M-Ward Initiative is a development initiative by Tata Institute of Social Sciences in Mumbai. It is founded on the belief in the emergent space of wisdom within people to plan and implement strategic change while ensuring that their actions enable justice and equity for all. It is an opportunity to demonstrate as a model, inclusive urban planning and development including agency of communities based on empowerment, effective generation of knowledge, and transformational leadership.
People's Planning of M-Ward:
The current state of development of the M-Ward is a result of several flawed systemic processes and mindsets that have ignored the rights of marginalized people. Prime amongst these are the unequal spatial development patterns of the city. The project will initiate a process of collective visioning, understanding of key issues and need and demand articulation by communities and other stakeholders. This would then feed into the preparation of the M ward vision and demands for the Development Plan of the city. The process will need to begin at the community level and be scaled up.
Health of Children:
The M-Ward has the highest (66.47 per 1000 live births) Infant Mortality Rate (IMR) among all the wards in Mumbai. Researchers working in the field have suggested that IMR in certain pockets of the ward could in fact be way above 100/ 1000 live births.
Elementary Education for all Children:
High rate of shift from BMC vernacular schools and also BMC English medium schools to private schools in M/East ward
high drop-out of rate of students at the elementary school level with a small proportion moving to the secondary level
the drop-out rate of girls is higher than that of boys.
Skill Development and Employability Enhancement for Youth and Adults:
One of the key issues in the M-Ward is that of livelihood. The near ghettoization of the ward as an area of poor people further shrinks their opportunities for gainful employment and decent work. This affects not only the living conditions of families but also their ability to invest in education and health as well as community infrastructure. A large number of better informed, better skilled and gainfully occupied young people can fundamentally change the condition and welfare of their families, communities and the State.