This is one story that has been unfolding over the past 5 years. The more permanent bridge you will see in the picture is a fairly important step for over 120,000 slum and informal settlement population in a very large slum cluster in Indore.
We (women's, children-youth groups groups and UHRC team) had been making regular requests to civic authorities for five years. In 2011, women,men and youth volunteers put together two pipes, broken brick-pieces and mud to make the first temporary bridge. This was washed away in the rains and rebuilt in 2012.
With continued requests to civic authorities a more permanent bridge as you can see in the picture has been made in 2015. The attached picture depicts the sequence over 2010 to 2015.
Children can now walk to school and back, women can walk for meetings, to small market, health centres with dignity, which is important to their lives. Knowing you are very sensitive towards challenges of underprivileged populations, I thought of sharing with you.Please share with those you feel will be interested. This is linked to the mapping and urban planning that you may be undertaking in some of your work.
Your solidarity and support is very important for over 400,000 slum, urban vulnerable population where 1700 slum women's, children-youth groups endeavour towards improving overall well-being and lives of their communities.
72 functional women’s groups in Agra with 750 members during the year 2014-15
Trained women’s groups submit community petitions to civic authorities. Through their efforts, during 2014-15-
6,300 people benefitted from water supply
40,000 population benefitted from paved roads in slums
34,000 population benefitted from cleaning of drains
Slum maps made by resident women and children groups help to a) Ensure that no family is left out from entitlements; b) Track access to Immunization and ANC; c) Help providing service linkage to recent migrants. With help of such maps, during 2014-15
3,942 women availed deliveries in government and affordable private hospitals,
1,401 Women availed government’s Maternity Benefits Scheme (Janani Suraksha Yojana)
1,460 <2 year old children to received immunization from government health facilities
>500 adolescent girls from urban poor community were trained under SABLA scheme aimed at “Empowerment of Adolescent Girls” and promote their health, nutrition, personal hygiene, vocational skills, and confidence building; and provided Iron Folic Acid tablets, nutritional supplements
26,062 vulnerable poor attained government Picture ID and proof of address (like Voter Id card, Aadhaar/Unique Id card) which are of critical importance for poor in claiming their entitlements
Women's group members are motivated to save regularly and build a basti 'social needs fund' utilised for loans to fulfill family needs e.g. health, education, purchase and storage of grains at harvest time, livelihoods. Literate group representatives are trained to maintain records of savings, loans and overall management.
125slum women-groups across 400000 slum population in Indore/Agra save regularly and provide low-interest loans to members and other needy families.
3327 loans were given. 550 loans served maternal-child health needs, 375 loans other health needs, 531 loans helped uninterrupted children’s education, 524 loans helped start/expand livelihoods, 424 loans supported grain-storage at harvest time, 221 loans supported girl marriages, 302 loans enabled repaying moneylender debts, 190 loans were used for food/kitchen expenses, 210 loans enabled house improvements, including toilet.