- In the city of Bhuj in western Gujarat, residents' collectives are coming up with their own plans to manage waste and drinking water, which they take to government officials for funding.
Borewells have depleted Bhuj's groundwater, resulting in alternating water shortages and flooding. In contrast, these resident-led projects are sustainable; they are bringing back the city's traditional system of recharge wells to replenish groundwater, cleaning up polluted lakes, and harvesting rainwater at all schools and colleges.
The collectives are coordinated by Homes in the City, an NGO that has been working with slum-dwellers in Bhuj for the last decade. "Before, citizens were limited to voting for elected officials and thinking that they will take decisions about the city," says Aseem Mishra, program director for Homes in the City. "We are trying to change citizens' mentality that you are part and parcel of city development."