrangements was worked out by AVAS for the poor.

KORAMANGALA
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Koramangala slum, comprising of thousands of families that were bull dozed and brought in by the City Corporation making it a cess pool of ill health and various social problems. Fires and floods wreaked havoc in this area. Families were gripped by insecurities. AVAS worked to change that.

VYALIKAVAL CHOWDAIAH
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Vyalikaval Chowdaiah slum consisted of just 42 families who lived in the dreaded fear of being evicted and bull dozed every day as they were located in the prestigious area of the world-famous musical hall that they were responsible for having built. And yet they were not recognized for their labour. AVAS changed that by getting them their land and shelter rights.

SOMESHWARA
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Someshwara slum was flooded out in the early years of AVAS’ work. Women and children wept, and men sat forlorn looking at their destroyed properties. AVAS organized people towards relief housing that has secured them till today despite other threats to the property.

WAHAB GARDEN
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50 families united to implement the Wahab Garden in-situ housing project built by the people themselves now recognized by its quality homes and changing lifestyles. Secured in shelter, they invested in education of their children, some of who have crossed the shores to reach as far as USA.

BHANDHAVYA NAGAR
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Bhandhavya nagar community got the name because of their inter faith harmony, and their united efforts to build their homes in an AVAS in-situ housing project. Supported by the Rotary Clubs people invested their energies, fought evictions, won legal battles and supported each other to make a success of it.

HOSAKEREHALLI
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Hosakerehalli slum changed to Janashakthinagar layout after the in-situ housing that AVAS had implemented there with people constructing their own homes. 127 families have not only transformed their living conditions but the upward mobility of many of them is a tangible change. AVAS won its second National Habitat Award from HUDCO for this model housing project.

SANYASIKUNTE - 1
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Sanyasikunte 1 and 2 slums have more than 400 plus families living in one of the oldest slum areas in Bangalore. Under the most challenging situations AVAS helped this indigent community to retain its housing rights and establish secure land ownership titles too.

SANYASIKUNTE - 2
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Sanyasikunte 1 and 2 slums have more than 400 plus families living in one of the oldest slum areas in Bangalore. Under the most challenging situations AVAS helped this indigent community to retain its housing rights and establish secure land ownership titles too.

KRISHNAYANPALYA
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Krishnayanpalya slum was organised by KKNSS and Womens Voice. AVAS pieced together the insitu rehousing project and the poor were able to establish their rights to the land they had lived on for years.

KANDAWARA SLUM REHOUSING PROJECT IN PROGRESS

Amongst AVAS’  current insitu housing projects is the one at Kandawara slum near Chikkaballapura town an hours drive from Bangalore. Having been put in transit sheds for over 15 years these families had struggled to establish their land and shelter rights. With AVAS’ intervention 62 families were allotted larger plots and also mobilized for housing action. The project integrates the PMAY housing scheme of the Government of India, the SC/ST support from the State Government, and in addition has  raised support from DRRT and RRK Trusts to fill the gaps in funding requirements.

 

However AVAS seeks your support for this project as there is still a shortfall for each family. If interested to donate please contact us at 98450 81466.