Announcing Two New Intiatives at Saath

Since its inception, SAATH has worked in the fields of Health, Education, Micro Finance, Training, Livelihoods, Policy Advocacy as per the needs of the community and has innovated its programmes and started new initiatives for the benefit of the people. Recently Saath started two new initiatives – Sujal water project for providing safe drinking water to Sanand Aanganwadi’s children and Housing Rights project for creating awareness amongst slum dwellers regarding their housing rights. Given below is the brief overview of both of these projects. Do let us know what you think about them.

Sujal – Safe Drinking Water for Everyone

According to Ahmedabad district annual report 2010-11, under the ICDS programme there are total 1,600 Aanganwadi’s functioning in Ahmedabad district out of which Sanand Taluka has 193 Aanganwadi’s (Village: 70, Population: 1,93,335). There are basic facilities like toilets and drinking water at each Aanganwadi but the quality of water is a major concern. Due to high PH level, poor quality of water and lack of RO systems children who come to the Aanganwadi’s suffer from water borne diseases like diarrhea, cholera and jaundice etc and many suffer from flourosis and kidney stone problems.

Through the Sujal project Saath will implement and monitor RO water system in 193 Aanganwadi’s of Sanand Taluka. For the phase 1 of the project we aim to implement RO systems in a total of 30 Aanganwadi’s. More than 1,000 children of 3-5 year age group of about 18 villages will get access to clean and pure drinking water during this first phase. The RO systems have been installed in 6 Aanganwadi’s by now and the rest ones will be covered by June,2014. The project will also keep an eye on the health status of the children studying in these Aanganwadi’s and will conduct regular health checkups of the children along with monitoring of the RO systems. The project is also an initial point for us to get to know the Sanand area so that later on we can reach out to a larger public base.

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Children with their teacher at Aanganwadi in Pilupura village of Sanand where the RO system has been installed.

Housing Rights for the Urban Poor

The Constitution of India under Part III Fundamental Rights under Articles 19 and 21 ensures every citizen right to reside at the place of his choice and right to life. India through its elaborated five year plans and formation of national housing policies strive to achieve the goal of Slum Free India through various national housing policies. JnNURM is one such ambitious scheme launched nation wide in year 2005 implemented by Ministry of Urban Development and Urban employment and poverty alleviation.

Major cities in Gujarat are set to have the highest number of new housing units built by the government in the coming years. This effectively means that many more communities will be evicted, and moved into EWS housing schemes – there is no safeguard against violations and denials of their rights of due process. Also, there is no assurance of adherence to standards and principles for in situ redevelopment and rehabilitation.

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One of the EWS sites in Ahmedabad where Saath is working

To tackle the situation Saath proposes to build the capacity of slum communities to understand their housing rights and be able to organize themselves against unlawful and illegal evictions, resettlements or housing that are less adequate, as well as to secure their entitlements under the policies and programs that are being initiated in the state. In longer term, the program aims to contribute to strengthening the national level work and platforms on housing rights. In the coming years Saath will work in 3 cities of Gujarat – Ahmedabad, Surat and Rajkot and train 60 community leaders, 10 community organisations and reach out to over 2,30,000 slum dwellers and work with them.

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