It has come to my notice that there is an unrecognised settlement of nomadic and poor community of people approximately 55 families who have lived in shanties opposite the Sabarmati Ashram, near the water tower. Living there for three decades or more.
On 20th they we’re issued oral orders to vacate their dwellings without assurances of alternative accommodation or resettlement from the Collectors office and the Mamlatdar Sabarmati’s office and threatened that their shanties would be bulldozed.
This is part of the Sabarmati Ashram Redevelopment plan being implemented by the Gujarat Government at the behest of the PMO. Saving and safeguarding the rights to shelter of these poor people is more important than saving the Sabarmati Ashram.
This is my appeal to friends in the media to raise the issue and to activists, especially those in Ahmedabad to act to protect these people and their rights. It is absolutely ungandhian to use the excuse of redeveloping Bapu’s Ashram by displacing the poor and rendering them shelter less.
Bapu had dreamt of a country existing to protect the rights of the Daridranarayan, he would have vehemently opposed adding to the misery of the poorest of poor and weakest of weak in his name.