Published in DASH#12-13 – Global Housing
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An Urban Manifesto

I believe in the cities of India:
Like the wheat fields of Punjab, and the coalfields of Bihar, they are a crucial part of our national wealth.

They generate the skills we need for development:
Doctors, nurses, lawyers, administrators, engineers – not just from the great metropolises, Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata and Chennai, but from a hundred
smaller urban centres across the country.

Cities are engines of economic growth:
There is no way, either politically or morally, that we can divert rural funds to develop towns and cities. On the contrary, cities, properly managed, can generate surplus funds not only for their own development, but to help subsidize the surrounding rural areas as well.

Cities are centres of hope:
Too often we look at our cities from our own self-centred point of view. So we see only the shortages, the failures. But for millions and millions of migrants, landless labourers and wretched have-nots of our society, cities are perhaps their only hope, their only gateway to a better future.