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Relief and Rehabilitation

The denial of relief and rehabilitation by the government of Gujarat is a harrowing and disgraceful tale of a premeditated, unrepentant, merciless and perverse exercise of public authority.

Before it is too late
The wanton subversion of relief and rehabilitation in Gujarat

Harsh Mander, Frontline online, Vol. 19 :: No. 19 September 14 - 27, 2002
Citizen's Initiative
Ahmedabad Riot Victim Camp Conditions Report
June, 2002
  • Field Updates from various groups (June, 2002)
  • May 27th Update: Relief and Rehabilitation
  • Intiatives / Organizations (2) - (May 24th, 2002)
  • Intiatives / Organizations (1) (April 30th, 2002)
    Relief Camps: Update
    May 27th, 2002

    The camps are mainly in dargahs, schools and even in graveyards. Majority of the residents have lived for over 10 weeks in open shamianas with tattered canvas covers, often amidst graves. In most camps the facilities are almost negligible. In Shah-e-Alam camp, there are only 10 toilets and baths for over 10,000 people. For women, most of whom are in purdah, the camps are a terrible experience. Disturbing reports that relief camps are already being disbanded in the Gujarat countryside, have created a mood of uncertainity and panic.

    Source: May 27th Update: Relief and Rehabilitation
  • Relief and Rehabiliation - News / Updates
    • 'Gujarat riot relief cheque of Rs 100 a shame'
      PTI, August 23, 2003
      AHMEDABAD: When a woman on Friday displayed a cheque of Rs 100 she received as compensation for the damage to her house in the post-Godhra riots, so taken aback was the two-member probe panel that Justice (retd) K G Shah couldn't help remark: "Sharam aani chahiye lene wale ko aur dene wale ko (It should shame both who receive and award such compensation)."

    • NHRC chief deplores tardy relief to Gujarat riot victims
      By J. Venkatesan, The Hindu, January 10, 2003
      NEW DELHI JAN. 9. The chairperson of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), Justice J.S. Verma, has deplored the tardy progress in providing relief to the riot victims of Gujarat.

    • All riot-relief camps to close down from Oct 30
      Sourav Mukherjee, Times News Network , October 16, 2002
      AHMEDABAD: Eight months after their world turned topsy-turvy on February 28, it’s time to go home to an uncertain future for 2,530 inmates of four relief camps that are still functional in the city.

    • Victims look for work
      By Kalpana Sharma, The Hindu, October 16, 2002
      As the Gujarat Government seems uninterested in either reconstructing the destroyed homes or the shattered lives of the victims of the communal violence, the burden of that will have to be borne by civil society.

    • Finally, Naroda-Patiya boy gets cheque to a new life
      Palak Nandi, The Indian Express, September 19, 2002
      Ahmedabad, September 18: Six months after he lost his family at Naroda-Patiya, Javed Ismail Sheikh, 14, received some compensation for the irreversible loss. He watched silently today as the cheque for Rs 1,80,000 was handed over to elder brother Aslam Sheikh.

    • Before it is too late
      The wanton subversion of relief and rehabilitation in Gujarat

      Harsh Mander, Frontline online, Vol. 19 :: No. 19 September 14 - 27, 2002
      Public authorities in Gujarat not only refused to extend relief, or rehabilitate those destroyed by the waves of mass violence that followed the horrific torching of a railway compartment in Godhra, but systematically created roadblocks for other agencies which attempted to substitute for the State and forced the closure of relief camps after giving people a pittance to compensate for their losses. This impunity of the State is, in some ways, more grave than its complicity in the massacre that occurred in the wake of the tragedy in Godhra.

    • Finally, they get a roof over their heads
      Express News Service, Ahmedabad, September 12, 2002
      Home, at last! This is exactly what the 50-odd riot-hit families felt when they were handed over houses — built specially for them by the Gujarat Sarvajanik Relief Committee — in Vatva on Thursday. For the past six months, all the members of these families were sheltered by relief camps. Most of them were refugees at the Dariyakhan Ghummat Relief Camp, and were later shifted to the Qureshi Relief Hall.

