Profile - 2007
January 2007: People's Action organises the first public meeting under the aegis of NDPA on 9 th January. Residents and political party leaders met face to face to discuss vexatious issues and the issue of municipal elections and the role of RWAs in the coming elections. On 23 rd January, People's Action organizes the first ever Political Convention of RWAs to determine the extent and role of RWAs in the coming municipal elections. A decision to involve residents in candidate selection is passed by consensus and a methodology is laid out at the Convention.
People's Action initiates the first protest against the construction of Commonwealth Games Village on the Yamuna river bed. URJA members from different parts of the city reach the Yamuna river-bad and organize a Havan [Fire ceremony] with a priest in attendance to signify the beginning of their campaign against land grabbing in the river bed.
February 2007: People's Action starts a campaign to enhance voter involvement in the Municipal Elections. To energise middle class interest in civic polls, People's Action draws up a template for RWAs to mobilize residents through an engaging procedure for identifying deserving, honest, clean and capable candidates from within their communities.
Consolidation of RWAs along wards is undertaken and People's Action oversees formation of Ward Committees in various wards where the candidate selection process starts. Eight independent candidates are thrown up in this process. People's Action urges political parties to own these candidates and give them tickets to fight elections.
March 2007: In colonies where RWAs are not organised, People's Action starts a new campaign called “Janata ka Ummeedwar” or “People's Candidate” and executes similar strategy to identify prospective candidates. Delhi 's largest Hindi newspaper, Punjab Kesri comes on board as a partner in the campaign. 13 candidates are identified and join the municipal elections fray.
April 2007: Over 350 RWAs across the city participated in the candidate election exercise and 21 candidates finally remained in the fray for election. People's Action calls an URJA Convention to discuss post-election strategies and lessons learnt. Many of ths candidates took third place behind the giant national parties Congress and the BJP. One candidate notched up over 10% of the vote. Results of elections are analysed at the convention and a new thinking emerges that justifies greater involvement of residents in municipal elections. Convention also throws up the first ever demand for the creation of Resident Ward Committees which will be recognized by the Municipal body. Also, for the fist time, a demand to split the Municipal Corporation of Delhi into 7 segments to correspond with Lok Sabha Constituencies is raised at the Convention of RWAs.
July 2007: A split between RWAs is averted over the issue of taking the Metro underground in South Delhi areas. People's Action rallies all RWAs to support the demand but cautions on making the issue a South Delhi centric issue. The campaign lost ground after an activist led group from Greater Kailash files petition in the Court seeking relief only for GK residents. RWAs from across the city raise a similar demand and neutralize the campaign ensuring status quo to the detriment of environmental groups fighting to see the metro go underground all through its route in the city.
People's Action organizes the first protest against Blueline bus deaths in the city with a candle light vigil at the Jantar Mantar. Over 100 people die every year due to Blueline mishaps, but the Government refused to phase these buses out due to political reasons. The protest raised awareness on the issue and URJA RWA members participated in good strength.
October 2007: After a shocking Blueline bus accident which killed 8 people in one incident, People's Action organises victims under an Association of Blueline Victims. A half day protest outside the CM's residence culminated in this group action designed to protect the rights of poor people whose families lost earning members.
November 2007: The much touted High Capacity Bus System [HCBS] creates a mess for traffic and all hell breaks loose. People's Action takes lead in pointing out serious deficiencies in the plan which as it turns out was attempted without carrying out full due diligence.
People's Action takes assistance of its legal associates and the Association of Blueline Victims go to Court claiming compensation for victims' families.
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