Brief about Janta Mazdoor

Janta Mazdoor colony is situated in Jaffrabad area, near the Welcome Metro Station (East Delhi). This colony is one of the 3 new locations chosen by GFA to expand its activities in 2010.

 

1. History

 

The Janta Mazdoor colony was set up 32 years ago. It’s an unauthorized colony. Initially when people started coming here, they took available land from the local pradhan at rates set by him, even if he was not the owner of the land. Over the years they have started building pucca houses. However, 10% of the population still stays in kutcha houses. The current population of the area is close to 60000 persons (according to the inhabitants interviewed).There is 14 blocks in the area; it’s a mixed religious colony with both Muslim and Hindu residing here. In 1992 there was a riot like situation but since then the colony has remained calm and there have been no communal tension. People mainly arrived from the state of UP, Bihar, Haryana, and Himachal Pradesh.

 

2. Occupation and Income

 

Most of the people in the colony are daily wage earners. They are rickshaw pullers, have their own cart in market, sell vegetables and so on. Stitching is also a major occupation here. Blue-jeans are stitched locally from raw materials provided by dealers outside the colony. Many houses have small stitching units within their house. The average monthly income is Rs 2500-3000.

 

3. Facilities available

(i) Water

Till recently water tankers used to be stationed very far from the colony and filling water was a difficult task. Things have improved slightly, now the tankers come in the morning near the colony. Women and children are mainly the ones who fill water every day. In addition, even if some people have hand-pumps in front of their houses, they are not getting water due to decreasing water levels.

 

(ii) Toilet and sanitation

There are few houses which have toilet facilities and due to lack of proper method of getting it cleaned it has added to woes of people in the colony. The waste from these toilets is cleared on the lanes of colony itself causing a crucial sanitation and health issue. Community toilets are present as well and are used by the inhabitants. At night most people do not go to the toilets because there are no guards and therefore defecate near the colony itself.

The daily garbage is collected from each household and thrown in a dustbin outside if not salable.

 

 

 

(iii) Schooling and education

Children attend the primary schools found nearby the colony. However, the colony witnesses a high dropout phenomenon after class 5.

Some children attend remedial classes set up by various NGOs like Chetnalaya and tuition centers as well.

The crucial problem however is the Anganwadi. The Anganwadis are not found within the colony but in a different locality. The inhabitants have approached the responsible officers and asked them to set up centers within colony without any avail since. Mothers complain that the distance is too far to drop children daily. Moreover the food quality is very poor.

 

(iv) Health

Health issue is the biggest concern of the inhabitants. Only private doctors and clinics are available nearby and therefore their services are costly. Sometimes to access free or less expensive services the patients have to spend money on travel. People also complain that doctors are very rude.

 

(v) Unemployment

Youths who have dropped out of school, most of the time, do not have work. Once in a while they hear about small tasks and work on them but most of the time they are unemployed. There are courses running for girls in GRC but for men there is still no work and training either.

 

(vi) Legal training

There have been legal trainings provided to women members of the Mahila panchayat. Few have also filed RTIs to build their cases but learning from these trainings has not been shared to a wide range of persons and very few are the ones who use it. Amongst other problems, there are still people who do not have ration card or people with wrong information written on their ration card who therefore cannot access government services.

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