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Make Delhi A ‘City For Kids’: Children From The Slums Write To Their Future CM

Posted on January 23, 2015 in Politics, Society

Dear future Chief Minister of Delhi,

Delhi, the capital of India, is an abode of 738,915 notified slums and 1,046,475 identified slums (as per the 2011 census). These are spaces with adverse living environments, overcrowded housing, unsafe neighbourhoods with high levels of crime, violence, hazardous polluted water, open sewer systems, poor lighting, congested streets and lack of local safe play areas. This is where one third of Delhi’s population i.e. children like us, grow up.

Picture credit: Michał Huniewicz
Picture credit: Michał Huniewicz

The city has built a much lauded underground train network, lustrous shopping malls filled with high-end designer outlets, and have luxury cars on the congested roads. If you say we are the future citizens who would productively contribute to the development of India, then do you think we are being offered the right environment growing up in unhealthy surroundings in the slums? This is definitely not going to propel us to be the most developed nation in the world!

Our Constitution provides equal rights to all to lead a life with dignity. Delhi in its efforts to be a world class city by becoming slum free has forced children like us to become homeless, live on the streets, suffer the extremes of climate, live without sanitation or safe drinking water, and a safe place to sleep in.

We, the children of Humara Bachpan, a national campaign on safe and healthy environment for young children living in urban poverty, call for inclusion of child friendly components in the urban renewable policies like 100 Smart City Initiative of the Government of India and demand that the Chief Minister support and makes provision for making Delhi a ‘City for kids’. We would like the future Chief Minister to commit to the following:

• Include children centric components and standards in Delhi Master plan.
• Have child development index to measure urban development programs.
• Government programs like “Swach Bharat Abhiyan” to be in the best interest of children.
• Increased state government budget allocation and investment on well being of children.
• Opportunity to participate and express our opinion in every phase of planning process for our better living conditions.
• Increase a child’s access to safe water.
• Reduction in open defecation and improvement in sewerage and drainage facilities.
• Well ventilated houses for better indoor air quality, and development of eco-friendly neighbourhood.
• Increase access to safe power.
• Improved provision of garbage collection can prevent child’s vulnerability to diseases.
• Increase safe and child-friendly transportation facilities for children.
• Creation of safe, all weather housing with security of tenure.
• Increased provision for community centres and playgrounds for children.

We need to be part of your planning and vision of making Delhi a world class city, as we understand our issues better.

Yours faithfully,
4000 Child Leaders of Humara Bachpan Child Campaign from slums of Rohini and Narela and Wazirpur, Delhi.