Grievance redressal meeting with community and councilor at Bharathmatha

The Bharathmatha slum community is facing a Basic Problems like drinking water, drainage, sanitation, Ration card, Improper Roads, garbage. The IPH team working in the urban health project decided to conduct grievance redressal meeting, to discuss these issues and find solutions to help the community at KG halli.

The urban health team organized the grievance redressal meeting on 28th 0ctober 2011 in Bharathmatha slum at Grace Centre, with the help of Mr.Chottu Qureshi (husband of councilor Mrs Shaheena Taj).

The meeting started at 12.45pm inviting the guests Mr. Chottu Qureshi, Ms.Bhargavi (Asst Engineer PWD) and Mr.Rayappa (senior health inspector, BBMP), and around 70 community representatives. Urban health team staffs were also present. Similarly Mr. Rayappa and other guests were welcomed. The purpose of this meeting was reiterated to the community. Then we requested participants to share their problems one after the other. Women were encouraged to talk in any language, which they are comfortable with.

Community members raised issues with regard to:

  1. Drinking water
  2. Sanitation
  3. Cement  road
  4. Drainage
  5. Ration card
  6. Widow pensions
  7. Unemployment
  8. Anganawadi
  9. Community Hall
  10. Garbage collection.

Chottu Qureshi listened to all the problems and responded positively. He answered all the problems… He shared the programmes what all he has done, Community also agreed. And taken some time to solve the problems.

Overall our observation about the grievance redressal meeting in BM Slum.

The meeting was supposed to start by 11.30 am. Our team members went to the BM slum to invite the community for the meeting. But community said “we will not wait for the councilor, let him come first, and wait for us, only then we will come”. At last councilor came at 12.45 pm saying sorry for the delay. After hearing councilor’s presence community started coming one by one.

Once the meeting had begun participants started asking questions, which they are facing in their day to day life.  Both team and councilor felt difficult to maintain silence among participants.  Once after they were convinced, the questions poured from them to the councilor. Councilor listened to them patiently.  Even though everyone were asked to raise their voice only a lady called  ‘Banu’ was asking questions continuously , when we interrupted her saying that she must give chance to others to talk, she replied  “ sir  I am talking on behalf of our community;  it is our problems, let me ask all the questions”. Finally she shared all the problems related to the community, and also let others to talk.

I am very happy for this meeting to happen because on one hand majority of them actively participated and they were able to ask questions as well challenge the councilor, on the other hand councilor also able to convince the community by giving a list of services (electricity, water connection, installing taps etc) what he had done so far to the community. Along with sharing service that he has done, he also took some time to provide solution for the other problems.

One of the objectives of the urban health project is to facilitate a process of bringing the community and government officials and elected members together on a platform. So that this type of activity will motivate the community to discuss their problems and grievances directly to the officials and elected members, which will lead to workable solutions jointly. We hope that the councilor will keep up his promise and fulfill the needs of the community at the earliest.

Blog posted by: Munegowda C.M

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