Gadhia Lohars, an ancient Rajasthani tribe, have been living in Kotla slum for over 40 years. They had been issued voter IDs, ration cards and had been supplied with a water connection. On 12 January 2009, without any notice, their slum dwellings (jhuggis) were demolished overnight as part of a slum clearance policy to ready the city for the 2010 Commonwealth Games.
The slum is next to an underpass in South Delhi with perpetual traffic noise, pollution, sub-standard living conditions and no water supply or sanitation. Dwellings are made of any available material. In parts of the slum there is space for only a single person to pass between the jhuggis.
The programme includes education and nutrition for children, a women’s empowerment programme and legal aid for the community to enable them to receive compensation for being displaced.
The kindergarten and tuition centre for 120 students has brought about a change of mindset in the community and an appreciation of the value of education. The students' mothers requested skills training in order to earn an income.
Circles of Love
The programme aims to alleviate poverty through empowerment.
The women are not educated and have young, malnourished children. As the slum is highly congested, there is no room for equipment such as sewing machines.
Twenty women earn an income through producing fabric beads.
They keep their materials in a large plastic box and use the lid as a clean working space.
Nutritional snacks to address malnutrition are provided.
Living essentials such as clothing and blankets are distributed.
Regular fogging with herbal pesticides for mosquito and pest control is carried out.
Treatment and medicines for the community are provided by medical camps/clinics.