Build 40 toilets for migrant workers in India

by Maitri India
Build 40 toilets for migrant workers in India
Build 40 toilets for migrant workers in India
Build 40 toilets for migrant workers in India
Build 40 toilets for migrant workers in India
Build 40 toilets for migrant workers in India
Build 40 toilets for migrant workers in India
Build 40 toilets for migrant workers in India
Build 40 toilets for migrant workers in India
Build 40 toilets for migrant workers in India
Build 40 toilets for migrant workers in India

Dear friends,

Everyday large numbers of people migrate from rural to urban areas causing unplanned and explosive growth of cities in India. A vast majority of these migrant workers get absorbed into various unorganized sectors. A significant number of migrant workers take up cycle rickshaw pulling to support their families back in their villages. With your support Maitri has been able to strive for identity ,respect and dignity for rickshaw pullers.

Maitri initially identified 16 garages depending upon the number of RPs in the garage and understanding the need of the RPs in the garage, which varies from garage to garage for living condition improvement intervention. the interventions have helped :

  • Change in RPs living condition. They are now managing their surroundings well by trying to keep it clean.
  • The interventions have given impetus to need and subsequently demand generation on part of the RPs to avail services and products to lead a better way of life and they are willing to be able to fulfil this need by themselves only and through government schemes. They are becoming aware.
  • Change in garage owners' perception in looking towards the well-being of RPs.
  • RPs, with the help of garage owners, are trying to maintain the items given in the garage.
  • Change in habit is seen among some RPs. Intensive BCC at the field is also helping in multiplying the effect.
  • The RPs are happy with the result of the intervention and are glad that the bio toilets are as effective as they were told. They are using the toilets without any reluctance anymore and are eventually getting used to the habit to the extent that they are keen to get toilet constructed in their home for the usage of their families. Even the garage owners are demanding for construction of bio toilets in their garages.
  • Beds, plastic sheets etc. comfort them from the harshness of extreme climatic and seasonal variations; protect them from insects, crawlers etc.; also, in sickness, RPs get to rest properly on a bed rather than on a bare floor or on the rickshaw; they are even motivated to use mosquito nets.
  • With enrolment of the RPs under the PDS and UWIN, Maitri is trying to assist them in availing the benefits of government housing scheme.

As depicted through the graph,the change in base line (2031 RPs) from Phase 1 until evaluation phase. It reflects that the numbers of ID proof owners (RPs) have increased from 2015 to 2018. Now again, Maitri has selected 15 more garages for next phase intervention.

Sucess Story 

The benefeciary is a local rickshaw puller who hails from Ranchi only. His family includes wife and four children. With the money earned from this vocation, he is able to send his children to school. He has been in the vocation of rickshaw pulling from past 7 years.Before entering this vocation, He worked in a dairy factory in Ranchi. On being asked why he left that job and switched to rickshaw puling he said, “I worked there for years but one thing that I missed there and do not miss now is daily earning and independence. The pay was not instant. My wage was decided at INR 300/- per day but I was paid weekly or monthly. I did struggle that time to meet the needs of my family on a daily basis. It was completely unlike the vocation I chose after that and it changed my life for good.”

Thank you for sharing our vision to uplift and empower Rickshaw Pullers in Ranchi. We couldn’t do it without your support. Thank you friend!

intervention through garages
intervention through garages
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Dear friends,

Everyday large numbers of people migrate from rural to urban areas causing unplanned and explosive growth of cities in India. A vast majority of these migrant workers get absorbed into various unorganized sectors. A significant number of migrant workers take up cycle rickshaw pulling to support their families back in their villages.

Pulling cycle rickshaw is one of the easiest ways they can get employed because it doesn’t require any formal education or job application. However, it is one of the most physically demanding jobs. They have to paddle the cycle rickshaw in harsh weathers all day long for as low as few hundred rupees a day. Most rickshaw pullers cannot afford a cycle rickshaw so they take one on rent. After they pay the daily rent and send home some for their families, they practically have nothing left for their own sustenance. That’s why many of them don’t rent a house. Instead, they sleep on their rickshaws, at the railway stations or at the rickshaw garages. An estimated 2 million cycle rickshaws ply the roads in India. It is believed that the actual number could be much higher than this.

Maitri has been working among Rickshaw Pullers (RPs) in Ranchi City, Jharkhand, India since 2012. Most of these RPs live in dire poverty, with a lack of adequate housing, clean drinking water, sanitation and medical facilities. Maitri works to improve living condition, promote access to citizenship rights and other challenges Rickshaw Pullers confront on a day-to-day basis while doing an unglamorous job to sustain themselves.

