Convener Forum

The convener forum comprises representatives of people’s settlements (bastis) in Mumbai. The members come from all walks of life and are engaged in fighting for legal water connections, social activism and academia; collectively bringing the best of their abilities to the table.

Sitaram Shelar


Sitaram Shelar is one of the founders of Pani Haq Samiti. He is founder Director of  Centre for Promoting Democracy.  He is member of the core committee of the Hamara Shaher Mumbai Abhiyan and has initiated the 51 Mumbaikar campaign. His work has focused on youth development, governance,  poverty and the built environment. Sitaram is on board of a number of organizations as a Consultant on OD processes. 

Abrar Nassir Salmani

Abrar Nassir Salmani, also known fondly as Abrar chacha, lives in Bhim Nagar, Mankhurd. He has been associated with people’s movements for the right to housing and basic services. He is a part of the Convenor’s Forum of the Transforming M Ward project of Tata Institute of Social Sciences. Abrar chacha has worked tirelessly to mobilise the residents of his settlements. He has shown immense courage in the face of every obstacle created by the BMC and demotivating threats from MLAs.

Ajuma Bi Yasim Shaikh

Fondly known as Ajuma khala lives in the Transit Camp in Mankhurd. She has been associated with Pani Haq Samiti since its inception. She is a fierce advocate for the right to sanitation in slum settlements and villages in Maharashtra.  She is a key member of the CORO Mahila Mandal Federation and has immense experience working on community issues at the grassroot level. She draws inspiration from the Jahan Insan Wahan Pani campaign, and the momentous 2014 win against the BMC in the Mumbai High Court.

Avinash Kadam

An engineer with the MCGM Water Department from 19– to 20–.  He has been associated with Pani Haq Samiti since its inception. He contributes through his wide knowledge of the municipal water system and insightful perspective. He is founding member of Vidhrohi Sanskrutik Chalval. He is a renowned trainer on street plays and cultural songs 

Bhanudas Kale

 Bhanudas was a part of the Ghar Banao Ghar Bachao Andolan alongside Medha Patkar, which is a cause that the Pani Haq Samiti was also supporting. He was also facing water troubles when he discovered Pani Haq Samiti and joined them. Bhanudas acknowledges the work of all organisations in the country that are working sincerely and free of cost to get people their justice and their rights.  He draws inspiration from PHS’s fight.

Devendra Thakur

Devendra became a part of PHS when they were in the process of obtaining an NoC from the Forest Dept. along with the Birsa Munda Adivasi Sangathan. Devendra is driven by the inaction on the part of Corporators and MLAs to solve the water problem. He is inspired by the diligence of PHS’s work and wants to educate people to help them realise their constitutional rights.

Dattaray Padyal

Before Dattaray joined the PHS, he did not believe his area would get water. Today, he is not only a part of the PHS but he has also worked tirelessly and overcome many, many hurdles to ensure the installation of a pipeline in his area. Dattaray has learned a lot about the constitutional right of people to water and continues to be an active member of the Pani Haq Samiti.

Jagdish Patankar

Jagdish has been an important part of the Pani Haq Samiti. He is driven by his desire to change the thinking of the upper class towards the urban poor. He believes in the power of legal, bureaucratic and media advocacy in proving rights of the people that are also constitutionally identifiable. The Court win of the organisation, changes in policy and legal water  being provided to people residing on Mumbai Port Trust, Aarey, Collector Zameen has been a huge inspiration. 

Janak Daftari

Janak has worked with the Water Man of India, Rajendra Singh, been a part of the Jal Biradri Sanstha, and many other movements to safeguard Indian rivers. For Janak, fighting against inhuman, unconstitutional decisions is the biggest struggle but he is deeply appreciative of the sincere work of the PHS and is motivated by the work of Dr. Rajendra Singh, Sitaram Shelar and Prof. J.D. Agarwal.

Jay Mati

Jay Mati came across the PHS at a time when his faith in the elected representatives of his area was fading. Despite being a resident of an informal settlement and facing water problems himself, he has worked hard to unite all the other residents and keep their spirits up in the long fight for water. The fundamental rights defined in the constitution keep Jaymati going and assure him that he is on the right path. He believes that though this might take time, they will get their rights. 

Kalamuddin Idrisi

Jagdish has been an important part of the Pani Haq Samiti. He is driven by his desire to change the thinking of the upper class towards the urban poor. He believes in the power of legal, bureaucratic and media advocacy in proving rights of the people that are also constitutionally identifiable. The Court win of the organisation, changes in policy and legal water  being provided to people residing on Mumbai Port Trust, Aarey, Collector Zameen has been a huge inspiration.

Mahattam Maurya

Before Mahatam Maurya joined the PHS, he had been working on basic constitutional rights. Mahatam highly regards the solutions and guidance received from the PHS. He states the legal battle against the BMC to bring a 40,000 liter water tank to his area as a victory he derives motivation from. This work inspires him to be a part of the PHS. 

Mohan Chavan

Mohan has been a part of the PHS since 2009. He has seen his fair share of problems with the BMC, like when the PHS filed applications for water on Forest Land and they were told to obtain NoCs.  Mohan has one goal in mind which is to ensure people get their fundamental rights. He is greatly inspired by the work the PHS does. 

Nafisa Shaikh

Nafisa used to work at the Mahila Federation on hygiene issues. When she started visiting informal settlements she realised that it is not possible to tackle the hygiene issue if there is no water. This is when she was introduced to the PHS. Nafisa has faced many problems created by politicians and water mafia to deter her from fighting for legal water but she has not let this stop her. Nafisa’s vision of safe access to drinking water in every household is her motivation.


