Resident welfare association
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A Resident Welfare Association (frequently abbreviated as RWA) is a civic body that represents the interests of the citizens of a specific urban or suburban locality in Indian cities. Membership is voluntary, and the leadership is usually elected by fee-paying members. RWAs are not official organs of government, and even slums and illegal housing localities in India evolve RWAs to represent citizen interests. However, government programs aimed at involving RWAs in governance decisions, such as Delhi's Bhagidari Scheme, include only RWAs based in planned neighborhoods. RWAs have become increasingly involved in municipal politics and decision-making since the early 2000s and continue to grow in importance. Resident Welfare Associations are the finest expression of urban civil society consensus, an answer to many urban social problems, a tool for community-building and for self-management and direct democracy. Let us forge a new mechanism for social transformation and local development.
Political intermediation in the urban local bodies does not seem to be adequate and effective. Our decentralised self-governance approach, without peoples’ participation and self-management has not yielded the expected results in terms of development and quality of life. Hence, there is a need for creating necessary new mechanisms for self-management by the communities themselves in the urban areas.
- Usha Jumani (2006), Empowering Society: An Analysis of Business, Government and Social Development Approaches to Empowerment, Foundation Books, ISBN 81-7596-317-4, "Snippet: ... In this programme the Delhi government enters into a partnership with interested Resident Welfare Associations (RWA) in housing colonies to solve urban infrastructure related problems ..."
- Rakshat Hooja (2006-07-21), Survey of 5 RWAs in Delhi, retrieved 2008-11-12, "Snippet: ... This is 22 year old RWA where membership charges are Rs 800 per annum. Members of the RWA among the sample – 100%. Percentage satisfied with the civic amenities in the colony/residential area – 100%. Percentage satisfied with the electric supply in the colony/residential area– 87.5%. Percentage satisfied with the water supply in the colony/residential area – 100%. Percentage satisfied with security in the colony/residential area – 42.8%. Percentage that vote in the RWA elections – 100% ..."
- "Maken meets RWA officials of illegal colonies", The Hindu, 2007-08-20, retrieved 2008-11-12, "Snippet: ... Union Urban Development Minister Ajay Maken has said that the development of unauthorised colonies was a vital step in Delhi’s quest of being viewed as a global city. Addressing a gathering of residents’ welfare association functionaries from the 1500-odd unauthorised colonies in the city here on Sunday, Mr. Maken said unauthorised colonies were a “part and parcel of the economic growth of the region”. ..."
- D. Asher Ghertner (2011), "Gentrifying the State, Gentrifying Participation: Elite Governance Programs in Delhi", International Journal of Urban and Regional Research 35(3): 504-532, retrieved 2012-11-1, "Snippet: ... The Bhagidari Cell quickly defined three primary ‘stakeholders’ considered worthy Bhagidars [participants]: market/trader and industrial associations, bureaucrats across the municipal, state and central government departments operating in Delhi, and Resident Welfare Associations (RWAs) based in DDA-approved residential colonies, membership of which is open only to property owners. This meant that residents of slums and unauthorized colonies (as well as renters across the city) were excluded from this ‘citizen–government partnership’... From the beginning, then, Bhagidari was designed as an instrument to incorporate the voices of private property owners into urban governance..."
- Stephanie Lama-Rewal (2007), "Neighbourhood Associations and Local Democracy: Delhi Municipal Elections 2007", Economic and Political Weekly XLII, retrieved 2013-01-12, "Snippet: Democratisation of local bodies has been hindered because of the nature of neighbourhood associations. However, neighbourhood associations are themselves being democratised and are therefore bound to strengthen local democracy... "
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