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Floods >> Extent of Disaster >> Charter of Demands
  Mumbai Flood Relief and Rehabilitation Resource Centre 
in association with Times Foundation

BMC Disaster Control: Phone: 1916 or 108 or 22694725 / 7 or Fax 22694719. Online complaints via
Times Helpline: 56354376 / 45
Karmayog Helpline: 98201-55591 (Upadhyay) 

Below is a Charter of Demands. This is an initial draft of demands specifically related to the Relief efforts for the whole of Maharashtra. This was evolved during a meeting of an advocacy group meeting (5 Aug) formed during the large group meeting at TISS on Tuesday, 2nd Aug. The members present for the meeting are also mentioned in the document.

Please revert with your comments, concerns, suggestions, etc on the draft to Nirmala Jacob ( and to Karmayog.

The Chief Minister

Dear Sir,

We as a Collective have the following demands and recommendations in the light of the Disaster that has struck the State of Maharashtra . We the collective are representing the Rights of all the Marginalized and Vulnerable communities, believing that the State is Primarily responsible for ensuring immediate Relief and Rehabilitation throughout the State, with active community participation, in a transparent and accountable manner. In this Endeavour we as a collective extend our support and cooperation.  

Basic Demands

The following are the basic demands that underlie all aspects of the Relief and Rehabilitation in all the Disaster Affected Areas ofMaharashtra. We as a collective have the following recommendations and demands.

1. The Government of Maharashtra should ensure the Right to Information.
· All information from the Municipal Corporation, State or any Department of the Government with respect to the relief and rehabilitation has to be displayed on a separate website on the internet that is accessible to all in a Transparent manner

· Steps to make accessible every scheme, policy to every citizen and communities should be enabled by ensuring that the process to benefit from the same is clearly articulated. Specifically the department and the Official responsible for the implementation from the state to the Local

Governance level both in Urban and Rural area is clearly mentioned.

· Information to be freely available at the local Administrative level (The Ward levels or Panchayat level). In other words any citizen’s right to seek information should be fulfilled by any official/ representative that he or she happens to approach or clear cut referral points should be

communicated efficiently and without delay.

2. All affected families have to be entitled to Relief and Rehabilitation irrespective of urban and rural, irrespective of whether the settlements are regularized or not, irrespective of the affected family’s the state of origin, including evicted communities, irrespective of the fact that the family resides on rent or not.

3. The Government must streamline the channel of information to NGOs in general. We  therefore recommend

· A single Coordination Committee for NGOs rather than having different levels of interactions and different channels of communication.  

· This coordination committee should have adequate representation from the grass root level People’s organization, alliances rather than the depending on a select few NGOs; to facilitate the communication notices could be publicized in the newspapers

4. The Government needs to enhance the coordination between it’s own different departments that are involved in the Relief and Rehabilitation efforts – especially at the Tehsil level. Similarly the Disaster Management Plan needs to be owned right upto the Tehsil level, where all officials have to be empowered with the decision making and implementing authority.

5. Ensure meaningful participation of community in all decisions and processes regarding Relief and Rehabilitation influencing their lives, undue importance to producing documents has to be done away with to ensure their right Life and Dignity, which is guaranteed by the Constitution.

6. Health Care needs, Compensation, Food Entitlements Have to Reach EACH AND EVERY AFFECTED MARGINALISED AND VULNERABLE COMMUNITY.

We as a Collective would like to state emphatically on the following over and above the recommendations mentioned in the GR - Revenue Dept GR No CSL – 7 -05/ PK 192/ M – 3, dated 31st July 2005, Government of Maharashtra.

Food Entitlements

1. Point 1 of the GR refers to the condition that to access relief either Voting Card or Ration Card has to be produced. Given the situation that vulnerable communities have lost all their  belongings, we demand that this particular condition be waived immediately. In an alternative approach we recommend that People’s Organizations monitor the process of surveys and distribution.

We also refer to the Supreme Court Ruling where the Right to Food has been guaranteed irrespective of producing documents.

2. Point 2 of the GR refers to the distribution of 20 Kilos of Wheat and 10 Litres of Kerosene. We strongly feel that this provision is inadequate to meet the immediate relief of affected families. We instead recommend that a family Kit be provided having the following

a. Wheat & Rice – 50 kgs 
b. Kerosene – 25 litres
c. Sugar and Salt, basic spices
d. Palm Oil
e. Soap
f. Clothing
g. Blankets, bedding, mats
h. Stove
i. Utensils
j. Chlorine Tablets

We demand that the following provisions be of good quality unlike the abysmal quality of grains that are being provided at the moment.  

