SOCIAL INCLUSION THROUGH HOUSING: AN EXPERIMENTAL PROPOSITION FROM A THEORETICAL PERSPECTIVE
It is widely asserted by the 20th century housing experts that ‘housing is a process, not a product’. As a process,
housing has a phenomenal strength to change the behavioral pattern of a community. Here in this paper Monihar
Harijan Slum (Harijan: an ethnic group of ‘Dalit’ or outcastes) of Jessore, Bangladesh was taken as a case to draw an
experimental housing proposition from the perspective of this widely acclaimed theoretical concept. In Bangladesh,
although Islam does not support caste based social discrimination still Muslim dominated mainstream society of the
country is negligence to the Harijans claiming their unholy occupation (street sweepers) and uncleanness, results in
the exclusion of these people from the society. The Monihar Harijan community of Jessore municipality suffers from
exclusion and low-income occupation hereditary since their expulsion from Allahabad City during the British colonial
era and these realities compelled them to live in inhumane conditions inside their slum. With this background, this research
aimed to identify the appropriate housing proposition that can change the behavioral pattern of the community
to eliminate the public claim and thus it can include the Harijans into the mainstream society. Various types of survey
methods and research methods were used to determine the issues and prospects. It was found that strategic changes
in the built-form pattern, a low-cost vertical extension of the built-forms, affordable sanitation infrastructure development
and provision of income generation are the suitable strategies to achieve the desired goal. Finally, a housing
proposition has been simulated adopting those strategies. Here, in this simulated proposition housing is seen as a society
reformation tool as well as a model for the communities who share the same vulnerabilities.
 Turner F.C. (1972). ‘Housing as a verb’, Retrieved from www. communityplanning.net/JohnTurnerArchive on 12/04/17.
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