Press Release from Shelter Norway on SDI's Nomination for Nobel Peace Prize
Press release issued by Shelter Norway
[4 February 2014] -- Jockin Arputham and Shack/Slum Dwellers International (SDI), the largest urban slum dweller movement in the world, have been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize in 2014.
The nomination of the network of pavement dwellers, landless and homeless, in 33 countries in Africa, Asia, and Latin America, is an unprecedented step in the life of a man who has risen from the streets of Mumbai to global prominence as the beacon of people-led approaches to urban development.
The bid was put forth by Swedish Minister for Social Affairs Stefan Attefall, with high level political support from Norway and South Africa. In his nomination letter Minister Attefall chose the warning of the Greek philosopher Plato to the Athenians as the basis of supporting Mr. Arphutham’s candidacy:
“The income of the rich should not exceed the income of the poor by more than five times. Any more would create economic inefficiency and generate ‘the greatest social risk’: civil war”.
The struggle against urban inequality and associated civil strife has been waged by SDI for two decades through the organisation of the poorest of the poor, primarily women, in cities.
Arputham’s career as an activist against inequality, displacement, and for more inclusive urban development spans half a century.
His contribution to avoid “the greatest social risk” in developing world cities is considerable. While trying to seek a solution for 70,000 inhabitants against eviction in the Janata colony in Mumbai, Arputham was arrested 64 times from 1964 to 1975 by the Indira Gandhi government. Riots and bloodshed were avoided and a peaceful solution found thanks to his interventions.
His example has built SDI into global “champions of peace” in cities by building social capital and cohesion among the poorest of the poor. Arputham has been doing this through innovative civil, peaceful disobedience methods organizing and mobilising women. Dialogue between oppressed and oppressor — not confrontation — has been SDI’s unique hallmark.
Read the full press release here: http://shelternorway.no/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/040214_SLUM-DWELLERS-iNTERNATIONAL-Nominated-for-Nobel-Peace-prize-2014-Press-release-II.pdf