Coro and PPT together are aiming at unfolding the dimensions to the ‘right to city’ movement through photographic exhibitions and are
unpacking the realities of urban poverty.
This divide though is not only because of poverty but also a direct result of apathy and neglect by concerned authorities. Mumbai’s urban slums or even average middle class areas are devoid of facilities like - Water, Sanitation, access roads, sewage disposal, recreational spaces and access to proper health systems. It is always the poor and the marginalized that are at the receiving end of the urban restructuring.
The city has grown exponentially in the past 5 decades, with a huge Migrant population influx while unchecked construction and development has put a strain on space and other resources of the city. Life in the city as an average citizen and commuter is dangerous and as a member of a marginalised section of the city, one has an extremely bad deck of cards. This boiling pot is now overflowing and there has to be a pro-active approach towards making sure the city does not descend into utter chaos and everyone and every section in the city is taken care of.
Team PPT and the students who themselves come from underprivileged areas of the city started shooting and documenting their surroundings and creating a portrait of the city that the urban rich and upper middle class never get to see. This invisibility and veil had to be lifted. Lakhs of people - who serve the city, ply taxis, autos and Ubers, manage retail and unorganised sectors live in life threatening conditions and the privileged class needed to be aware of this. The marginalized have been pushed from the centre of the city to the margins; literally and otherwise.
Many of the urban slums hide in the fringes of the city, cordoned off and walled. Hidden behind skyscrapers and commercial office spaces. The escalating land prices make it happen with or without violence. In the name of redevelopment poor people are offered substandard housing with no facilities. Lifts are provided in 7 storied buildings which never operate. All regulations around safety are ignored. The spaces for poor people are shrinking--- houses, toilets, open spaces, gardens. The authorities needed to face these issues and initiate programs and policies to deal with them.
The world charter defines RTC as, ‘The equitable usufruct of cities within the principles of sustainability, democracy, equity and social justice. It is the collective rights of the inhabitants of cities, in particular of the vulnerable and marginalized groups, that confers upon them legitimacy of action and organisation, based on their uses and customs, with the objective to achieve full exercise of the right to free self-determination and an adequate standard of living’.
“We are very grateful to PPT for helping us out with our “Whose city whose right” project and also in the leadership development programme. The changes that occurred because of this initiative weren’t immediate but people were made aware about such issues after the exhibition. Be it slow but the concerned authority also started looking up to this matter after the rally. ”
It is a slow and tedious process to exact any kind of change in a city such as Mumbai. Many of us have chosen to ignore about the abject living conditions that millions of our co-citizens live in. This stems from both a hidden prejudice among the lower class and a complete unawareness about the people who make up most of the city’s population.
As a non-profit, all resources go towards funding workshops and other educational/documentation activities. You can donate any amount to support our different projects or invite us to conduct workshops for you or your institute. We are also looking for long-term funding to mount national projects in communities across the country.