Pratima Joshi

Ashoka Fellow
Fellow Since 2006


This profile was prepared when Pratima Joshi was elected to the Ashoka Fellowship in 2006.
The New Idea
Pratima is working for the recognition of slum dwellers as legitimate city residents with rights to basic public services. An architect, Pratima is using her expertise to encourage urban planners and officials to address the lack of attention paid to slums in city development plans. By mobilizing slum youth to collect data and using GIS technology, Pratima is systematically generating and analyzing essential information on slum demographics. With GIS, Pratima has created a spatially-organized slum database that is critical to effective urban planning and the development of public infrastructure servicing the slums. She is using this information to advocate for the poor and put pressure on public officials to for example, resettle slum communities living within flood-prone areas to safer locations. She is also facilitating the effective use of the data by local governments to negotiate budgets from the national government, coordinate city development plans, and design utilities that are truly beneficial to slum inhabitants. Importantly, Pratima is using concrete data to dissipate negative stereotypes of slum dwellers and create awareness about them as vibrant members of the community.  
The Problem
The Strategy
The Person

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