02 August, 2021

In a Bangalore slum, the printed word is the voice of the people

In a Bangalore slum, the printed word is the voice of the people
Bangalore’s L.R. Nagar with its slushy mud roads, assortment of stray dogs, goats, chickens and children playing outside looks just like any other slum in the city. But there’s a difference. Among the 1,000-odd slums in Karnataka, this is one with a voice. Slum Jagatthu (Slum world), a monthly magazine, is the voice of the residents of these shanties.

Its editor, 30-year-old Issac Arul Selva, maybe a Class IV drop-out, but his understanding of the problems here and the need for reformative action makes him the right candidate for the job. Besides, he knows this world from the inside. Says Selva, "The public, press, government and even many ngos think of slum-dwellers as an underprivileged class. They don’t realise that we know our needs and want to put them across in our own way. If we need help, we’ll ask. But we should be allowed to speak for ourselves."

Slum Jagatthu was started with the help of a Bangalore-based ngo, Jana Sahayog. The idea was the brainchild of Y.J. Rajendra, its founder. Says Rajendra: "Slum residents have the capacity to highlight their...

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