3. Over and above the provisions of the GR the Government has to ensure that the reliable information about the exact stock of grains and Kerosene available with the Food Corporation of India for purposes of immediate Relief, this information needs to be made Public. 

4. Given the present shortage of Food Grain and Kerosene, immediate steps need to be taken to rectify the situation by procuring the above from the Central Government or other States.

5. Since the access to Food Relief needs to be efficient and accessible to all immediately we demand that the PDS – Ration Shops should be primarily be responsible for the distribution.

6. We understand that according to one directive Community Kitchens by the Government have been stopped, we recommend that they be immediately resumed.

Health, Water and Sanitation

Apart from Point No three mentioned in Rev Dept GR No CSL – 7 -05/ P.K 192/ M – 3, dated 31st July 2005, Government of Maharashtra, we demand the following 

1. Ensure that Health Care Services are free; we demand that user fees at all levels of the health delivery systems( Government Hospitals , Primary Health Centres and Sub Centres and Health Posts ) be waived with immediate effect. Medicines and care has to be provided free of charge.

2. Ensure that the Primary Health Care Centers and Health Posts have sufficient and adequate stocks of medication in constant supply. These centers need to be adequately staffed with medical personnel. Strong Referral systems to be in place across the three tier medical infrastructure.

3. Immediately Activate the Outreach System at the community level to cater to immediate health needs especially with regard to distribution of ORS packets basic medication, chlorine tablets among others. This is to be ensured on a day to day basis.

4. Ensure that in each ward/ village the contact details of doctors and Community Health Workers is made available to each community. To supplement the existing personnel we also propose that additional paramedic and medical teams be formed immediately.

5. Ensure availability access of potable drinking water at all localities.

6. Clear garbage and in all localities immediately, immediately remove carcasses, ensure fumigation and other measures like inoculations are taken to prevent epidemics immediately.  


We also want to highlight the educational needs of the children in the context of the disaster needs to immediately taken care of

1. Cancel all immediate exams 
2. We need an immediate assessment of the damage to schools and assessment of the safety of infrastructure (water logging in schools, safety of buildings etc) 
3. We also demand that the schools should be equipped with proper toilet facilities, clean drinking water etc. 
4. We also demand that government provide children with Books, stationary and school uniforms on an emergency basis.


We are totally against the fact that different wings of the government are producing different formats for data collection for Compensation. Given fact that compensation is critical at this point in time for the marginalized and vulnerable communities, the manner in which data is collected is extremely important, we recommend

1. There should be only one format for collect information from families for ascertaining amount of compensation; we also strongly recommend that as a collective we be part of the process of evolving and implementing the formats. Moreover this format should be put up on one site which will also enable feedback to be incorporated.

2. Clarity is needed on who or which department personnel are responsible for carrying out the survey. Furthermore the community that is going to be surveyed be intimated in advance by reliable channels.

3. With regard to compensation as mentioned in the GR, there is only the mention of a survey. We demand that the measures have to be more comprehensive as it has a direct bearing on the compensation received by the affected communities. We would like to reiterate that we would like to participate in the process so as to ensure that all the affected families receive their  entitlements. Also communities and people’s organization should monitor the process.

4. The Government must also ensure that Loss of Livelihood and means of Livelihood should also be fairly and immediately be compensated. We refer to basically three parts under Livelihood 

i. Loss of earnings
ii. Loss of productive resources (infrastructure, equipment, Livestock, etc.)
iii. Ensure provision of Livelihood options

5. As mentioned before we would like to strongly reiterate that the undue importance to producing Ration Cards or Voters cards as basis of providing compensation has to be completely done away with.

6. We also demand that the Government officials and Concerned Officers have to be available to the people always, we recommend an open system to be put in place when people can freely interact with you and your colleagues at least one a day, every day.

7. As far as possible ensure cash payments as many affected individuals and families will not have bank accounts. When the amounts of compensation are large to merit only a cheque payment we request that the government provide all assistance for opening bank accounts and other facilities to the respective families

8. We strongly urge the Government to ensure community monitoring of distribution of relief, we are prepared for cooperation with the government.    

