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Citizen advocacy organizations are bringing political awareness and self-determination to the lower classes in India.

A burgeoning citizen movement in India is bringing a political voice to those who've traditionally been more on the sidelines in India's democracy. These programs are helping to institute greater citizen particpation in governance, leadership, and urban reform. Recent changes in the way money is distributed by the Indian government should translate to more self-determination at the local level, sidestepping intervening state bureaucracies. Some of these funds will be tied to greater accounability and reforms in how local governments do business.

"The citizen movement has been quietly taking roots in India, even as its megacities struggle with growing population and deficient infrastructure. Perhaps the biggest contribution of citizen participation is in the creation of a class of informed and enabled citizens."

IFTF implications: grass roots governance and an increase in fiscal accountability should help to bring more resources to bear on the problems of the urban poor in India.

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Searchlight South Asia, March 2010, page 1