13 years after completion

In May 2012 representatives of Shelter Associates visited Rajendra Nagar, a slum rehabilitation housing project in Dattawadi (Pune, Maharashtra, India) which was completed 13 years ago in September 1998.

Prior to moving into this residential building all of the families lived within Rajendra Nagar slum.  The informal settlement was made up of single storey, structures made of impermanent materials.  Due to the proximity of the slum to the Ambilodha canal the settlement was prone to flooding which damaged the houses and the residents’ possessions.

Shelter Associates (and another NGO) were the Architects of the rehabilitation project and worked with the community of the Rajendra Nagar slum to provide them with new houses, essential services, sanitation, and freedom from the threat of eviction on a site less than 2km from their slum.  It was important to Shelter Associates that the community did not move so that they

The visit was conducted to enable Shelter Associates to talk with the residents about how living within this two-storey residential building had impacted the quality of their lives in relation to health, hygiene, safety, employment, education and matrimonial options.


The community takes more responsibility for the cleanliness of their environment now, this ensures that the public areas of the place are kept clean and there are no termites.


The community has divided the 12 toilets between the resident 50 families; each toilet has been locked and the keys have been distributed to the families.  This means that within the community there are 12 sets of families, each of which uses 1 toilet.  This strategy was devised and adopted by the community to ensure that toilets remain clean and well maintained.


All children, regardless of caste or religion, play in the central courtyard, which is a safe place for the children to play as it is constantly under supervision; its position at the centre of the plan ensures that it is over-looked by many  residential units, both sets of stairs, and all communal toilets.  This central play space has also helped to encourage a feeling of community spirit as no children are marginalized.


The children of the community are now all receiving education even the poorest children among the lowest castes.


The employment situation has improved as more members of the Rajendra Nagar community are now employed.  They are all employed in the services sector as there are no ‘professional’ earners within the community; however, this characteristic is likely to change once the youth of the community, who are receiving better education opportunities than their seniors, find employment.


Marital options have improved for all families within Rajendra Nagar; this is because the average earnings have increased, all homes are clean and well kept, and all families have access to a clean working toilet.

It can be concluded from this visit that the rehabilitation scheme has had a positive impact on the quality of life of the Rajendra Nagar Community as all residents reported that, compared to the slum where they used to reside, their new homes are healthier, more hygienic, safer, and as a result, education, employment, and marriage options have all increased.  The community of Rajendra Nagar no longer lives in a slum; they live in an apartment complex with their own house number and address.


Beneficiaries visit the ‘Sample Apartment’

On 22nd May 2012 members of the Sanjay Nagar (Miraj) community visited the ‘Sample Apartment’ which has been formed on site.

The Sanjay Nagar community are currently residing within a transition camp 1 kilometer from the land which previously accommodated their slum and is now being redeveloped under the Integrated Housing and Slum Development Program (IHSDP).

The beneficiaries visited the ‘Sample Apartment’ as an ongoing process of community participation, so that they could experience the houses that will be provided to them (on a

90% subsidized basis) under the IHSDP and, most importantly, to provide their feed back.

‘Sample Apartment’ on site at Sanjay Nagar in Miraj

Recently (May 2012) a ‘Sample Apartment’ has been formed on the Sanjay Nagar construction site in Miraj.

The contractor and the Sangli, Miraj & Kupwad Municipal Corporation (SMKMC) were requested by Shelter Associates to accelerate the block work, windows and doors for one residential unit on this construction site so that it could be used as a ‘Sample Apartment’ to demonstrate the homes that the beneficiaries of the Integrated Housing and Slum Development Program (IHSDP) will get, on a 90% subsidized basis, under the scheme.

Transition Camp Kitchen Gardens

The residents of the Sanjay Nagar slum, in Miraj, moved to a transition camp in October 2011 to allow the slum to be demolished (please refer to ‘Peaceful relocation of Sanjaynagar Miraj to a transit camp’ within the ‘Downloads’ section of this website for more detail).  Once the slum was cleared the Sangli, Miraj & Kupwad Municipal Corporation (SMKMC) was able to hand the site over to a contractor whose services had been engaged to carry out the construction of 14 buildings, which will accommodate a total of 434 residential units, on the site as part of the Integrated Housing and Slum Development Program (IHSDP).

In addition to the essential service provided for the transition camp by the SMKMC (potable water, toilets, electricity and public lighting) the residents have established their own social services to suit their own specific requirements; the beneficiaries have established their own school (for the small children of the camp) and two shops.  The beneficiaries have also started to use much of the land immediately outside of their transit house and land around the transition camp for producing their own vegetables.  This local production of food reduces the beneficiaries’ expenses and reduces the requirement to bring vegetables into the community from outside.

Another ‘Smokeless Chullah’ delivered

On 13th May 2012 Shelter Associates delivered the last of the 23 ‘Smokeless Chullahs’ that had been given, free of charge, to the 23 poorest families of the Sanjay Nagar community (who are currently all residing within the Sanjay Nagar transition camp).

‘Smokeless Chullahs’ are a method of cooking (and heating water) which produce less noxious gases than traditional chullahs and open stoves; this means that they are better for the health of the cook, and the people (especially children) in the proximity.  The ‘Smokeless Chullahs’ also make cooking quicker, as they burn bio fuel more efficiently, and cheaper, as less bio fuel is required (please refer to ‘Shelter Associates: Smokeless Chullahs’ within the ‘Videos’ section of this website for more detail).