Dear India, to be Better, Everyone Must Have a Right to Housing
Anish Anbarasan from Mumbai shares how India can start afresh.
(On the occasion of Republic Day, The Quint relaunches its campaign ‘Letter to India – Ek Naya Start’ and invites readers to send in suggestions to rebuild India after a tough 2020.
Anish Anbarasan from Mumbai shares how India can start afresh. The views expressed are his own. The Quint neither endorses, nor is responsible for them.)
The pandemic forced all of us into our homes. The nationwide lockdown did not affect me, it instead reminded me of little comforts, like working at home in my underpants, while having several cups of tea. However, the people I have grown up around suffered.
When people hear of Dharavi, they think of it to be a place full of shanties, but let me tell you, Mumbai has more places as such. My story is from one of those places which falls between Borivali and Kandivali. I am writing like this as a gully boy who is not a rapper, but an ordinary person who heard heart-wrenching stories from his people.
When a nation-wide lockdown was announced, many from my area lost their jobs. This actually highlighted the distorted ratio of the educated to the uneducated. Those educated had the privilege of working from home, while others who worked as drivers, tailors or other daily wage jobs suffered a lot.
Moreover, social distancing was the norm to be followed and that’s when rapper Divine released his song, the lyrics of which follow: ‘Social Distancing kaise karein, jab ghar mae kamra nahi hai’ (how to practice social distancing when we don’t have space in our homes?). That spoke volumes! We still have to stand in a line to use a bathroom used by many. The suffering is real and I wonder if those in power can put themselves in our shoes?
The Slum Rehabilitation Authority, Mumbai has a mission of providing housing to slum dwellers. Several from my area were rehabilitated, got a good education, began to earn well and eventually left the chawl. Yet, for people who live an ordinary life and earn minimally, having their own house is still a dream. The question is, when will their dreams be realised?
Our country is known for so many things but what if was known to be a place in which everyone has a space to live? A place where members of the family can isolate themselves and follow the principle of social distancing? That is the better India I want to live in.
Dear India, our democracy strongly believes in equality. I hope that in the coming years, everyone gets an equal opportunity to live and have roof over their heads.
Subscribe To Our Daily Newsletter And Get News Delivered Straight To Your Inbox.