parks.jpgDear Friends,
Employing a highly illegal policy, the Government of Karnataka intends to restrict entry to Bangalore’s heritage Cubbon Park and Lalbagh only to electronic ID wielding folks. Needless to state, this electronic ID comes at a price and will be regulated based on a highly restrictive application process. 


The intent is to prevent common folks from using such public spaces.  All this is an effort in showcasing Bangalore as an elite friendly and global investment friendly city – with its public spaces out of bounds for local residents, especially the poor.

To protest such abhorrent acts of exclusion, the undersigned have organised a protest on Monday, 30th November 2009, 4 pm to 6 pm at Queens Statue, Cubbon Park, M. G. Road.  We urge you to join us in large numbers in this very critical struggle against encroachment of the Fundamental Rights to Access Public Spaces.

The victims of this abhorrent policy will most certainly be the urban poor and voiceless, and this practice may soon extend to make such restrictive practices more common place.  It may even initiate conversion of our public commons, such as Parks, Playfields and Open Spaces, into private havens – a practice already in vogue by the State granting large parts of Cubbon Park to the Karnataka Lawn Tennis Association, Century Club and various other private clubs.

Please find below details urging you to join the Protest.  Kindly circulate this information amongst your communities.
There is a Petition to Karnataka Horticulture Minister Shri. Umesh Katti, who has initiated this policy, demanding that he immediately stop this illegal move.  You may endorse this petition online at:
 <http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/Protest_ID_to_enter_Parks> .

Alternatively, you may send an email to zeenat@esgindia.org latest by
10 December 2009.

(Please note that when you sign the online petition, you may be asked to contribute, which you could ignore and proceed to sign the petition.  When endorsing please provide your full contact details. Leave these contact details in the comments section of the online petition – if you wish.)

We look forward to your support for this important cause that matters to you now, a step that will also secure the Rights of Future Generations.

Thank you and best wishes,

Bhargavi S. Rao and Leo Saldanha

Environment Support Group, Bangalore on behalf of Slum Jagatthu, CIEDS, Vimochana, Dalit Sangharsh Samiti- Samyojaka (Bangalore Dist.), Sanmathi, Alternative Law Forum, Sangama, Stree Jagruthi Samithi, CIVIC Bangalore, Hasiru Usiru and Open Space.

NO ENTRY FOR POOR AND COMMON PEOPLE TO CUBBON PARK AND LALBAGH  (ENTRY RESTRICTED TO ID CARD HOLDING ELITES ONLY)

The Government of Karnataka plans to make ID cards mandatory to enter Cubbon Park and Lalbagh, and that at a cost of Rs 200/person. This is the beginning of the state’s encroachment of people’s right to freely access public spaces and a stage is being set to privatise public commons. All sorts of devious reasons are being flung at the public, including security concerns, morality and misuse of parks by “unnecessary elements”.
 
The manner in which the policy is formulated encourages the particular exclusion of access rights of the urban poor (especially from minorities), street and working children, elderly people, transgenders , migrant workers, labourers, street vendors, drivers of autorickshaws and taxis, differently abled, families with children, etc. The idea of having to carry an ID merely to access these two parks, fundamentally distances them from their unfettered and constitutionally protected Right to Use Public Spaces. This policy also promotes discriminatory access to public spaces as it privileges ‘regular walkers’ and thus negates the very concept of parks as public commons. Simply stated this draconian policy encroaches our very fundamental Right to Live a Healthy Life based on dignified and unfettered access to public spaces.

Join the Protest against this fundamental encroachment of Our Right to Access all Public Commons

COME JOIN THIS JUST PROTEST WITH FAMILIES, COLLEAGUES, FRIENDS, NEIGHBOURS

Queen’s Statue, Cubbon park, Monday, 30th November, 4.00 pm – 6.00 pm
Protest initiated by Environment Support Group, Slum Jagatthu, CIEDS, Vimochana, Dalit Sangharsh Samiti- Samyojaka (Bangalore Dist.), Sanmathi, Alternative Law Forum,
Sangama, Stree Jagruthi Samithi, CIVIC Bangalore, Hasiru Usiru and Open Space.
 
For more details contact:
Environment Support Group,
1572, Outer Ring Road, Banshankari 2nd stage,
Bangalore-560070
Tel:-91-80-26713559-60 Email: esg@esgindia.org , bhargavi@esgindia.org
Website: www.esgindia.org

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