Roundtable of Community-based Experts

In the last 20 years, Hyderabad and most other “third-world” cities have witnessed phenomenal growth in population. With inadeqaute or no social housing to provide for the incoming populations, there has been a proliferation of slums which has garnered a great deal of attention from scholars. Everything from our newspapers, to prestigious scholarly journals present us with knowledge about slums, slum communities and informal urban settlements in general. The opinions voiced through these media are generally considered authoritative to various degrees. However, it is a major problem that opinions and voices from these communities themselves are underprivileged. Members of the “community” are usually presented as owners of experiences based on which the intellectuals produce knowledge. The idea of this roundtable is to try and break this structure. To bring together community-based experts on a panel to share their knowledge – not just experiences – about pressing issues in the city. The theme of this roundtable will be the legal and political strategies employed by communities to address a variety of problems such as housing, water & sanitation, upkeep of community spaces, etc.