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.

People Building Better Cities

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.