Slum Data

SA is engaged in a process of collecting, organizing and publishing slum data gathered through surveys and mapping efforts. The slum data is collected by member of the community, spatially organised using GIS software and presented as an overlay on Google Earth® remote sensing imagery. This data source will be published online over the next few months.


India is the largest open defecating nation in the world, where almost 600 million people have no access to sanitation which has a detrimental impact on the health, education, financial security, and safety of people living in informal communities.

SA facilitate access to sanitation in informal settlements by: (1) setting up a very robust spatial data platform to pinpoint families who lack access to basic sanitation, (2) facilitating the construction of individual toilets, (3) conducting workshops to increase awareness within the community of environmental issues, (4) providing a forum for sanitation issues to be discussed and (5) establishing solid waste collection systems.

Community toilet block projects

From 2001, we have engaged with municipal corporations of Pune and Sangli-Miraj to provide community led sanitation solutions using an inclusive approach. We devised technical solutions, user-friendly designs and efficient maintenance systems that enabled use by people of all age groups. The installation of our community toilets was carried out with the beneficiary communities who have either employed a caretaker or maintain the toilets themselves.

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Individual toilet projects #OneHomeOneToilet

It has been our observation that wherever families were provided individual toilets, they not only maintained them but also upgraded them over a period of time. We are convinced that whenever possible, individual sanitation is the most sustainable and scalable solution.

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The organisation comprises architects, social workers, Geographic Information Systems (GIS) analysts and community workers.

Pratima Joshi

Executive Director

Pratima Joshi is one of the founding members of Shelter Associates (SA) and has been working for SA since its inception in 1993.

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Lata Shrikhande

Associate Executive Director

Lata Shrikhande is the associate executive director of the Shelter Associates Trust. Born and raised in Bombay, she was very involved in extra-curricular activities in and out of school.

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Partners and Funders