Increasingly, I believe, the voices of Civil Society are voices for change. They are voices that can help transform countries of crisis into countries of opportunity. Addressing that fear, and replacing it with hope, will be a major step to the elimination of poverty. An active Civil Society can open the door for an enormous variety of energies and talents from a broad spectrum of organisations and individuals. It means opening the way for diversity. It means welcoming plurality.
- His Highness the Aga Khan
Many people in the Basti are unaware of their rights and not familiar with the several government schemes from which they can seek benefits, and are entitled too. The level of understanding of the community related to governance is very limited. Residents tend to oversimplify institutional matters or have a very superficial knowledge of the schemes, rights and services they are entitled for. On the whole, given the complexity of the governance system in Delhi, basti-dwellers are too often clueless on how to approach the authorities: Where to go? Whom to talk to? What procedure to follow?
To address this issue, a resource centre - Rehnumai, was established, which links the community members to the various government entitlements and facilitates in the creation of important documents, and in turn, empower the community. Rehnumai also functions as a node for information on jobs and higher education, and builds capacities with local youth to negotiate and dialogue with governments for improved service delivery
Number of people assisted for various programmes: 7500
The Rehnumai Centre offers assistance in the following schemes:
The Nagarik Nama is a governance handbook which meant for the community of Nizamuddin basti. The objective of this manual is to demystify “the State” and provide residents with practical tools to defend their entitlements. It encompasses diverse topics, ranging from collective rights to individual entitlements. It has been written for the Basti’s residents. The issues tackled, the language, the contacts, the legal advices, the design and the general tone of the manual are all tailored according to the specific socio-cultural context of the basti.
The manual offers a list of entitlements people are often unaware of, it describes how the local authorities work, it explains the official procedures to avail entitlements or to complain, and it offers tips to deal with possible difficulties in the process. This is an attempt to make citizens intellectually better equipped to understand the State. The objective of the manual is to strengthen the presence of the authorities in the basti and make the general governance system more efficient. It also aims at generating confidence and aspirations among its readers and at inciting them to take up a pro-active posture for the improvement of the basti. By filling up knowledge gaps, the Nagarik Nama aims at facilitating linkages between the State and the local community.