    • Riots over, trauma still haunts them
      Radha Sharma, Times News Network, September 07, 2002
      AHMEDABAD: It’s over six months since death ruled the streets of Gujarat, but life just doesn’t seem to be getting back to normal for many riot-affected women in Ahmedabad.

    • High Commissioner for Human Rights Expresses Concern on the Plight of the Displaced in Gujarat, India
      Press Release, September 4, 2002
      United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Mary Robinson, called on the Government of India to ensure that those persons internally displaced since the outbreak of violence on 27 February in Gujarat, are not cut off from life-saving assistance, including adequate shelter, as a result of the ongoing closure of relief camps.

    • Gujarat Muslims not being allowed back into tribal villages
      Rajiv Pathak (Indo-Asian News Service), Chhota Udepur (Gujarat), September 02, 2002
      They fled their homes in tribal-dominated villages to escape death when Gujarat was in the grip of communal frenzy.

    • Gujarat riot-hit Muslims see little hope of justice
      By Thomas Kutty Abraham, August 28, 2002
      KHEDIAD, India (Reuters) - Arjuben Ayub Sindhi lay among a pile of hacked bodies, feigning death for nearly an hour before a police patrol team rescued her from a group of armed slogan-shouting Hindu zealots.

    • Relief runs out: Shah Alam shut to hold annual fair at dargah
      Palak Nandi, The Indian Express, August 25, 2002
      The largest relief camp in the city which has been home to the riot victims has been shut down. The Shah Alam relief camp today has just a handful of the 3,000 refugees who were living here till last Friday.

      That was when the camp was declared closed leading to utter chaos. Many of the inmates were clueless about what to do or where to go, having either lost all that they called their own in the riots or unable to reclaim what was once their own.

    • Kalam visits Gujarat relief camp, asks Govt to expedite relief
      Narendra Dev (Press Trust of India), Ahmedabad, August 12, 2002
      Seeking to give a healing touch, President APJ Abdul Kalam on Monday made his much-talked-about first official visit outside Delhi to a camp of victims of communal riots that was devoid of any controversy and asked the administration to expedite relief and rehabilitation measures.

    • Another day, another VIP, for riot-hit it’s all the same
      Palak Nandi, The Indian Express, Ahmedabad, August 12, 2002
      Since Monday, Gujarat Haj House relief camp has been a hub of activity. Security has been beefed up and authorities had put up shamianas and chairs to seat VIPs. Identity cards had been handed over to riot victims housed at the camp. The reason: A visit from the newly-appointed First Citizen of India, Dr A.P.J. Abdul Kalam.

    • There will be no homecoming till they cross this hurdle
      Stavan Desai, The Indian Express, August 8, 2002
      Ahmedabad, August 7: SHUNTED out of their homes by angry neighbours, these Muslims returned home only to find that they couldn’t get there. For at the entrance to the Ghyasiram ni Chali in Behrampura area stands a small pan shop — the Ram Pan House — which effectively obstructs entry to the chali.

    • Gujarat riot-hit want early aid, not elections
      Times of India, August 3, 2002
      GODHRA: In pursuit of its objective to assess the situation in Gujarat before holding polls, a three-member team of the Election Commission (EC) on Friday surveyed Godhra, among other riot-hit areas, and the message it received was amply clear: ‘‘Relief first...who cares about polls?’’

    • One more camp likely to close
      Express News Service, Ahmedabad, July 30, 2002
      REFUGEES at relief camps in the city are slowly but steadily returning to their homes. The Dariyakhan Ghummat Relief Camp, with almost 2,500 beneficiaries, was shut down last week while one more camp is expected to close on Thursday. Currently, there are only eight relief camps across the city with 10,500. ‘‘Last month, more than 15,000 people were living in camps but today, only 10,500 are left,’’ said one of the officials at the collectorate.