The memorandum is presented by a collective of the following Alliances, NGOs and Institutes 

1. Bal Hakk Abhiyan (BHA)
2. Campaign for Human Rights (CHR)
3. Katkari Maha Sabha
4. Maharashtra Tribal Forum
5. National Alliance of People’s Movements (NAPM)
6. National Domestic Workers Movement (NDWM)
7. National Alliance for the Right to Education and Equity (NAFRE)
8. Nirman Mazdoor Sangh
9. Ration Kriti Samiti (RKS)
10. Shehar Vikas Manch
11. Shramik Mukti Andolan
12. Quality Institutional Care and Alternatives for Children (QIC & AC)
13. Action Aid
14. Apnalaya
15. Bal Praffulta
16. BUILD ( Bombay Urban Industrial League for Development) 
17. Child Relief and You (CRY)
18. Community Resource Centre (Jogeshwari)
19. India Centre for Human Rights and Law (ICHRL) 
20. Jaag
21. Salah
22. Youth for Unity and Voluntary Action (YUVA)
23. Nirmala Niketan 
24. Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS)

CC to

1. To The Minister of Relief and Rehabilitation Government of Maharashtra
2. To The Chief Secretary, Relief and Rehabilitation, Government of Maharashtra
3. To Secretary, Officer on Special Duty, Government of Maharashtra

Sr. No.  Name   Organisation Email  Contact Region
1 Vitthal Lad Jaag   24588723 Ratnagiri & Sindhudurg


 Kamini Kapadia

 Action Aid 

 23436070 / 9820016252



 Sumita Kulkarni





 Minu Jose





 Sudhir Sudhal

CRY    Mumbai


 Leena Joshi


 25506110 / 30918248



 Annabel Mehta


 9892944449 / 24949752



 Nirmala Jacob





 Sonal Surange





 Mario Remedios


 9820118886 / 23780903



 Abhilash Chandran





 Bijoy Davis





 Madhukant Pathariya




14 Phoebe Simon YUVA 9819060735 Mumbai/Thane
15 Santosh Shinde Bal Praffulta   9869030382 Mumbai
16 Raju Bhise YUVA     Mumbai


 Pravin Ghay





August 10, 2005

Please revert with your comments, concerns, suggestions, etc on the draft to Nirmala Jacob and to Karmayog.

Feedback 1: 

Nirmala Jacob: 
A number of irregularities have been witnessed by the Victims in distributions of relief by the Government officers, the relief is more in paper then particularly implemented and therefore community monitoring of distribution of relief should be included and also verification of distribution should be done at present.
Pervez (

A Charter of Demands Was Presented To Mr. S. V. Vatsa – Secretary Relief and Rehabilitation –Mantralaya on 21st August 2005.  

1.                  Hold panchanama to cover the flood affected families. The cut off date of August 31 should be extended since adequate relief has not been reached in the affected areas where Panchanamas has not been completed. The administration should not limit the cut off date of August 31st for the rural areas.

2.                  The administration has taken assistance of NGOs in Mumbai, however this is not so in the rural sector. There is an urgent need to bring about co-ordination of relief efforts at the district and tahsil level. Co-ordination should incorporate the NGOs in the relief effort.

3.                  The panchanamas already conducted by the administration should be approved by the gramsabhas.

4.                  Crop and land has been damaged on the very big scale of which has gone unreported so far. The agricultural assessment tax should be immediately commuted and zilla parishads and gram sabhas should adopt resolution to that effect.

5.                  The cattle camps should be opened immediately and should be run for next three months. They should be supplied adequate fodder and medicines. Those who have lost their cattle be immediately compensated.

6.                  The entire flood affected should be supplied food grain under the Antyodaya Scheme. The scheme should run for a year.

7.                  Those who are affected because of the landslides should be rehabilitated.

8.                  Under the EGS the land labourers, landless labourers and small holders should be guaranteed employment for 200 days.

9.                  Large numbers of Gairandharak, Dali and encroachers living in temporary shelters and farms have gone unrecorded and should be covered under the panchanama.

10.              The flood-affected people who have lost their houses should be compensated upto Rs.28000/- under the Indira Awas Yojana.

11.              The flood affected who have lost their instruments; boats, nets and seeds for which they make their livelihood should be adequately compensated.

12.              Similarly, labourers, landless labourers, small holders and landless who have been rendered destitute due to loss of their instruments should be declared flood affected and compensated adequately.

13.              The areas like Mumbra are exposed to great health hazards due to the filth all around be declared as calamity affected and the necessary relief measures be provided immediately.

14.              The military be summoned to reach relief to the remote areas where it has not yet reached.

The signatories are:  

  1. Ravi Desai ( Western Maharashtra ), Samvad
  2. Madhukant Pathariya, Salah
  3. Cristopher Brian, Bal Hakka Abhiyan
  4. Chandana Shetye – CEHAT
  6. Rita D – People’s Rights Education
  7. Lysa John – YUVA
  8. S Javed – Citizens of Mumbra
  9. Mohan Surve – Vikas Sahyog Pratishthan
  10. Vijay Valanju – RSCD, Mahila Rajsatta Andolan

Demands for Rural Relief Measures Presented to Shri Vatsa (pdf file)