In late 2017, YUVA inaugurated वाशी नाका मुलभूत संसाधन केंद्र (Vashi Naka Basic Service Facilitation Centre [BSFC]) at the Vashi Naka MMRDA colony. It was a proud moment for us all. The BSFC launch took many months of careful planning, and yet this is just the beginning.
Before we get caught up in the excitement of the BSFC impact, however, let’s take a step back and assess what the role of BSFCs in the community.
What is a BSFC?
YUVA’s BSFCs address the needs of the urban poor in an organised manner, acting as an anchor to organise communities, educate them about their fundamental rights, laws, policies and schemes, and allow households and communities to access entitlements and basic services. Currently, we operate 7 BSFCs in Mumbai, Indore, Bhubaneswar, Guwahati and Navi Mumbai. They play a crucial role in safeguarding the identity and health of individuals in the city, by facilitating their access to legal entitlements and basic services. Without these necessities, an individual can claim no rights to the city.
Interventions so far
I have conducted regular meetings with the community so far, and tried to understand people’s concerns. After the first few meetings, I realised that the women are keen to participate, so I set up meetings with them separately and explained to them the aims and objectives of the BSFC. The 30 women who attended decided to form a ‘Mahila Mandal’ (Women’s Committee). The women have already raised their voice about the need for cleanliness in their area. Over the past few weeks, some of the initiatives they have been a part of include: awareness sessions on their rights and The Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act 2005 and its provisions, and a workshop on self-help groups and their role in civil society. I have learnt a lot along the way, and hope to keep learning more as we continue our efforts here.
Pratibha Wankhede, Project Associate, YUVA