CARING FOR CITIES
INHAF plans promoting Caring for City(C4C) –initiative in the places where the need is felt and individuals and agencies are prepared to assume responsibility.
The first such initiative is being launched in Pune by the concerned citizens. The idea is in circulation in Ahmedabad also. The main work of the proposed C4C is to watch, study, analyse and debate development of the city in form of plans, projects, policies, institutions, investments and other administrative and development actions systematically, in a studied and professional like manner, in order to engage with the authors/initiators of development action in ‘public interest’. Assessing development action—both short term and long term, both public and private-- for its larger public good through studies and dialogue, presenting the findings to the concerned people and agencies, and working for the required change at the required level in the required form is the principal task of C4C.C4C is in recognition of the fact that the cities are getting increasingly complex to plan, manage, govern and develop. A large number of complex forces and often contrasting influences work on every development decision. The mission of C4C is to work for better development and contribute creatively to making development more inclusive, equitable, environment sensitive, resource conserving, participatory and people-centred. Its effort is meant to be value adding. Watching development with a critical eye, arguing the case for the voiceless, environment and future, presenting an alternative perspective and development vision, working to counter ill effects of the vested interests and pressure lobbies, and listening to the people on the streets and bringing their voice to the decision making forums is the work of C4C. C4C is meant to make development relevant, richer, and participatory and people centric. And it is not only the big development, city scale and high-level professionals. C4C is equally relevant and needed at a smaller scale, at the Mohalla level, for the local development plans and issues, and by the ordinary citizens.
The idea is to engage the citizens in their Mohalla, street and city; be concerned about what happens and how; feel confident to express their concerns, views and suggestions, and view themselves empowered to see a need for the change and contribute to that happening. C4C is about citizens thinking about and caring for their city, being proud of it, being knowledgeable of its systems and procedures and getting themselves organized to define problems and find solutions together. C4C is about heritage preservation as much as clean water in a slum. It is about caring citizens and active citizenship.C4C Pune initiative aims to provide a platform to the general public to express opinion, voice concerns, share perceptions and convey gratitude towards the city. It is meant to generate awareness about local issues, create a dialogue among the residents, consolidate their voices and in the process contribute meaningfully to the city’s journey. The initiative draws its strength from partnerships with local associations both, formal and informal, as well as students and community volunteers. Tools of mass media including social networking are to be used to reach out to the communities.