On the 19th January 2014 children from Indira Nagar Gharkul in Miraj attended a workshop focused on sanitation. The children are from a slum which was relocated at the beginning of 2013 to allow the construction of houses that will accommodate them and other slum families in proximity of the site which are on land that cannot be redeveloped, according to the local land use plan, for residential purposes. Their new houses are being constructed as part of Shelter Associates’ city-wide slum housing project in Sangli and Miraj. 36 children attended and put forward their own thoughts regarding sanitation.
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 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 26th June 2013 Shelter Associates attended a conference in Dhaka, which was sponsored by the World Bank and hosted by the National Housing Authority (NHA) of Bangladesh, to share their experiences of community participation in relation to the implemetation of slum rehabilitation schemes.
Prior to this event on the 25th June Shelter Associate met with members from two slum communities outside of Dhaka and discussed: (1) the arrangement of their current plot/home, (2) their family size and individual family members, (3) the family’s way-of-life, (4) their typical activities across one day, and (5) their aspirations. After this introduction to the slum communities Shelter Associates reviewed the designs that the community had worked out with the NHA engineers during a previous session, a few minor changes where recommended and accepted by the community members. Shelter Associates then helped the community to revise their presentation models so that they could explain their designs as part of the conference on the following day (26th June 2013).
During the conference Shelter Associates played their short film ‘Shelter Associates: inclusive approach to urban planning’ which advocates the inclusion of the slum community in all slum rehabilitation schemes as part of sensitive planning, meaning planning which is considerate and recognises slum dwellers umong the stakeholders in the project’s generation, implementation and maintenance.
A community member’s sketch of her plot of land and the cluster of buildings which she and her family occupy. The toilet (T), kitchen (K) and water tap are all located in a long thin area at the rear of her plot (at the top of the sketch).
In early March this year a Google Earth satellite passed over Sangli & Miraj, the urban area in Maharashtra where Shelter Associates are implementing the Integrated Housing and Slum Development Program (IHSDP) under the Government of India’s Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM). The resulting satellite photographs, which can be viewed on the Google’s application Google Earth, provides a unique aerial perspective of the construction sites where the site layout can clearly be seen. The software alsorecords the history of the IHSDP in this area as the historical imagery function on Google Earth allows earlier satellite photographs to be viewed, photographs taken prior to the construction of the new houses when the area was a slum.
Viewing the satellite photographs before and during construction of the new site layout poignantly illustrate the benefits of the new layout: (1) the access for the emergency services will be easier, (2) the capacity of the site has increased (in the case of Sanjay Nagar – from 311 slum huts to 434 apartments) allowing slum communities from nearby slums which either cannot be developed or flood to relocate here in walk up tenements which are G+3, (3) all of the buildings are organised around a central semi-public open space, (4) all of the apartments are organised around a semi-private courtyard, a strategy which allows natural light and natural ventilation to be maximised and minimises the requirement for (expense of) artificial lighting and ventilation, (5) the new buildings are capped with accessible terraces which can be used for a variety of community purposes such as a quiet place for children of the community to study.
On 31st January 2013 the residents of Sangliwadi slum in Sangli visited one of the construction sites in Miraj to see the homes that they will received under the IHSDP which is currently being implemented in Sangli & Miraj.
On the 20th January 2013 Mrs. Noorjahan Kaladagi, a community worker with Shelter Associates, was honoured by the local government for her dedication to the cause of improving the quality of life of the slum communities in Sangli and Miraj.
On 17th January 2013 residents (312 families) of the slum known as ‘Indira Nagar Gharkul’ in Miraj dismantled their homes and relocated to their transition site to allow the land to be redeveloped under the Integrated Housing and Slum Development Program (IHSDP). Once construction is complete the capacity of this site will more than double as Shelter Associates proposed site layout, which has been sanctioned by the Government of India and approved by the local governments town planning department, shows that 651 residential units can be accommodated here in 21 four storey buildings.
The residential units will provide the beneficiaries with a kitchen, bedroom, hall, bathroom, and individual toilet and will be accommodated in medium rise buildings to eliminate the requirement for lifts which frequently break down and require maintenance. The houses will also be integrated into the municipal water, drainage and electricity networks and will be leases to a cooperative society on a 99 year lease basis.
In addition to improving the quality of life and providing security of tenure to the resident of Indira Nagar Gharkul the extra housing stock will be used to accommodate people in the vicinity of Indira Nagar Gharkul who live in slums on land with is undevelopable (land with development plan reservations, land which floods, or land affected by road-widening projects).
The strategy at this site is in keeping with Shelter Associates city-wide vision for the IHSDP in Sangli & Miraj, which impressed the Government of India in 2009 and lead to changes in the most recent national slum rehabilitation policy ‘Rajiv Awas Yojana (RAY)’. The strategy is to develop land which can be used for slum rehabilitation purposes, to a higher density to provide new housing (with security of tenure) not only for the slum communities which occupy those site but also to other slum communities in the vicinity who are in a much more vulnerable situation and are at risk of eviction to the outskirts of the city which pushes them deeper into poverty.
This is a short film made by Shelter Associates about a city-wide approach to slum rehabilitation. The film focuses on a project that is currently in progress in Sangli & Miraj (Maharashtra, India) under the Government of India’s Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM). Shelter Associates are an NGO who designed the project and adopted an approach to engage with all stakeholders at every stage of the project. The film advocates that an inclusive approach, informed by a city-wide/holistic consciousness, and driven by an institutionalized monitoring system, is necessary to ensure tangible, long-lasting change, which results in the elevation of the quality of life of the urban poor.