Category Page: Recent Updates

    National Dissemination Meet on Enabling the Urban Poor to Strengthen Access to Sanitation

    National Dissemination Meet on: Presenting the Findings from the Evaluation Study of a Three-Year Intervention on Enabling the Urban Poor to Strengthen Access to Sanitation  

    The National Dissemination Meet held in Delhi, on February 27-28, 2017, enabled the Centre for Advocacy and Research (CFAR) to share and reflect collectively on the best practices that had emerged from a three year (2012-15) community-led urban sanitation intervention, in the cities of Delhi, Jaipur and Kolkata. The intervention, which was supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF), was jointly implemented by the Centre for Advocacy and Research, and three Community Based Organizations (CBO) Mahila Pragati Manch, Daksh Samooah and Alor Disha.  

    The findings from the Evaluation Study Sanitation, Water and Hygiene: Strengthening Community Centered and Gender Responsive Provisioning, which was conducted by the Institute for Human Development (IHD) and disseminated during the two-day Meet, highlighted and identified the changes that had been witnessed at the community level. They included:  

    • Hugely enhanced awareness levels on WSH in the community which has motivated individuals and the community as a whole to ensure cleanliness in their homes and the settlement.

    The effort of the Women’s Forum has gone a long way in making sanitation a people’s issue, with communities having a say in not only improving but also sustaining access to better services- Ms. Vimla, Founder member, Mahila Pragati Manch

    • Main success story in Delhi is the construction, renovation and maintenance of public toilets with official support from DUSIB and a decline in open defecation from 20 to 5%.

    The community decided that they would build their own household toilets and within three years 300 household toilets were constructed with the help of local masons.- Ms. Tabussum from Mahila Pragati Manch, Delhi

    • Filing of complaints /demands for clean and adequate drinking water supplies; regular garbage collection; community management of street cleaning and other felt needs.
    • In Jaipur, introduction of new technologies like dry two-pit latrines; construction of individual toilets and it eventually link up with Swachh Bharat Mission.

    Ms. Maya Verma, from Jhalana Kunda, recalls with a great sense of achievement of how the community had fought its own battles against open defecation, gone in search for an appropriate model for household toilets, learnt about the twin-pit toilet technique and replicated it on scale. “It is only after 35 households had constructed twin-pit latrines that the government woke up to the possibility and declared Jhalana Kunda as a learning site for officials and service providers.”          

    • Women and girls have started discussing their menstrual and reproductive health problems with their mothers, at health camps and with programme teams.
    • Families impose fewer restrictions on their daughters during their menstrual periods. (In Jaipur the proportion of women who did not allow their daughters to attend school has declined from 46 percent (baseline) to 16 percent (End line).
    • In J P Colony cluster of Jaipur, an adolescent girls forum was formed to promote personal hygiene among women in the cluster.
    • In Dakhin Kumrokhali and Stadiumpara clusters of a Kolkata slum, a women’s’ group named “Alor disha” was formed. CFAR with the help of this group started generating awareness about menstrual hygiene. The group also organized Dance Movement Therapy on health-related issues and provided them with proper knowledge on biological changes relating to women’s bodies.

    Sabina Mondal from Alor Disha, Kolkata, speaks of her transformation from being a survivor of violence to agent of change in Rajpur-Sonapur Municipality. “In our settlements today we can say with great pride and confidence that the community has taken full ownership of the issue of sanitation and linked it with both health and hygiene; not just in our homes but also in the anganwadi and school.”

    Over two hundred representatives from NGOs and CBOs-Mahila Pragati Manch, Daksh Samooah and Alor Disha- came together for the Dissemination Meet. They included 30 representatives from Jaipur, Kota and Jodhpur, 30 from Delhi, 20 from Bhubaneswar and 35 from Kolkata.

    Response: Policy Makers, Official, Experts and Partners

    In her Keynote Address, Ms. Swati Maliwal, Chairperson, Delhi Commission for Women (DCW), emphasized that the lack of access to clean public toilets was an issue she had personally experienced and that DCW was committed to addressing the issue of sanitation. She further affirmed that, “DCW will review the Evaluation Report and take serious note of its findings and recommendations and work towards strengthening community access to sanitation.”

    In her Opening Address, Ms. Madhu Krishna, BMGF said, “Without community engagement a WSH intervention or programme is not possible, which is why a partnership with CFAR is very important for us. Through this intervention we have witnessed how community representatives can be effectively facilitated to become strong agents of change. We will take these lessons forward across the county.” She also emphasized on the need for men to be brought into the process of community-centered sanitation initiatives.

