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Of Manish Sisodia, transportation policy and Delhi’s smart city conundrum: A report from CONNECT Karo 2015


Sharing my post on the CPR India Urban Blog this morning.

Originally posted on cprurban:

By Mukta Naik

The Stein Auditorium at India Habitat Centre is half empty and it’s the hour in which conference goers are eager for lunch to be served. We are attending the CONNECTKaro 2015, an annual and global event on sustainable transport and urban development organised by EMBARQ and WRI India. An esteemed Brazilian politician is speaking about his city’s sustainable transport strategies. The audience is politely bored. He finishes and there is some scattered applause and he leaves the stage.

At that moment, something changes in the air. The hall is full in a matter of minutes, lunch is forgotten and Amit Bhatt from EMBARQ is introducing Delhi’s Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia to speak on his vision for Delhi. Mr Sisodia addresses the audience in Hindi, picking up issues important for urban development (a portfolio he currently holds, among many) and specifically for transportation which is the theme of the event…

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When I was doing my masters in the US, we read about discrimination through property rights. ‘Redlining’ to keep blacks out of white neighborhoods was practices in American cities and it continuous insidiously. This post highlights the same in the context of religion and Gujarat. Gheto-ization is not always a choice. And the right to move to better shelter is violated blatantly because of social injunctions of caste and religion. What then is the motivation for a person in the discriminated minority to move ahead in life?

Originally posted on Kafila:


It was 2002. The week before I left for India, my father invited his Gujarati Hindu colleague Rupa Aunty for dinner at our house in California. When I was a kid, I tied the rakhi brotherhood bracelet on her son. When my mom was diagnosed with cancer, Rupa Aunty was the first to spend the night with us at the hospital.

“If you need anything at all,” she told me just before I left for India, “my family is from Ahmedabad and we will be there for you.”

I grew up in California mispronouncing names of Gujarati dishes like thepla and my trip to Ahmedabad in 2002 was the first time anyone in my family had returned since my grandparents left Gujarat for Tanzania in the 1920s. This – my father kept reminding me – was my trip “home”.

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Really honest post by a colleague and friend. How do we work towards a city, country, world where women can simply be regular citizens? How do we fight the paranoia inside us? Do read…

Originally posted on teachmehowtodelhi:

Amidst the deluge of news that is covering Delhi’s, and more broadly India’s, moral decline, gender discrepancy, and ineffective governance, I thought I should write about how the incidents over the past few weeks have affected my life as a single woman living in what is now considered one of the least safe cities for females. To be fair, Delhi was considered unsafe before the tragic rape of December 16th, and that incident was, for a variety of reasons, the one among countless others that caught the attention of the media and public at large. Perhaps it was the unusual cruelty, the previous “safer” image of South Delhi (where the incident occurred, and where I live), or simply the straw that broke the camel’s back, but occurrences like that are sadly common even though they are chronically under reported. For me personally, however, the events on and after…

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I gulped down many sobs too as I read this superb post by Prasheila. These are lessons we MUST teach ourselves and our children….

Originally posted on the adventures of a pseudo mom:

Dear Anahita,

A lot has happened in the last almost four months that I haven’t posted at this blog. You have grown more teeth, you have turned a year old, you recognise people other than your mom, you communicate in your own way, you can recognise me from a photo (:-D), and you have started walking (yay!).

A lot has been happening around the world too. A lot has been happening in our family too. I am writing to tell you about some lessons learnt.

Today was a hard day. I was sitting with a designer finalising my business cards, when I got a call from your grandmother. Her voice cracked and I knew she was sobbing when she told me that her sister (your mausi-daadi) is extremely unwell. She didn’t need to say more. I immediately left for home.

The drive wasn’t easy. My mind went back to…

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An enormous effort is needed to address poverty; without that effort economic development is meaningless and impossible methinks!

Originally posted on Vincent Desrus's Blog:

– 1.3 billion people live with less than 1 dollar per day.

–  South Asia has 45% poor, 40% in Africa.

–  The current consumption of an average African household is down 20% over the last twenty-five years.

–  20% of the poorest share 1.1% of global income.

–  In more than half of the cities in developing countries, more than 40% of the population lives in slums.

–  Nearly 12 million children die each year in the developing world from preventable diseases.

– Development aid represents only 0.19% of the GDP of the G7 countries, instead of the 0.7% target adopted by the UN.

– With 16.5% of the poor, the United States accumulate the highest world per capita income and the highest poverty rate in the industrialized countries.

– The European Union has at least 57 million poor people (11.8% of the population in France, 15% in UK…

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