Geetanjali Gurlhosur was working as a journalist in Mumbai in 2017, when she documented the lives of residents living in the dilapidated buildings across the city. The struggle and helplessness of the families living in these structures stayed with her. Three years later, the short work assignment became the subject of her five-minute documentary, ‘Jarjar Ghar’, which is one of 10-shortlisted films from across the country at the Nagari Film Competition.
The Nagari Film Competition is an annual contest designed to guide and develop films that focus on urban issues specific to Indian cities. The five-minute film has been commissioned by the Charles Correa Foundation.
With a glimpse into the rehabilitation policies of the state of Maharashtra, ‘Jarjar Ghar’ tells multiple stories of people. Each year, the families live in fear of their houses collapsing. Residents of these hundred-year-old structures echo the fear of living in these dilapidated structures.
“We are helpless. What can we do? Redevelopment files are stuck, the landlord is not letting go. From all sides, we are stuck” ask the residents. In south Mumbai, the Maharashtra Housing Area and Development Authority’s (MHADA) repair and reconstruction board has over 14,000 buildings that are a century-old. Every year, MHADA undertakes a structural audit of these structures before monsoon and releases a list of the most dangerous buildings. This year, it had announced 18 buildings as ‘most dangerous’.
The government’s attempt to vacate dilapidated buildings has provided no promising rehabilitation procedures.
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