Noted Dutch sociologist Jan Breman Tuesday highlighted the plight of slum-dwellers displaced from the Sabarmati Riverfront in Ahmedabad and said that integration has not been inclusive in Gujarat.
Speaking at the half-day workshop on “Globalisation and Marginalisation” held at the Indian Institute of Technology, Gandhinagar, Jan Breman, Professor Emeritus at the University of Amsterdam, said that while that the character of Ahmedabad was that of a middle-class city, all traces of the working class were hardly visible here. On marginalisation, Breman pointed out that the slum-dwellers who have been relocated from the riverfront to places like Ganeshnagar in Piplaj village and Vatva had more opportunities to earn when they were near their work places. Now, they had to shell out Rs 50 daily to commute between the riverbank and their new settlement to eke out a living.
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Breman said that many now resided in two-room flats that were of inferior quality and faced water and sanitation issues.
The Dutch sociologist, who has penned the book The Making and Unmaking of an Industrial Working Class: Sliding Down the Labour Hierarchy in Ahmedabad, India, also criticised the government for withholding a report on nutrition of children conducted by UNICEF and the Centre, owing to alleged poor performance of Gujarat. “It is a criminal offense to not implement food security act, as inclusion should be for all,” Breman said.
Pointing out gaps in social sector in the state, Indira Hirway, Director at Centre for Development Alternatives, Ahmedabad said that there was no adequate fund allocation in Gujarat’s budget for health and education sector.