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.
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.
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.
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.