    Mr. S.K Mahajan, Chief Engineer, Delhi Urban Shelter Improvement Board (DUSIB), stated that DUSIB has been working relentlessly over the last two years in improving sanitation across the settlements and was aspiring to gain a special branding for the Community Toilet Complexes built by DUSIB. He also emphasized on the need for proper maintenance of toilets and announced that DUSIB would soon be launching an App through which anyone can file complaints. He concluded by assuring everyone that DUSIB would provide special toilets free of cost for use at night.

    Dr Himani Tiwari, Coordinator, City Managers Association, Rajasthan, spoke about how CFAR, Daksh Samooah and Women’s Forums had played a major role in strengthening access to sanitation services in Jaipur. She spoke of how the Jaipur Municipal Corporation had organized a camp for the first time in Rajasthan, with support from CFAR, during which numerous applications for individual toilets were filed and processed and the first installment of the subsidy was issued on the spot. This process was then replicated in other cities. She added that Jhalana Kunda basti, where the CFAR team had worked, has been adjudged as a best practice and even declared a learning site for officials and service providers.

    During the panel discussion Prof. Amitabh Kundu, former Professor, Jawaharlal Nehru University, who was the moderator, declared that “the best approach was to work in partnership with the government and utilize government schemes that are available for the poor”.

    He added that, “It is good that central and state governments are now so focused on water, sanitation and hygiene as it is directly linked with improving life expectancy. But having said this it is important to add that these government initiatives must reach the poorest of the poor.”

    Mr. Saswat Rath of Sambodhi Research & Communication, pointed that while one of the major reasons for constructing toilet was the safety of women, ‘the biggest barrier was lack of money and space.”

     Abhishek Chatterjee, WASH Institute, “We can see the impact of interventions in the community but we have to ensure that the work is sustained once the NGOs leave. Therefore, it is important to identify champions within the community who will take the process forward.” He went on to state that one could “see the enhancement in confidence level in the community representatives gathered at the Meet.”

    Banashree Banerjee, Urban Planner, IHS (Institute for Housing and Urban Development Studies, Erasmus University) emphasized that “strengthening government institutions like MCD and DUSIB is also very important. Communities face numerous problems so when they approach these institutions with suggestions changes should be made in order to ensure better service delivery.” She further emphasized that “community experience must be utilized at the institutional level.”

    Key Takeaways

    In the Concluding Session the key takeaways were:

    “The intervention had managed to reach out to clusters which remained unknown and neglected so far”. – Ms. Indu Prakash Singh, Expert on Urban Poor and Homelessness

     Agreeing with this Ms. Gouri Choudhury, Chairperson, Action India, stated that the Swachh Bharat Mission had “started a whole new women’s movement without possibly intending to do so because women have taken the leadership in strengthening sanitation services”.

    Taking this observation forward, Ms. Mamta Dash, WaterAid, India, said that “CFAR had set an example by playing the role of a link between the government and the community to address sanitation issues”.

    “DUSIB has mandated to make slum areas in Delhi Open Defecation free by 2019. There is a great need for awareness generation and community participation for the maintenance of toilets. Now we have inspection teams for toilet complexes and a grading system. Grades are steadily improving with time.”- Shri. A.K Gupta, DUSIB Board Member

    “The community’s role is very important for participatory governance and here we see the community playing a very active role”- Shri. Bipin Rai, Board Member DUSIB

     “Community behavior change is very important but behavior change must also be there in the system at the service delivery provider level. Another important point that I want to make here is that the government should have confidence in women’s groups and budget control must be in the hands of the community.”  Shri. D.K Bose, Trustee-CFAR

    “The way women forums are working in all these areas and how their capacities have been built over the time is the most important thing I see here today. We need to sustain this.” Ms. Shobita Rajagopal, Associate Professor, IDS

    In the concluding session, Ms. Akhila Sivadas, Executive Director, CFAR said, “At the end of the day if this evaluation study can help to gain greater recognition of the pivotal role that community organizations can play in shaping both access to and ownership of safe and sustainable sanitation practices the National Dissemination Meet would have succeeded in more than one way”.

