Let’s make Pune open defecation free in 5 years.

“Even today, over 60,000 families living in slums either use the community toilet blocks or defecate in the open. To bring an end to this practice, the central government, Maharashtra state government, the Pune Municipal Corporation, NGOs and private companies will work in collaboration to construct individual toilets for each of these households. In the next 5 years we will completely rid Pune city of open defecation.” said Municipal Commissioner, Kunal Kumar optimistically.

Kumar spoke at the inauguration ceremony of the 1000th toilet built by “Shelter Associates”, a Pune based NGO, at Yamunanagar vasti in Vimananagar. “Shelter Associates” has been working to provide households with toilets and proper sanitation under their programme “One Home- One Toilet” from July 2013. Others present at the occasion were, Pratima Joshi- executive director of Shelter Associates, Lata Shrikhande- associate executive director Shelter Associates, VasantPatil- Nagar assistant municipal commissioner of Nagar Ward, Mrs. Bharati Kotwal from Yardi software private lmtd. (who funded the project in Yamunanagar) Suman Rokade and  members of the community.

Kumar went on to say, “Every household in the slum must adopt the ‘One Home-One Toilet’ plan. The Municipal Corporation will cooperate to facilitate this. If the beneficiaries of this scheme share their experiences with others in the communities, they will inspire them to adopt the plan as well. The sanitation standards in the country can only improve when each person takes responsibility for himself and his household. I am sure that if the slum dwellers are educated regarding cleanliness and hygiene, they will accept change quickly and Pune will become an open defecation free city.”

Pratima Joshi said, “To build one toilet in each of the 60,000 potential slum homes, it will cost approximately 121 Cr. Through a partnership between Pune Municipal Corporation, private companies and citizens this goal can be achieved in the next 5 years and Pune could be the first city to become ODF and establish a partnership model that can be emulated by other states as well.”

The commissioner was felicitated by Suman Rokade, a resident of the settlement and the vote of thanks was given by Mrs. Lata Shrikhande.

The Toilet Revolution comes to More Vasti…

Successful revolutions happen quietly….it makes inroads into the lives of all those who are willing to make the change, for those who believe it will impact their lives. The revolution is a big step for the families here, and giant step for society.

More Vasti, a disadvantaged community in Pune, called a slum by traditional standards. Today, the residents of More Vasti have taken a stand, one that will ensure healthier environment and far better quality of life.

The Shelter “One Home…. One Toilet”, reality.

Why is this a revolution, some may ask ….because Shri Mohite and Shri Patole, both residents of the area have invested in what many there would call a dream. Many other residents here are joining this toilet revolution.

This is an area with a community toilet, which many find difficult to visit. Dirty, to the point of being disgusting, it brought no true relief. And think of sheer indignity of having to defecate in the open! The health benefits to the residents and all those who live around are enormous.

An investment into a toilet is about changing mind sets. It is about bringing dignity, empowerment and health.  The 30% invested by the dwellers there, and 70% by Shelter is not about toilets…it is about change, hope, and an investment to a healthy future.

Slum children soak up sanitation

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 Home, One Toilet, Three Cities

Shelter Associates’ vision for India of One Home, One Toilet has taken a step forward as the initiative is taking root in two other municipal authorities in Maharashtra.  These two additional areas are quite different to Pune meaning that very soon Shelter Associates model for sustainable slum sanitation should be demonstrable in different contexts: (1) a large urban area, (2) a small urban area, and (3) a semi-urban/semi-rural settlement.

World of Difference

Shelter Associates were recently selected by the Vodafone Foundation for inclusion in their World of Difference program.  As participants of the program Shelter Associates will be receive a Vodafone employee as a volunteer for a period of 2 months.  The volunteer will assist Shelter Associates with public relations to support the One Home, One Toilet‘ initiative.

Women of Pure Wonder

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.

Click here to watch the full book launch.

AKPBS Book Launch, New Delhi

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.

 

Corporate Social Responsibility

 

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.

Shelter Associates attends the Aga Khan Planning and Building Services Built Environment Symposium

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 titledInclusive 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:

 

 

 

 

World Toilet Day 2013

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.