Cities

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ICT for knowledge sharing and healthcare

Delhi, 20 January 2015 — Millions of stories loom on the fringe of India's surging technological boom. This article examines two technological innovations that have permeated this fringe and touched the lives of the urban poor in Delhi — eNRICH and Mother and Child Tracking System. See more.

Financial Inclusion = Participation + Access

Delhi, 2 December 2014 — There are many pieces to the financial inclusion puzzle. This article discusses financial education and relevant awareness as one of the critical pieces. Case studies from Delhi including Sanchayan and SEWA pinpoint enabling participation through literacy as the roadmap that goes beyond access to ensure optimized use of financial tools. See more.

A life of dignity through land reforms

Delhi, 18 November 2014 — With mega infrastructure projects including the 1,483 km-long Delhi Mumbai Industrial Corridor and numerous Special Economic Zones, Delhi is facing rising contention over land. The judgments so far have been regressive and hardly understood or practiced with respect to those affected by them. This article discusses a need for a land policy developed within the overall framework of human rights. See more.

What can Delhi's public transport goods achieve for the poor?

Delhi, 7 October 2014 — The rapidly rising population and the concomitant growing demand for transport, including transport to work, have left millions of people in Delhi Region with poor access to basic social and economic services. This article discusses the case of E-Rickshaw and the Rickshaw Bank, describing the two departures that Delhi needs to make to reconsider the traditional questions about mobility and access. See more.

Self-organized communities and development practices

Delhi, 2 September 2014 — Can development practices centered on collaborative community become mainstream in Delhi? This article discusses three case studies on community-centered development work and makes a case for legitimacy at ground level through the enactment of 74th Amendment and Local Area Plans in Delhi. See more.

Women's safety in a culture of impunity and gender policing

Delhi, 15 August 2014 — How might one tackle the issue of gender discrimination and violence in an impunitive context? The article talks about a whole panoply of things that need to change in Delhi to create a safe city for women. See more.

The illusion of urban renewal and the magicians' ghetto

Delhi, 20 July 2014 — Is 'unlocking the value of land' — ​the ​rationale behind urban renewal schemes — an illusion in itself? The elite urbanists who want to render the spatial morphology of Delhi with the appearance of progress are struggling in the face of opposition from residents of urban renewal sites such as Kathputli Colony. See more.

The story of a river turned sewer

In Indic mythology, there once was a time when cowherds had shunned the water in the bend of the holy River Yamuna near Vrindaban. The water had become lethal due to the poison spat out each day by a dreaded, multi-hooded snake called Kaliyā. One day Krisha, an incarnation of divine god Vishnu, danced on the hood of Kaliyā. The dance subdued the serpent and it left for the ocean on the command of Krishna. Today, another "Kaliyā" treads the water of the River Yamuna. The lack of political will and concern on the part of the civilian population has made the water lethal and shriveled the river's ecosystem. Read more or discuss.

The right way to approach microfinance

As the world's largest democracy strives to give 1.2 billion Indians a stake in its economy, the top obstacle that stands in the path is giving 41 percent of the adult population access to basic formal financial services. Extending microfinance and credit seemed like a miracle delivering millions out of poverty. But over the last few years, the industry has been overshadowed by a series of scandals and a resultant polarized debate. In India the advent of microfinance was more in the South, catering to the rural population. By the 1990s the sector with the recovery rate of 99.5 percent spread to other parts of the country and started serving the urban poor. Today microfinance operates through two main channels: Self Help Group — Bank Linkage Programme (SBPL) and Micro Finance Institutions (MFIs). Read more or discuss.

Four questions for the year 2014

For those of us living in Delhi today, let's start our look at 2014 by admitting that we're lucky. We don't live in the city we lived in two years ago, where our political choices were so limited and our collective conscience was in a state of sleepy inertia. But all of this aside, we still have a problem: water scarcity through corruption, slum rehabilitation, and sexual assaults affect the citizens of Delhi across class, caste, and gender boundaries. Read more or discuss.