Rajeev John George

Ashoka Fellow
,
Fellow Since 2004
Deenbandhu Samajik Sanstha
Ashoka commemorates and celebrates the life and work of this deceased Ashoka Fellow.

Citation

This profile was prepared when Rajeev John George was elected to the Ashoka Fellowship in 2004.
The New Idea
Rajeev’s vision is that all urban inhabitants should have their share of urban space and services. But the reality is that millions of India’s poorest inhabitants today have no access to adequate legal housing and are forced to live in slums where they lack basic services and are constantly threatened with eviction. Rajeev believes that before this housing crisis can be solved planners and policymakers must change their apathetic attitudes about the poorest of the poor and become actively engaged in pushing for workable solutions.
To stop government agencies from ignoring the problem, Rajeev is creating a comprehensive inventory of all squatter settlements and confronting these planners with the reality of the situation, forcing them to develop a concrete, workable solution to the housing crisis that meets the needs of the urban poor. Unlike other methods, his approach actively invites the urban poor to participate as partners in the urban planning process for the first time and thereby engage with essential issues concerning their lives. Rajeev is not only focused on the problems of today. Using Geographical Information System (GIS) and other technologies, he works with communities and city planners to optimally use public land for relocations and new settlements, incorporating low income housing into the master plan. His goal is to give the present and future populations of urban poor legal, affordable city housing where they can live with access to jobs and services and without the constant fear of eviction.
The Problem
The Strategy
The Person

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