    • Camp closed but they are still camping here
      Rohit Bhan, The Indian Express, July 27, 2002
      Kalol (Panchmahals), July 26: RELIEF coordinator Mukhtar Mohammad has no answer for Ruksanabi when she asks him for medicine for her ailing two-year-old son. Nor, he says, does he have enough stock of medicines for the other 700-odd Muslim refugees staying in Kalol.

    • Note for the Record - Citizens Initiative
      Ashoke Chatterjee, 24 July 2002
      The major work is required at this level for provision of shelter, restoration of livelihoods, a variety of counseling services, legal aid and attention to human rights and political dimensions of activities and events in Ahmedabad and outside.

    • 12,229 riot victims still living in relief camps
      Times News Network, July 22, 2002
      AHMEDABAD: "There is a face behind every file", said SMF Bukhari, special officer for relief, appointed by the state government, at the weekly meet of Nagrik Sangathan here, on Monday.

      Speaking on the occasion, he said, "The state machinery could achieve relative success in rehabilitation with the unprecedented support from the NGOs." Giving an account of the rehabilitation work, he said, of the 1,33,000 refugees who had taken shelter in the 110 camps across the state, 12,229 are still living in the camps.

    • ‘We are still homeless and they’re playing power games’
      Palak Nandi, The Indian Express, July 20, 2002
      Ahmedabad, July 19: IT was expected but still took them by surprise. Even as Chief Minister Narendra Modi called an emergency Cabinet meeting, and handed over his resignation and the cabinet’s resolution calling for dissolution of the House to Governor S S Bhandari, the mood at the many relief camps was sombre. ‘‘We are still homeless but they’re doing nothing but playing power games,’’ say inmates of relief camps.

    • Gujarat riot victims: End of a makeshift home?
      AFP, Ahmedabad, July 15 Crammed into a rickshaw, their feet lying on piles of clothes and cutlery, the Ismail family is finally ending four months in a makeshift displacement camp--by returning to a burned-out home.

    • Discussions on a Common Rehabilitation Plan
      Report of a Meeting held in Ahmedabad on 29th June 2002

    • Relief camp merger worries riot victims
      Times News Network, July 07, 2002

    • Refugees without refuge
      Dionne Bunsha, Frontline, Volume 19 - Issue 14, July 06 - 19, 2002

    • Gujarat victims say they are being forced to leave camps
      Sanjeev Singh,, July 5, 2002 (Ahmedabad)

    • ‘Closed’ camps have 15,000 inmates
      The Collector duped us into signing forms, say organisers
      Shefali Nautiyal, The Indian Express, July 5, 2002

    • Rural riot victims reluctant to go home
      Robin David, Times News Network, July 04, 2002

    • Rains, epidemic threaten relief camps
      Ruchir Chandorkar, Times News Network, July 02, 2002

    • State of Gujarat relief camps shocks Sehgal
      HT Correspondent, June 30, 2002

    • Heavy rains in Gujarat make life in camps unbearable
      Saturday, June 29, 2002 (Gandhinagar)

    • Compensation not enough: Riot victims
      PTI, June 28, 2002

    • Riot victims slam Govt ‘inaction’
      HT Correspondent June 27, 2002

    • Govt not to close relief camps
      PTI, June 27, 2002

    • Lies, damned lies
      Bhaskar Ghose, Editorial, The Hindustan Times, June 27, 2002

    • Vadodara: Relief and Rehabilitation
      A Chapter from Violence in Vadodara: A Report by People's Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL) - Vadodara and Vadodara Shanti Abhiyan, June 26, 2002

    • Gujarat Govt assures it won't close relief camps
      PTI, Ahmedabad, June 26, 2002

    • Nowhere to go and no one cares
      By Manas Dasgupta, The Hind, June 23, 2002

    • A candle in the darkness
      By Manas Dasgupta, The Hind, June 23, 2002

    • Gujarat: Muslims fear leaving relief camps
      Reuters, June 22, 2002

    • Don't close relief camps: Governor
      By Manas Dasgupta, The Hindu, June 22, 2002

    • Riot victims denied compensation
      Times News Network, June 22, 2002

    • Rehab project for riot widows under way
      Rajiv Shah, Times News Network, June 22, 2002

