Bhubaneswar(27/05/2022): For localizing SDG 6, the Network enabled 20 WASH CSOs from eight states to learn from the community, CFAR and urban local body, Bhubaneswar and their collective effort to build equal and gender responsive WASH and the learning was rich, said Dr Seetharam, Member of Steering Committee, FANSA Network at a Learning-Sharing event on Localising SDG -6: Placing Community at the centre of WASH Response was hosted by Centre for Advocacy and Research, MARI and Freshwater Action Network South Asia (FANSA) in Bhubaneswar. Reflecting on the field visit in ward 21, Dr Seetharam highlighted on the “need to ensure transparency and accountability so that synergies can be built between theory and praxis.” The event brought together multi-stakeholders and WASH practitioners from 20 CSOs from across eight states, who are part of FANSA Network to deliberate on model practices in community engagement being implemented across 67 wards in Bhubaneswar by CFAR. In her keynote address Sulochana Das, Mayor, Bhubaneswar highlighted the efforts of the State government and Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation to make Bhubaneswar an inclusive and livable city for all citizens including marginal communities.
“As part of Jaga Mission 200 slums have been upgraded as Biju Adarsh Colonies.
Rakesh Kumar Makkar has been staying in Ward no 18 in Baliapata, since 2002. He got to know that there are many labourers staying in this Ward, who were facing lot of problems.
“I decided to help them by taking their issues to the Government and Non Governmental Organisations (NGOs) and many people from the community helped me in taking this forward.”
“In 2018, an organisation, named CFAR reached, out to us in Baliapata. CFAR, through community meetings, has enlightened us on issues related to water and environment. We formed Community Management Committee with the objective of understanding the problems of the community and addressing them, through the Committee members. All the concerns and problems of the community are taken to the Single Window Forum Members to the Single Window and then linked with the Departments concerned. After becoming Single Window Forum Member, we have not only taken up the issues of our community, but are also involved in other social development activities, such as helping people during the difficult times such as cyclone, Fani.”
“There has been problem with the quality of water in our community and this is not specific only in our settlement but also in many other settlements. We have learnt water quality testing methods and are able to test the quality of water ourselves. After discussing the issue with Primal and taking help of CFAR, we were successful in getting a Water ATM installed in our settlement.”
“Now with the Coronavirus outbreak, we Single Window Forum Members- along with CFAR -are trying to reach out to people by creating awareness and helping them by providing dry ration, cooked food and sanitary kit. We are giving information concerning COVID-19. We are positive that we will fight this battle together with CFAR and will overcome this crisis.”
We have benefitted by coming together as a Single Window Forum. The officials now listen to us and also consult us when take come to the settlement. As for the community, they approach us for any sanitation related issue and we together plan how to find a solution. Besides sanitation, we also work on helping the disabled, elderly and single women in the basti as they need our support in securing their dues.
Valmiki Colony is a notified settlement located in Ward Number 51 of Moti Dungri Zone of Jaipur Municipal Corporation. There are 287 Households in this slum with the majority of the population belonging to Scheduled Castes and minority communities.
The key occupations of both men and women living in this settlement are health workers and sanitation workers of the Jaipur Municipal Corporation or are employed as domestic workers in nearby apartments and houses.
Rakhishree, a transgender leader and member of the transgender self-help group Sweekriti, made a firm resolve to fight the pandemic. She started a small business of selling vegetables. Rakhishree has also been assigned the role of a tax collector by the Municipal Corporation.
However, she needed a mask and a sanitiser so that she could keep herself safe while selling vegetables. These items were in short supply due to an increase in demand. With CFAR’s support, Rakhishree and other transgender persons got hygiene kits. The masks and the sanitizers were of immediate help to transgender leaders like Rakhishree who have been stepping out despite the pandemic.
Banki Rani is one of the many migrants, who in search of new opportunities, migrated from Kamakhya Nagar in Dhenkanal district to Bhubaneswar in 2003. She and her family settled in Barabhuja Basti. When their life was just about beginning to look up, suddenly misfortune struck, when her husband met with a fatal accident in 2009. Banki Rani realized that as a single parent of two children and as a sole earning member she has to now soldier on with greater determination and grit.
Shiv Kumar is a 31-year-old differently-abled man, living in Rajeev Nagar Kachhi Basti, Ward 31 for the last 13 years. Shiv and his wife Asha Devi, both have locomotive disability from childhood. The couple with their two children lives in a single-room tin shed house but have a single pit toilet.
Shiv has a tricycle which he also uses to sell items such as tobacco, water bottles, and supari that fetches him Rs. 2000-2500 per month.
We belong to Valmiki caste. We have not constructed IHHLs in our lanes, because the sewer line cannot reach the houses. We are ready to construct the toilet if JMC provides the sewer line. Pregnant women, PWD and elderly are suffering a lot – Deepak – SWF member.
There are elderly, pregnant women, adolescents, and transgender in the community who are unfortunately practicing open defecation. But we are forced to do that as we have no other option or any community toilet complex where we can go. Sunita
Sunder Nagar, a 45 years old settlement on surveyed land in Jaipur. Since the settlement is on the surveyed land, there are a poor and at times no access to basic WASH services. Supply of water is one of the primary issues, the other being the households have insanitary toilets (single pit toilets) with no desludging done for years and there is no sewerage system in the settlement. The number of family members range from five to ten which makes the pits filled with sludge rapidly and at times the pits overflow on to the roads, since the pits are not desludged.
Manisha Samal is an achiever. She lives in the Tapovan basti of Bhubaneswar city with her parents and her brother. She is in the 10th standard and has multiple talents in dancing, singing, performing and the fine arts. But she wanted to do more.
Her abilities came to the fore while working on the issue of menstrual health and hygiene. She emerged as a change agent/ champion of MHM. She disseminated awareness on MHM through her performances in the Nukkad natak, her participation in the poster making competition, in the singing competition and other events. Her parents are proud of her achievements and the laurels she has achieved through her involvement with CFAR working as an adolescent change agent.