    Building awareness on NALSA Schemes for unorganised workers

    CFAR Pune conducted a Legal Awareness Programme on NALSA schemes for workers in the unorganized sector, at the Sahaya Single Window, on 23rd Feb. 2017. Member Secretary DLSA, Mr. Raosaheb Kokare, Adv. Jalal Pathan, Mr. Prabhakar Kamble and Adv. Nanda Jadhav were present at the event; as were forty seven (47) Community representatives from  Vishrantwadi, Shramik Vasahat, Jadhav Nagar, Laxmi Nagar 1 and 2, Kamraj Nagar, Mozhe Nagar, Yashvant Nagar and Barma Shel Vasti.

    The event commenced with a presentation on how the Single Window has been enrolling those who were applying for Ration Cards, subsidies for the construction of Individual House Hold Toilet (IHHL), ICDS schemes and programmes run by the Pune Municipal Corporation for urban poor populations, physically challenges persons and others. Reports were also presented on the various other activities that were organized by the Single Window.

    Adv. Jalal Pathan, Panel Member of DLSA, discussed the schemes that were being conducted by the Labor Welfare Department, for workers in unorganized sectors. While doing so, he shared information on the registration process, annul charges/ fees and how these schemes provide social security and social and educational development for unorganized workers. For example, the annual registration charge of Rs 68.00 entitles the person to get medical assistance of up to Rs. 5 lakhs a year as well as educational benefits for their children etc.

    During the discussion that followed, community representative spoke of the problems unorganized workers had in getting themselves registered and availing of benefits.

    Community representative Gulnar Shaikh said that when they had tried to register under the various schemes the concerned official did not provide the necessary information on the registration process and the benefits provided by the schemes.

    Community representative Ujalla Shigvan spoke of a property dispute in a family and asked that free legal guidance and legal Aid by provided at the Sahaya Single Window. She also mentioned family disputes and domestic violence cases of others in the community.

    Members Secretary Mr. Raosaheb Kokare, announced that a Free Legal Aid Clinic would be started in March 2017, especially for women in the unorganized sector, at the Sahaya Single Window. He also invited the Principal District Judge of Pune Mr. Prithviraj Chavan for the inauguration of the Legal Aid Clinic.

    Participants were also assured that a joint meeting would be held with  the Labor Commissioner to smoothen the process of registration of domestic workers in the second week of March 2017.

    In conclusion Mr. Kokare said that he has been keenly following the reports that have been appearing on the various activities of the Single Window and added  that he was particularly impressed with the reports on capacity building of grass root workers that was held in January 17, 2017 and periodic assessment held in December 2016.

    [/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

    Quality Council of India (QCI) at Jhalana Kunda to understand ‘Community Involvement’ in constructing IHHL

    In response to a request from the Jaipur Municipal Corporation (JMC) the Centre for Advocacy and Research (CFAR) facilitated an inspection of IHHLs (Individual House Hold Latrines) in Jhalana Kunda, in Jaipur, by a team from the Quality Council of India; an autonomous body that has been set up by the Government of India, as an auxiliary unit of the Union Ministry of Urban Development (MoUB), to conduct the Swachhata Sarvekshan Survey.

    The purpose of the Survey, which commenced on January 4, 2017, in 500 cities including Jaipur, is to rank cities on the basis of the work done by Urban Local Bodies (ULBs) on cleanliness, hygiene and other aspects of safe sanitation at the local level. JMC also requested CFAR to facilitate an interaction with members of the Women’s Forum in the settlement.

    The visit to Jhalana Kunda, a temporary settlement, on January 28, 2017, began with the two member team comprising of Shrimati Yashodhara Vijayan, Deputy Secretary, Government of India and Shri Pankaj Tyagi, Representative, Quality Council of India, inspecting the IHHL in Shri Ram Chandra’s house. During the interaction with the family, Shri Ram Chandra’s daughter Kanchan, who is a member of the youth group, spoke of how the family used to “go to the jungle or nearby hill top to relieve themselves prior to the construction of the toilet”.  When Shrimati Vijayan pointed out that the toilet space was “looking old”, Kanchan explained that in that space the family had previously constructed a temporary makeshift toilet with an exit pipe, which could be used as a bathroom during the night or if someone in the family was ill. And that in the same space the present toilet, using the Twin Pit technology, was built six months ago using the same structural base. She also showed the team the toilet and gave a detailed explanation on how the Twin Pit technology works.

    The team then visited two other IHHLs in the settlement and asked Pramod Kumari, who had constructed a toilet six months ago, if she felt any different now that she has a toilet in her house. She told them that the benefits were many, the most important being that “we do not have to defecate in the open and can use the toilet during the day and at night.”