    • Bye-bye Pampa
      C Uday Bhaskar, Editorial, The Hindustan Times, June 19, 2002

    • Pressure mounts on riot refugees to return home
      Times News Network, June 18, 2002

    • More relief camps ordered closed
      By Manas Dasgupta, The Hindu, June 18, 2002

    • Riot victims protest tardy relief work
      PTI, June 17, 2002

    • Women's group flays inadequate riot rehab
      Times News Network, June 10, 2002

    • Numbers being changed in riot camp
      Sanjay Pandey, Times News Network, June 9, 2002

    • Refugees return to destroyed homes
      Radha Sharma & Mahesh Tharani, Times News Network, June 09, 2002

    • Rains spell gloom in relief camps
      Prerna Shah, Times News Network, June 02, 2002

    • May 27th Update: Relief and Rehabilitation
      Summary of Mr Harsh Mander, Country Director, Action Aid India Address - May 27, 2002

    • Rs 100 crore for women victims of Gujarat violence: Mahajan
      PTI, The Hindustan Times, Raipur, May 26

    • The women in Gujarat's camps — II
      By Vasudha Dhagamwar, Opinion, The Hindu, May 23, 2002
      The malaise in Gujarat is deep, very deep. It needs sensitivity, understanding and courage to cleanse it. Posturing is not going to do it.

    • The women in Gujarat's camps — I
      By Vasudha Dhagamwar, Opinion, The Hindu, May 22, 2002
      The perennially helpless condition of women, ever dependent on their men, was exacerbated several times over.

    • Re-building our lives
      SEWA Relief Team,
      Published in Seminar, May 2002
      COMMUNAL violence has held Gujarat in its grip for more than two months now. The magnitude, intensity, geographic spread and tremendous suffering it has wrought on the state’s citizens, mainly working people, is difficult to comprehend, let alone quantify.

    • The Disaster Mitigation Institute: Helping heal wounds after Gujarat violence
      Alertnet, 20 May 2002
      The Disaster Mitigation Institute in Ahmedabad, in the Indian state of Gujarat, uses a broad definition of mitigation. Director Mihir Bhatt, a former architect and urban planner, told Ruth Gidley about the AlertNet member organisation's work, including its support for families affected by religious violence.

    • Their homecoming is nothing to write home about
      Himanshu Kaushik, Express India, May 20, 2002
      THE riot victims may have returned home from relief camp, but the nightmare is still far from over. Fear of being attacked again is giving the around 50-odd families who returned to Dosumiya ni Chawl and Burhani Apartments in Saraspur on Sunday sleepless nights. So much so that the first thing that they’ve done after coming back is construct walls to restrict entry.

    • Gujarat files details of final rehabilitation package to NCM
      New Delhi, May 20, 2002

    • EU to send relief to Gujarat
      The Hindu, May 18, 2002
      Brussels, May 18. (PTI): The European Union is considering humanitarian assistance to the victims in Gujarat after a resolution was adopted in the European Parliament, which debated on the situation in the riot-torn state.

    • Gujarat disburses Rs 42.38 cr aid for riot-hit
      PTI, May 16, 2002
    • GANDHINAGAR: The Gujarat government has disbursed Rs 42.38 crore for rehabilitation and resettlement of the violence affected people in the state.
    • Gujarat holocaust: where is the relief?
      By V Gangadhar, Free Press Journal, May 15, 2002
      There are no Gujarati women frying 'puri and shak' (puris and potato vegetable), packing and distributing them to the needy. This particular characteristic among the people of Gujarat during any local tragedy seemed to have disappeared in the aftermath of the communal riots which are still rocking the state. On the contrary, more people are killed, more homes burnt and no aid is reaching them. Man's inhumanity to Man continued to be on the rise.

    • Homecoming in Naroda for a few hours
      Under heavy security cover, riot refugees visit burnt homes to survey damage
      Janyala Sreenivas, Ahmedabad, Indian Express, May 15
      This was one homecoming that was painful, tinged with fear and grief. Around 450 residents of Naroda Patiya visited their charred homes on a scorching Wednesday afternoon to salvage what the mobs had left behind. Most of them came away empty-handed, their hands soiled with soot, their hearts broken at what they had lost.