  Nitin Kubal 

In 2007, the BMC tried to install prepaid meters in Jogeshwari East, where Nitin is from, in a bid to privatise water distribution. Nitin was against the privatisation and commodification of water. He was already a volunteer at the Pani Haq Samiti and went on to join their Jahan Insan Wahan Pani  campaign.  He believes that the Pani Haq Samiti’s efforts have always been towards ensuring that not only humans, but all living beings get their right to water.

Pravin Borkar

Pravin has been a part of many social service organisations and has acted in many street plays to raise awareness about important issues. In the beginning he was not even aware of the water problem but he learnt about it over time and gradually started a dialogue with the authorities. For him, the biggest challenge is changing the defeatist way people think and making them believe that water is their right. He is an integral part of the PHS today. For him, strength lies in unity and this is what motivates him to win the fight for water. 

Purva Dewoolkar 

Purva is an Architect by training. She has worked with TISS’ Transforming M Ward project to detail explorations of the built environment. Purva has been instrumental in changing the dynamics of Mumbai’s water supply system by  playing the  role of “Licensed Plumber” for the people.  She has painstakingly complied by all legal demands that went as far as hand drawing a detailed map of an entire area. Needless to say, she has been an invaluable asset to the PHS team.


Quresha Aziz

The severe water issues in Quresha’s area made her join the PHS.  For her, making people aware of their right to water and convincing them to file applications has been difficult. There are also attempts by the BMC to stall the process by pointing out problems and insignificant mistakes in paperwork.  Quresha wants to bring water to areas like Indira Nagar that have been denied water. This is her motivation.

Raju Vanjare 

Raju is a well known face in movements and campaigns. Specifically he has been an active member of Ghar Bachao Ghar Banao Andolan, Right to Pee and Pani Haq Samiti. His work has focussed on securing the right to land, housing and basic services in slums. He currently works with YUVA.


Ratna Mane

Ratna Mane came into contact with Pani Haq Samiti through her work in CORO.  For her, educating people about their constitutional right to water was a difficult task. They used the water provided by water mafia, which is why they were afraid of joining Pani Haq Samiti but she helped accomplish this. Ratna feels like the PHS is her own organisation. She is proud of being able to do away with the water supply “cut off date” for post 1995 citizens. 

Ruksar Khan

During Ruksar’s time with the PHS, many residents themselves joined the PHS as volunteers and have gotten water connections on their own. She has continued her work despite being in many difficult situations and facing diffcult questions from the residents of her area. She has cultivated a deep trust in her neighbourhood in the PHS and made them unafraid of the politicians, authorities and the water mafia. Seeing change in people inspires her to continue fighting.

Sana Anis Khan

Rathodi, where Sana lives, has always had an acute water problem which is why she joined the PHS. She has been an important part of the PHS since 2011 and was even named on the PIL that was filed in the Mumbai High Court in 2014. She faced a lot of pressure from land owners to withdraw her name but she persevered and continues to do important work in her area despite politicians trying to steal the credit. She is inspired by the PHS’ powerful legal approach to solving water problems.

Shakir Shaikh

Shakir  was trying to improve water conditions in Shanti Nagar, Govandi, as a part of the Pukar organisation before joining the PHS. Working with the PHS gave him hope that they would be able to get authorised connections.  For Shakir, one of the most memorable victories has been obtaining the NoC from Mumbai Port Trust that  allowed authorized connections on the land owned by them.  He is motivated by the thought of the people who are yet to receive their rightful share of water.

Shanti Ravi

Shanti Ravi, fondly called Shanti Tai by everyone at PHS, is a resident of Kaula Bundar, Darukhana, Reay Road. She has always had a desire to develop her community and started by conducting classes. She later joined Magic Bus to develop young people in her community through football. Within Pani Haq Samiti, she is involved in promoting awareness and organising people to access the right to water. She has been an important part of the protests, signature camps, the Pani Pilao Abhiyan, and even the 2014 case victory.

Sharda Shinde

Sharda has been active in the fight to secure rights for the homeless in Sitaram Mill Compound. Her area faces multiple issues – housing, water, toilets. She joined the PHS in 2018 with the hope to alleviate the water issues. Sharda wants to being water to her area by taking the legal route. This motivates her to work as a part of the PHS.

Sunil Yadav

Sunil has contributed greatly in mobilising the people of informal settlements without water and uniting them in their fight for legal water. He makes them ask the right questions and works tirelessly to educate them about their rights. He hopes to bring water to all settlements across Mumbai.

  Umar Bhai

Umar bhai was working on the housing problem in his area when he realised the gravity of the water issues. This is when he became a part of the Pani Haq Samiti. Umar has worked very hard on developing people’s trust in PHS after things went awry due to unreasonable demands by the BMC.  Umar bhai believes that providing water is an act of humanity and is happy that the Pani Haq Samiti gave him an opportunity to do that.

Vishal Jadhav

Vishal was a volunteer with the Samta Foundation when he heard about and went on to join the Pani Haq Samiti. He believes that the Pani Haq Samiti does not discriminate, everyone is equal. Vishal believes that the issue of water is one that the PHS can solve, which is why he supports them. He has seen the PHS provide authorized water in areas that have not had it for 40-50 years and draws motivation from their victories.

Waseem Shaikh

Waseem found out about the PHS during his work with Ghar Banao Ghar Bachao Andolan. Given the dire conditions in his area, Ambojwadi, fthe PHS came as a ray of hope to Waseem and he joined them. Waseem’s name was also on the PIL that was filed in 2014 in the Mumbai High Court. Waseem’s belief is that every human being has the right to water and that this right will definitely be achieved with the PHS. 



Consultation with UN Rapporteur on WATSAN in Mumbai.


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