For many in the basti, State-related matters are too intimidating to be addressed. Since 2008, residents have been also increasingly relying on AKDN workers for tasks such as complaining to the police or to availing schemes. This lack of autonomy deeply hampers the community’s capacity of action. This deficit of confidence, fuelled by an insufficient level of awareness, generates many lost opportunities in terms development.

In 2013, a series of trainings were held with groups of 30 young boys and girls from the basti to help build their capacities for better understanding of their rights and responsibilities as citizens. The training programmes were aimed at building an understanding of community development through workshops that focused titled ‘FROM ME TO WE’.

The trainings finally helped identify 10 youth who were sent for an exchange program to two different NGOs – one based in a rural setting and another in Delhi itself to understand how communities can help map and utilize their own resources better for a common good. They were trained in understanding government schemes, RTI and community mobilization. A group of 10 youth have formed a youth group that meets every week and has organized trainings on RTI within the Basti.