One of Shelter Associates community workers, Noorjahan Kaladagi, was selected as one of the sixty extraordinary Indian women by the Vodafone Foundations and featured in their book ‘Women of Pure Wonder’. Noorjahan was selected as one of the extraordinary India women as she has faced a disproportionate amount of difficulty and adversity in her life and has always prevailed. She has become a respected leader in her community, whose integrity is very much intact, and an asset to Shelter Associates.
On 26th November 2013 the Aga Khan Planning and Building Services (AKPBS) launched a book which commemorates an event attended by Shelter Associates in December last year. Shelter Associates wrote a paper for the publication which focussed on the concept of planning that provides the beneficiaries with access to the planning processes and, as a result, achieves permanent long-lasting change and social elevation to the poor; inclusive planning.
The book is called ‘Design for Everyone: Towards Sustainable Habitats’ and it’s ISBN is: 978-93-5137-746-7.
On 2nd and 3rd December 2013 Shelter Associates attended an event hosted by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) which aimed at creating a bridge between Corporates & Foundations and Civil Society Organisations and Non Government Organisations. There were many sessions where various members of each side of the bridge spoke about their experiences of Corporate Social Responsibility.
There was also a haat (market), where Shelter Assoicates had a stall and promoted the city-wide slum sanitation project.
On 2nd December 2012 Shelter Associates attended the Built Environment Symposium at the National Center for the Performing Arts in Mumbai which was organised by the Aga Khan Planning and Building Services (AKPBS). At the symposium Shelter Associates played a short film titled ‘Inclusive Planning for the Urban Poor’ and presented the design concepts present at the scale of the city, the building, the house, and at the micro level. Extracts of the presentation are attached below:
On Monday 25th November 2013 Shelter Associates attended an event hosted by the Observer Research Foundation on the subject of sanitation. The event was scheduled to mark World Toilet Day on the 19th November but had to be postponed by 7 days as several important invitees were unavailable on the day itself.
Shelter Associates presented their unique methodology for facilitating access to sanitation in slums in the context of a city-wide slum sanitation project in Pune which is currently being implemented with the support of Dasra. The presentation focussed on Shelter Associates’ process for facilitating the construction of individual toilets in the most vulnerable slums of Pune:
1. The identification and verification of eligible slum settlements
2. The collection and spatial organisation of slum level information
3. The vulnerability index calculation
4. The collection and spatial organisation of household and family member data
5. Focus Group Discussions (FGD’s), workshops, and community meetings
6. The targeted construction of individual toilets and the establishment of a solid waste collection system
Shelter Associates’ data informed approach is not only a cost-effective way to address the pressing issue of open defecation and open dumping (and all health, hygiene, safety, education and employment associated issues) but it is also quick to deliver; using this model, Shelter Associates where able to make one of the slums in Pune Open Defecation Free with only one month of construction activity.
On Friday 20th September 2013 Shelter Associates took part in the Global Studio ‘People Building Better Cities’ discussion, which was an international travelling exhibition, at Studio X-Mumbai; Studio-X is a global network linked with Columbia University’s Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation. Shelter Associates gave a presentation that focussed on their working methodology and played their short film titled Inclusive Planning for the Urban Poor, which covers the 4 main characteristics of inclusive planning.
1. Data and the spatial organization of the collected slum data to ensure the creation of an accurate profile of the city and the settlement – this ensures that designs suit the situation and not the stereotype.
2. A city-wide approach to ensure the efficient use of land, and ensure that all slums including non-designated slums and slums in non-buildable zones (or in flood areas) are included.
3. Community participation to ensure that beneficiaries are invested in the proposal and establish a dialogue – as part of this process Shelter Associates conduct workshops and focus group discussions to support all physical interventions.
4. Monitoring to ensure the timely implementation of the project.
In September 2013 Shelter Associates transformed a slum known as Rajiv Gandhi Nagar into an Open Defecation Free area by facilitating the construction of 52 individual toilets as part of the Pune city-wide slum sanitation project; which is itself part of Shelter Associates’ ‘One Home, One Toilet’ vision for India. Each individual toilet took approximately 2-days to construct, meaning that this slum was made open defecation free within a 4-week period; which is significantly quicker than the implementation of community toilets, commonly promoted as the most suitable sanitation option but associated with: (1) the finding and acquiring of land (which is not always available), (2) lengthy tenders, (3) long construction phases, (4) high capital costs, (5) long queues, and (6) on-going maintenances costs/issues.
The community are now benefitting from having access to their own improved sanitation which is:
(1) safer – the women are much less likely to be harassed or abused, (2) more hygienic – the family are less likely to fall ill, (3) healthier – the children are less likely to contract diarrhoea and therefore, are more likely to have a healthy development, (4) enlightening – the children are less likely to miss school through illness, and (5) better for the families financial situation – the earning member of the family are less likely to be absent from work through illness and also less likely to require medical treatment.
Shelter Associates experience in the sanitation sector indicates that providing access to sanitation on an individual family basis (or shared amongst a few families) is the only cost-effective option that is both scalable and sustainable, and can address India slum sanitation problem in a permanent and meaningful way. One Home, One Toilet.