Report by Odisha Diary bureau, Berhampur: Berhampur Children’s Federation organised 24th Meeting here at conference hall, ecos eye hospital, Berhampur and discussed the situation of housing in slums in the city. More than 150 children participated from 30 slums in Berhmapur, and discussed their living conditions particularly on housing situation in Berhampur.
Child leaders recently visited and audited the child friendliness of the ongoing construction of Rajiv Awas Yojana housing scheme. Children found in these housing projects there is hardly any child friendly components in the design and construction. Last year Berhampur Municipal Corporation both Mayor and Commissioner have promised children to incorporate child friendly components but in the construction it has not been reflected said Smruti Kumari, child leader from Raghupati Nagar. Twenty children visited Rajiv Awas Yojana project in Amabapua and informed these problems to their local ward corporator.
Among the most concerned aspects are improper ventilation to the houses, no provision for ventilation to the kitchen, no space for children’s reading and playing for young children inside the room, the total size of the houses remains 150 to 200 square feet which is very less to live and keep space for basic amenities inside the house. And the construction of these houses is going in very slow pace and there are no provisions for transit houses during construction. Finally children also presented and discussed the child friendly components in Rajiv Awas Yojana and present a memorandum to the Slum Improvement Officer and Commissioner of Berhampur Municipal Corporation.
More than 30,000 houses damaged during the last cyclone in 2013 and 2014 and the central and state government have promised to provide all slums dwellers with housing and basic amenities on the other hand the World Bank also financing through the ‘Odisha Disaster Recovery Project’ to provide disaster resilient basic infrastructure to the slum dwellers. But unfortunately these projects are going in very slow pace despite central governments notice for its immediate completion.
Youth for Social Development (YSD) has been working with more than 3000 children in 40 slums to improve the living condition of children living in urban poverty since 2012. In the meeting child leaders Sruti Kumari Sahu from Raghupati Nagar, Subhasree Behera of Raghupati Nagar, Amit Das of Gaudabandha Street, K. Dipu of Telegu Street, Usha Nayak of Jagabandhu Street and Arjuna Das of Old Khodasingi participated and conducted the meeting.