    • Red Cross tools for Gujarat victims to restart work
      May 13, 2002, The Central Chronicle
      Thousands of Muslim survivors of the sectarian violence in Gujarat may finally start picking up the threads of their lives again, thanks to the efforts of the International Red Cross Society.

      The global relief and rehabilitation group is set to distribute work tools at relief camps across Gujarat so that people can start going back to their trades.

    • In the camps, sans relief
      Dionne Bunsha, Frontline, Volume 19 - Issue 10, May 11-24, 2002
      The refugees' hopes of returning home grow dimmer as the violence continues and the government's half-hearted rehabilitation measures fail to provide any real support.

    • Modi promises more relief
      Times News Network, May 13, 2002
      GANDHINAGAR: It was a 'transformed' Narendra Modi who had his first formal meeting with Muslim leaders on Monday, two-and-a-months after the riots broke out. Not only did he announce a series of measures to provide the much-needed healing touch to the minority community, he also apologised for being late in "wiping the tears" of the riot victims and admitted the state machinery's failure in maintaining law and order.

    • Bankers discuss disbursement of relief to riot victims
      Times News Network, May 13, 2002
      AHMEDABAD: A special meeting of the State-Level Bankers' Committee (SLBC) discussed the modalities for extending the relief package to individuals as well as residential and commercial units affected by the riots in Gujarat.

    • Jaitley assures minority group on relief camps
      The Times of India, May 12, 2002
      AHMEDABAD: No relief camps in violence-hit Gujarat would be closed till the inmates felt secure to return home with adequate compensation, a minority community delegation was assured by Law Minister Arun Jaitley here on Sunday.
    • Refugees in their own land
      Editorial, Hindustan Times, May 11, 2002
      While some of the accused in the Gujarat pogrom are being felicitated by sections of the BJP leadership, the Narendra Modi regime is now thinking of causing further misery to the thousands of people living in sub-human conditions.
    • SC refuses to pass order on relief camps
      Hindustan Times, New Delhi, May 10
      The Supreme Court on Friday declined to pass any order on three petitions seeking a direction to the Gujarat Government not to close down the relief camps housing riot victims in the state.

      However, the Court allowed the petitioners to file a fresh application before a vacation bench for any relief.

    • Relief camps will not be closed down: Advani
      PTI, Friday, May 10, 2002
      NEW DELHI: Asserting that the government would do everything necessary to restore normalcy in Gujarat, Home Minister L K Advani on Friday said that the state government had not taken any decision to close down relief camps for the riot victims.

    • Sleep And The Innocent
      Revenge, yes, but most children want to forget the trauma they relive every night
      Priyanka Kakodkar,, May 13, 2002
      When night falls, a quiet fear invades the smoky relief camps in Ahmedabad. For the children of the Gujarat riots, the witching hour has begun. In the slow hours till dawn, many huddle close to their mothers, struggling to stay awake. The horrific memories that they try to hold at bay during the day stalk them in their sleep.

    • Dahod collector ordered closure of camps
      Akshaya Mukul, Times News Network, May 08, 2002
      NEW DELHI: Contrary to Union Home Minister L K Advani’s claim in the Lok Sabha that there was no information on closure of relief camps in Gujarat, there is plenty of evidence on the conduct of such a campaign.

    • Rehab tangle keeps peace at bay
      Times News Network, May 08, 2002
      Godhra: Yakubbhai of Randikpur, an inmate of a relief camp here, will not go back to his village unless the persons he has named in an FIR are arrested. On the other hand, Randikpur villagers have threatened they will not let his family return till he withdraws the names from the complaint.

    • Vote-bank politics means no resettlement
      News Source - Times News Network, May 08, 2002
      Ahmedabad: Why is the Narendra Modi government completely ruling out the possibility of the resettlement of riot-hit refugees to new, safer sites? Is it vote-bank politics, more than anything else, which stands in the way of refugees and their desire to find a new home?

