Homes in the City (HIC) Programme

In 2008, a group of citizens working with civil society organizations in the rural hinterland of Bhuj city, reflected on their own participation and contribution as citizens of Bhuj, gave birth to the ‘Homes in the City’ programme. Beginning with volunteering in their own colonies where they lived, and contributed their expertise for the betterment of the city, the initiative has now grown, to hundreds of citizens being given an opportunity to make Bhuj a humane, a happy living place for all.

The program was initiated by the workers of five voluntary organisations, described later, with the following principles:

  1. To push for democratic decentralisation to allow citizens to build communities and have better control over the development and engagement with their immediate neighbours to govern their services, assets, facilities, and future.
  2. To ensure that the interventions are environmentally and ecologically conducive.
  3. To work towards building equity, and therefore prioritise empowering the disadvantaged – poor, women, migrants, socially stigmatized and animals.

Over close to a decade, the programme strategy has been to organise citizens, demonstrate pilots based on the above principles and advocate for institutionalisation and adoption by the state for the city. The program is steered by a committee represented by eminent citizens, NGO representatives, and slum dwellers. The programme offers fellowships to demonstrate pilots and invites civil society organisations to take up advocacy. A biennial seminar called ‘The City Calls’ (Saher Pade Saad) presents on-going efforts and demonstrations under the programme in the city.

HIC program has helped several citizens organise themselves into formal and informal collectives including ward and area committees, Resident Welfare Associations, issue-based collectives like Jalstrot Sneh Samvardhan Samiti on the issue of water, Maldhari Sangathan on the issue of livestock and milk production, a large women’s collective called Sakhi Sangini, a street vendors association and migrants collectives.

The programme has developed and piloted technical solutions in the area of water and waste-water management, housing and solid-waste management and uses IT-based data management and communication technologies to improve access to information and entitlements.

Our Sponsors

The initiating partners and their work in Bhuj city are: