The term “Dharamshala” means a rest house for travelers. Living up to this meaning Dharamshala has humbly offered space and shelter to people from across the country and the world. But did you know that last year the Municipal Corporation of Dharamshala kicked out 290 families (from Maharashtra and Rajasthan) of the Charan Khad Slum settlement here without any rehabilitation?
The reason? Because they were defacating in the open and their settlement was a potential ‘public hazard’ . The MCD completely overlooked that fact that for last 30 years of the slum settlement was not provided any sort of sanitation or basic facilities and neither was it declared an official ‘slum’, which was the duty of the government.
And now the MCD and district authorities in blatant violation of the constitutional and universal human right to life and shelter, are refusing to resettle or rehabilitate the displaced community.
For the last one year, the Charan Khad Basti Punarwas Samiti has been struggling with the demand for rehabilitation. This is a community of rag pickers. They work hard to make ends meet and they clean the city as well.
Marking the one year since the demolition of their homes in Dharamshala, the community has launched the ‘Citymakers for Justice’ campaign with a message that we want Dharamshala to be an inclusive and just city. As a part of this we are carrying out a photo exhibition that narrates the story of the ‘Charan Khad’ community.
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Here is a video of the street photo exhibition that was held at Mcleodganj, Dharamshala on 24th June 2017
In hope and solidarity
Kangra Citizen’s Rights Group