The Kumbharwada Potters’ Initiative

 

Kumbharwada is a Mumbai slum, situated in Dharavi area which is the largest slum in Asia Pacific. This particular slum is inhabited by Gujarati potters. These artisans have nurtured a sense of social cohesion, rooted in their shared livelihoods, as a way of increasing their resilience to risk.

 

The success factor behind their resiliency is not that they are wealthier than other families. In fact wealthier neighbourhoods are far less proactive in mitigating the risks they face. For Kumbharwada’s potters, risk mitigation has become an integral part of their livelihoods, because hazard mitigation measures were identified as the optimal use of resources to protect and enhance their livelihood.

 

They have in them the community cohesion required to make it happen, based on their shared source of their livelihood.

 

To protect themselves from financial insecurities, families have set up a community “chit fund” and a “rotating loan”, without any external support. These funds support families in times of financial needs.

 

With such closely knit communities, post disaster resilience factor would be of a very high order, since self-help and mutual caring is the guiding principle of their life.

 

After considerable introspection and interaction with the community stakeholders comprising of Community Based Organizations (CBOs), Advance Locality Management groups (ALMs), NGOs and various government agencies involved with disaster management, a decision was taken collectively, that it was imperative for us as a community in the city of Mumbai, to assess ourselves in terms of the Community Resiliency factor and understand the Indicators.

 

 

This article contains an excerpt from the book on Community Resiliency Indicator (CRI) published by the Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai (MCGM).

 

To know more about Community Resiliency Indicator (CRI), click here.

 

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