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29 Aug-4 Sept 2014

Vol. 4 No. 2  Pages 24  ` 10

RNI No. HARENG/2011/39319, Postal Regn. No. GRG/35/2012-2014

Friday Gurgaon Seminar


{ Abhishek Behl / FG }

write to us at letters@fridaygurgaon


mproved governance, inclusive growth, an accountable system and a clean and green Gurgaon are top of the agenda for the majority of NGOs, Activists and responsible corporates who have come to constitute a fairly enlightened civil society in the Millennium City. In fact the spirit of activism, and the strong interventions undertaken by some responsible individuals and organisations, has provided a fillip to the dream of 'achhe din' for all citizens of Gurgaon. Friday Gurgaon organised a seminar, 'Together We Can' - Partnersin-Progress: Towards making Gurgaon a Model City, last Saturday, to celebrate the activist spirit of the City and bring together various stakeholders - to discuss the way forward. It was also our Third Anniversary celebration day. An important objective was to identify a couple of actionable civic/social outcomes for which action plans could be executed over the next 6 months, through an apt fusion of knowledge and resources. Prabhat Agarwal, founder of Aravalli Scholars, who has been working for a long time on issues related to the people of Sikanderpur Village, asserted that the time had come to ensure

that migrants, and especially workers of all kinds living in the ‘urban’ villages of Gurgaon for years, were ‘recognised’ as locals by the State, and given their civic and social rights (like Aadhar cards, Voter ID cards) and State benefits applicable for the underprivileged. He said that there is a huge population in the City that has been ‘conveniently’ excluded from any official record and therefore governance. “The total number of registered voters in a Gurgaon village is max. 10 to 15 thousand, who are ‘original’ inhabitants, while the people residing there are in multiples of that figure. He wanted the forum to find a way(s) to help these people, who are getting no help from any State institution or ‘scheme’. It was agreed that a letter would be sent to the Deputy Commissioner, asking for these migrants to be given their rights, and that Friday Gurgaon would publish a feature on their status. Harinder Dhingra, senior RTI activist, said that while the migrants are welcome in the City, there was also need to identify the illegal residents (like many who have allegedly come from Bangladesh). He lamented that while hundreds of these migrants had been identified, only a few could be ‘deported’, due to alleged lax police action. The issue of affordable healthcare in Gurgaon, where the cost of medicare is skyrocketing, was tabled with concern.

Participants were asked to comment and agree on: ‘What can we do (together)’? n  For the underprivileged n  For the aam aadmi n  For the youth n  On the road n  As a national/global role model By ourselves and/or by jointly pushing the Administration. To ensure that we leave a wider, deeper and more lasting impact on the City and its residents.

The role of private hospitals, especially those that have been given land at subsidised rates from the government, was also critically analysed by the participants. Odette Katrak, an activist, pointed out that despite assurances by private hospitals, no health facilities are being ac-

corded to the poor and weaker sections in the City, despite the government rule that stipulates ‘10 per cent free beds and free medicine’ for the poor. Katrak asserted that an ambiguity in government rules regarding the domicile of the beneficiaries is being used as an excuse by large private hospitals to avoid helping the marginalised. Harinder Dhingra, who had filed an RTI on this and got an order from the State Information Commission, informed the participants that the order makes it very clear to private hospitals that they need to share information about the patients who have availed their healthcare facilities. “They have to help the poor and needy by providing them free healthcare as stipulated by law,” he said. He would provide a copy of the order to Friday Gurgaon, to inform the public at large. Gauri Sareen, an activist who has formed the Gurgaon Action Plan, revealed that she has presented a holistic healthcare plan

and presented it to the Union Health Minister. If all civic and social forces can come together and join this initiative for the expansion of health services and its affordability, it will help in turning around the situation, she asserted. The issue of housing for the Economically Weaker Sections, and even the lower middle class, which is finding it difficult to find a roof over its head, was also raised. The participants agreed that there is a need to seek written clarity on the policy for the allotment of EWS housing at the level of the district administration, and then demand action accordingly. Ruchika Sethi, who has been working on recycling and a malba-free Gurgaon, said that the citizens needed to adopt a more holistic lifestyle, which would help reduce the waste produced in the City at source. She strongly called for the segregation of waste Contd on p 7 

The Supreme Court asks DLF to deposit Rs 630 crores within 3 months, pending judgement on its appeal against ‘unfair practices’ (in the DLF versus 3 (Gurgaon) flat buyers’ associations case). CCI and COMPAT have already ruled against the Company. The State govt. continues on poll mode/exit mode. It announces:   A pension hike n  Interest waiver for farmers n  Age limit increase for entry into govt. services (40 to 42) n  A power tariff hike is not likely to take place after the polls! n

Friday gurgaon 28 aug 4 sept, 2014 the change you want to see

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