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City-Makers, The: How Women are Building a Sustainable Future for Urban India
Renana Jhabvala
Bijal Brahmbhatt
Classification : Social Sciences
Pub Date : Sep 25, 2020
Imprint : HACHETTE INDIA
Page Extent : 208
Binding : PB
ISBN : 9789389253733
Price : 399

About the book

'We are from different settlements but we belong to one city.' - Rekha, Vikasini from Ahmedabad

Living on the margins of India's urban sprawls, the poor women of the nation's slums bear the manifold burdens of housework, childcare and earning a livelihood. The Mahila Housing SEWA Trust (MHT) was established in 1994 with the aim of mobilizing and empowering these urban poor women, and supporting their access to adequate housing. Twenty-five years on, the MHT has changed the lives of over 1.7 million individuals, reaching more than 330,000 households and skilling over 17,000 women.

The City-Makers tells the story of this incredible journey - a journey of transformation that has the potential to one day change the cities in which we live. The accounts of the innumerable courageous women workers who have taken steps - individually and collectively - to bring about change at the personal and community levels speak of the struggles, the sense of solidarity and the triumph they experience as they build their homes with their own hands; bargain with government and private agencies for access to water, sanitation, affordable energy and land rights; find solutions to make their homes climate-resilient; and participate in city-level planning and decision-making processes.

Together, the success stories of Meena, Mumtaz, Parul, and others like them, reflect the central message of the MHT's mission: that women living in urban informal settlements must be taken along if India wishes to make its cities participatory, inclusive and sustainable.


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Renana Jhabvala
Renana Jhabvala has been active for over four decades in organizing women in the informal economy in India and South Asia into trade unions, cooperatives and financial institutions, and has adv...(+)
Bijal Brahmbhatt
Bijal Brahmbhatt is director, Mahila Housing SEWA Trust (since 2009), overseeing MHT's operations across eight states and 36 cities in India. A civil engineer by education, she moved to the soc...(+)