    • Governor raps officials for delay in surveying riot victims
      News Source - Times News Network, May 08, 2002
      Gandhinagar: Taking strong exception to the prevailing lethargy in surveying the damages suffered by the riot victims, Gujarat Governor S S Bhandari told top officials on Monday that the work ought to be completed "most urgently".

    • Paltry relief a shock for riot victims
      News Source - By Sourav Mukherjee, for Times News Network, May 06, 2002
      Ahmedabad: Babubhai Abdul Hamid died of a heart attack on May 2 at the riot-relief camp near Dariakhan Ghummat in Shahibaug. The 80-year-old had received a cheque for Rs 5,000 as compensation for his burnt house and shop. The shock of the inadequate compensation proved too much to handle, his family said.

    • Govt suspects camps giving inflated figures
      News Source - Times News Network, May 06, 2002
      Ahmedabad: Organisers of the Char Tola relief camp at Gomtipur were surprised to find recently that the government had sent foodgrain for only 2,000 persons when they had 3,155 inmates on the records. When organisers like Rizwan Khan protested, they were told that the government only had information about 2,000 persons in the camp, thus the amount of ration.

    • CM mum on Narodia resettlement
      News Source - Times News Network, May 05, 2002
      Gandhinagar: Even two months after the carnage struck the Naroda-Patia, Naroda and Saijpur areas of Ahmedabad, killing more than a hundred during the post-Godhra violence, the Gujarat government has no clue on how to resettle the several thousand survivors of the gruesome tragedy currently living in the Shah-e-Alam relief camp.

    • Trade unions to protest on May 15
      News Source - Times News Network, May 03, 2002
      Ahmedabad: Communist party of India MP Gurudas Dasgupta has said there was a wide gap between the 'promise and practice' by the Narendra Modi government on relief and rehabilitation for the riot affected.

    • Too little too late?
      By Anjali Mody, The Hindu, May 3, 2002
      NEW DELHI MAY 2. A grateful Gujarat must applaud, and apparently so should the rest of us. The Prime Minister has announced a Rs. 150-crore package for the "economic rehabilitation'' of the victims of Gujarat violence. The Government says that it has taken "some steps under Article 355''. Two months and two days after the carnage began, it is all too little too late.

    • Govt to close camps by May 31
      News Source - Times News Network, May 2, 2002
      Gandhinagar: The government has begun an all-out drive to close relief camps all over Gujarat by May 31.

      Contrary to Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s assurance during his visit that the camps would continue ‘‘as long as required’’, last week chief minister Narendra Modi ordered ministers to ‘‘urgently’’ work out a plan to close down the camps.

    • No business, no work, Gujarat Muslims left to their fate
      By S Ubaidur Rahman, The Mili Gazette, May 1, 2002
      IS Gujarat turning into a Rwanda? Seems exaggerated, but the way things are turning it may not be far when the same fate will be reflected on the streets of Vadodra, Surat, Ahmadabad and Godhra.

    • Give us peace and then ask for votes, say relief camp inmates
      News Source - By Sourav Mukherjee, for Times News Network, April 16, 2002
      Ahmedabad: Inmates of various relief camps in the city are unanimous about one factor other than the fact that there are hardy any amenities provided to them -- that they will not vote this time if peace is not restored immediately.

    • 1.13 lakh victims in 103 relief camps
      News Source - Times News Network, April 7, 2002
      Gandhinagar: The total number of people officially declared as taking shelter in 103 relief camps as a consequence of the communal riots in the state reached 1,13,697, belying government claim that the situation in large parts of Gujarat was returning to normal.

    • Riot relief to avoid state govt channels
      News Source - Times News Network, April 6, 2002
      Gandhinagar: Lack of faith of the PMO in the state government is evident from an internal note prepared at the end of the PM's visit to the state.

      It suggests that all the Central assistance for the riot victims announced by the Prime Minister on Thursday evening, should avoid Gujarat government channels.