The dissertation has been authored by Shrishti Malhotra, a student doing her M.A. in Media and Cultural Studies at the Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai. The author has used sources and inputs from the Nivara Hakk Suraksha Samiti. The paper was prepared for submission in October 2016, about 30 years after the struggle of the South Mumbai slum known as Sanjay Gandhi Nagar. The slum struggle, which ultimately succeeded, led to the rehabilitation of 350 families in Dhindoshi, Malad (East). Documenting the struggle at this stage is an important and independent recap of a struggle that brought hundreds of slum dwellers on the road, and triggered the formation of Nivara Hakk.
The film was produced by The Indian Institute of Architects, Communications Board (An association of professionals)
It is a film that explores the various aspects of housing for the poor in the urban context, covering the socio-political, economic and architectural aspects.
It begins with a brief definition of the problem and the seriousness of the housing situation facing the urban poor, with particular reference to the aspirations and dreams of the children. Through a series of interviews with opinion leaders and decision makers, including bureaucrats, architects, planners, environmentalists, social workers and politicians, it brings out the various dilemmas of housing.
The role of organizations like HUDCO, MHADA, P.M.G.P, B.M.C, etc., are stressed. Besides various case histories are cited as pointer to possible solutions.
The film thus covers low-cost housing and alternative technologies, town planning issues including F.S.I., the importance of people's participation. The film moreover, while emphasizing the seriousness of the problem, ends on a hopeful note.
BOMBAY OUR CITY tells the story of the daily battle for survival of the 4 million slum dwellers of Bombay who make up half the city's population. Although they are Bombay's workforce – industrial laborers, construction workers, domestic servants – they are often denied city utilities like electricity, sanitation, and water.
Many slumdwellers must also face the constant threat of eviction as city authorities carry out campaigns to "beautify" the city.
BOMBAY OUR CITY is an indictment of injustice and misery, and a call to action on the side of the slumdwellers.