    When asked if she had received “any support for making this toilet” Pramod Kumari said that they had “received Rs 4000 as of now but had no idea when the rest will come.”

    Interaction with Women’s Forum

    The interaction with the members of the Quality Council team covered a range of issues relating to sanitation and hygiene from IHHLs to garbage disposal and the importance of community participation in strengthening Swachh Bharat Mission.

    Ms. Maya Verma, a member of the Women’s Forum told the team that, “there were 360 new IHHL constructions in the settlement and that some families have received the first installment while a few had also received the second installment.”

    The discussion then turned to the disposal of garbage and how the community was dealing with it. Maya said that, all of them cleaned the space outside their homes “but in the absence of community dustbins we face the problem of dumping and getting the garbage removed regularly.’’ Manju then added that Women’s Forum Members have submitted an application to the concerned department on the lack of no dustbins in the settlement but “there is no response from the authorities.”

    Shri Pankaj Tyagi, Representative, Quality Council of India, stepped in at this point and asked the Municipal Corporation officials, who were present, why dustbins were not installed in the settlement. The Sanitation Inspector, from Moti Dungri said that this was because “the settlement has narrow lanes and large garbage van cannot enter the lanes.”

    This prompted Shri Tyagi to suggest that the residents should collectively designate an area in the settlement and persuade everybody to throw their garbage there. This garbage could be removed regularly and the settlement would remain clean.”

    Poonam Kulshrestha, CFAR, also apprised the visiting team on the processes that were being followed to strengthen community participation in the Swachh Bharat Mission and the role of the community-based organization Daksh Samooh.

    The interaction concluded with Shrimati Yashodhara Vijayan and Shri Pankaj Tyagi expressing their appreciation for the role that CBO and CFAR were playing in promoting sanitation and hygiene in communities and their approach and vision on community engagement.  

     [/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

    Public Hearings in Aadarsh Bastis

    As part of the MoU with DUSIB to strengthen community engagement in Adarsh Basti Centre for Advocacy and Research (CFAR), Mahila Pragati Manch (MPM) and Community Management Committee (CMC) have been given the responsibility of providing evidence on quantity and quality of access toand use of sanitation services across 14 Adarsh Bastis where we are partnering with Delhi Urban Shelter Improvement Board (DUSIB).

    In pursuance of this mandate, in Nov-Dec 2016 we are organizing public hearings in all 14 settlements (Balmiki Basti, Rajiv Camp-Chitra Vihar, East Guru Anand Nagar, Indira Camp-Beghampur, Janta Jeevan Camp-Okhla, Indira Camp-Beghampur, Janta Jeevan Camp-Okhla, Karotia Camp-Okhla, New Sanjay Camp-Okhla, Seemapuri, Sunlight Colony, Rajasthani Camp-Sarita Vihar and Sanjay Camp-Dakshhinpuri)

    On December 27, 2016, Public Hearing was organized at Gram Kheda, Jhilmil, in the presence of key officials from DUSIB and Delhi Jal Board (DJB). Prior to the Public Hearing we conducted interactions with residents in almost every lane to identify the deponents for the Public Hearing.

    Toilet complex has only 16 seats which is less to this populated area, there should be more seats. Other thing is that CTC should be open during night time too, where we are supposed to go in night time?- Sonam gupta

    There should be water supply in small lanes too, there is unnecessary quarrel in the area because of this issue- Rabia

    Garbage dumping house is very far away in our area. There should be small dumping stations in interiors because sometimes people miss garbage pickups because there are out on work duty- Ajeet Kumar

    Light poll in our street is leaning down and discharge current as well which is very dangerous- Rukhsana

    Based on the depositions following commitments were made by the officials: 

    • DUSIB will reconstruct old CTC in 45 days, will also give instruction to the caretaker to keep toilet open for users till 11pm.
    • Repairing and reconstruction work of drains is in progress and DUSIB will increase the height of drains with proper slope wherever water stagnation problem is occurring
    • DUSIB will cover open gutter near the community toilet
    • Delhi Jal Board will install taps in each lane as soon as possible

     Decisions taken by the community group members: 

    • Will file written complaint to MCD official to clean the open drain near slum and fix a permanent place and timing for the garbage van so that all people can throw households waste in the garbage collection van.
    • Will also write to BSES office for adequate street lights in the area and  to repair electricity pole