Profile - 2005
January 2005: People's Action facilitated the creation of the Gurgaon Resident's Party [GRP] and organized a ‘primaries' for selection of a candidate. The candidate was ‘elected' by the representatives of various RWAs of the constituency and was later fielded as a candidate in the State elections form the legislative assembly seat for Gurgaon. This process became the first example of a transparent and scientific system of candidate selection in Indian political history that was designed to reject the corrupt practices such as ‘purchasing tickets' or cronyism that have crept into the system.
February 2005: People's Action's attempts to consolidate residents around a clean candidate and generate interest in them to come out and vote resulted in an unprecedented participation of urban voters for the Assembly election on February 3 rd , 2005 in Gurgaon with close to 35% polling in some areas, up from dismal 10% in earlier elections. The GRP candidate came fourth, after the Congress, INLD and BJP candidates but swept the entire New Gurgaon, its core area of influence, beating the winning Congress party in 18 booths in the area.
May 2005: People's Action launched a community newspaper in Gurgaon called The Constituency. This newspaper now connects residents of New Gurgaon with the many RWAs in the area by interacting between each other through its pages. The newspaper is also becoming a vehicle for carrying civil societ y messages into homes of ordinary residents on issues that concern the administration of the city.
July 2005: People's Action was invited by RWA groups and residents of Delhi to plan an intervention in the impending power tariff hike in the face of poor power sector reforms in the city after privatization. People's Action created a body titled Campaign Against Power Tariff Hike [CAPTH] and undertook a state-wide campaign to take the issue to the people. It organised the first ever All-Delhi RWA Convention on 16 th July and secured a mandate to mobilize people of Delhi to refuse to pay the 10% hike that was being imposed on residents of Delhi by the State Government.
August 2005: After over 100 public meetings across Delhi and involving close to 250 Resident Welfare Associations across Delhi over two months of grueling campaigning and mobilization, People's Action recorded a stunning victory for people power and the civil society movement when the Government bowing to the pressure created by the group finally withdrew the power tariff hike on 31st August 2005.
September 2005: Riding on the success of the Power Tariff campaign and with a view to set up a permanent structure that strengthens civil society to take up other such issues, People's Action floats United RWAs Joint Action [URJA] as a consortium of over 500 RWAs across Delhi at a packed second RWA Convention. A structure for the new entity envisages seven zonal chiefs and a cascading committee of representative members in a horizontal format that involves all RWAs of Delhi.
In Gurgaon, People's Action starts a campaign to demand better coordination between building and developmental agencies. The stir transforms into a demand for a Planning Board for Gurgaon as distinct from a Municipal Corporation, which Gurgaon is due to have.
October 2005: People's Action takes up the issue of fast running meters and demands an investigation to establish the truth. A new Satyagraha campaign is launched and a mobilization campaign launched to put pressure on government to examine the conditions under which a private DISCOM supplied these meters. Thanks to the din we created, opposition parties in Delhi took up the issue and built up steam on it.
November 2005: After two months of mobilization, People's Action calls another convention of Residents groups in Gurgaon to press for improved civic management and formalize the demand for the setting up of a Planning Board for Gurgaon. The Convention transforms into an orchestrated protest demonstration on NH-8 to press home the point. A follow-up campaign to spread the message and the demand is undertaken by the group to mobilize RWAs across the city culminating in a meeting with the Chief Minister of Haryana who absorbs the demands and promises action.
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