Urban Marginalization, Exclusion and Education : The Widows’ Colony in Delhi

Agarwal, Yamini VIAF

This paper examines the many exclusions and marginalities experienced in urban neighbourhoods which are formed as a result of communal violence. It draws on an ethnographic study of Tilak Vihar, also known as the Colony of Widows, where the survivors of the 1984 anti-Sikh violence were resettled. By examining their life histories, the paper explores how women survivors have been caught up in a vicious circle of poverty and lack of educational and occupational opportunities due to their location in a highly stigmatized and gendered space. This has affected the education of their children, as reflected in limited school choices and poverty forcing young people to drop out of schools to fend for their families. The paper also looks into the role of community groups in Tilak Vihar, which have become the main source of support for families given the retreat of the state from this space. The paper underscores the everyday violence that survivors experience due to their gender and spatial location.

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Education and the Urban in India | Working Paper Series

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