Organisation of BCC camps

Amidst all forms of interventions, Maitri organises BCC camps focuses on empowering RPs and eventually their families and a larger population of the community, to make decisions based on correct information and improved understanding and to motivate them to help create positive social norms. This month a new concept was added in BCC where information on “how to behave respectfully and responsibly towards women, elderly and children” is being imparted amongst the RPs; importance and usage of UID, ration card, BPL  card, Bank account, how to take benefit pension amount, UWIN cards registration process, importance of hygiene and sanitation like keeping cooking place clean etc; inducing informed heath seeking behavior etc.; the concepts of identity, dignity and respect and correlating them with the RPs  vocation of rickshaw pulling and their life as a whole.BCC camps provide thrust on generating awareness, disseminating information and behavioral change amongst the RPs. Important case studies are collected after the BCC session.

Case study- Here is how your help has made him take a descision in life

One of our benefeciaries had been in the vocation of rickshaw pulling for past many years (7 – 8 years) before switching to e-rickshaw some six months before. He said that he was quite satisfied with his prior vocation. He added, “I raised my family quite well with the money I earned from rickshaw pulling. I used to earn INR 400-500/- almost every day. But when I got an opportunity to drive e-rickshaw, I decided to try it.”

When he started driving e-rickshaw, his daily income increased considerably (INR 600- 800/- per day). He liked the change and embraced the change positively. As he got used to driving e-rickshaw and e-rickshaws started to become prominent on Ranchi roads, traffic rules and regulations on them started to form and come to fore. With this, the
daily income of e-rickshaw drivers got affected to some extent. He shared that his daily income came down to almost half of what he was earning before, that is, INR 200- 300/- per day. Although, he manages to earn at least INR 400/- on some days, daily average income has reduced.

As a matter of fact, He is earning less than what he used to earn on a daily basis as a rickshaw puller. But he has no regrets. He stated,

Rickshaw pulling is a vocation that is close to my heart. My family thrived on it. But today when I have changed my profession, I don’t wish to go back to rickshaw pulling again. Several factors are their like physical comfort, less labour etc. but most importantly, I feel it has given me a status. People in general look down upon rickshaw pullers but the attitude is not same for an e-rickshaw driver or for nay driver for that matter. There is a sense of respect and feel good factorassociated with being an e-rickshaw driver than a rickshaw puller.

He said that he could have never thought of switching his job and do something else if e-rickshaw did not come into scene. The transformation was easy and it serves him and his family well. He is positive that in coming days the traffic rules will loosen up gradually and as such, the daily income of e-rickshaw pullers will increase eventually.

Since Maitri also promotes alternate livelihoods for the RPs, this comes across as a positive case study.


 We thank you, our loyal donors, for joining hands with us in coming along side with Rickshaw Pullers and helping them actively participate in improving their lives. We will keep you updated on the progress we make and the lives we transform!

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Dear Maitri friend,

Maitri wants to share a story of success that will inspire generations. Among all our benefeciaries, Maitri wants to take pride in sharing the journey of a woman as a rickshaw puller.

Driving her way; 

This case study is of 25 years old woman who is an e-rickshaw driver from Guddu garage. Maitri is happy tp share  a story of resilience and women power that reflects that when need arises, there is no job a woman can’t do. Also poverty is not only limited to a class that is illiterate, but it can also adversely affect those who are educated and were once well off.

This young   woman is married to one of our benefeciary who works a private coalfieds and earns a meagre amount. They have a son who studies in standard 4.  The couple bought an e-rickshaw on loan and lend it on rent to a person to drive. The purpose was to increase their income and support the family. But the e-rickshaw became a liability for them as it often broke down. The driver who used to run it often came with the e-rickshaw either broke down. He also did not give proper rent amount and never on time. Having faced so much of complications in renting the erickshaw, they decided to stop using the service.

Struggling to make ends meet, She decided to start driving E rickshaw. With her husband's support ,she started driving it.She has been driving e-rickshaw and takes pride in being the only women driver from this garage. She commands respect.

 “I drive daily from 11 am to 6pm in the route from Kutchehry chowk to High court. I earn around 600 INR per day.

I am happy that I made this decision”.

She was a graduate and tried for government jobs as well but could secure none. So in the face of adverse poverty, when her education also could not land her into a job, her good decision making skill and confidence (that she owes to her education only) led herto tread on an unconventioanl path and succeed. She is a shining example of women
power as well as a believer that no work is inferior.

Activities and health camp 

This month, Maitri, Ranchi, was invited to attend a daylong workshop on Basics of Complete Street organized by Institute for Transport & Development Policy (ITDP). Some other ngos like Maitri, CHSJ, Jagori, MHT, and Citizens Foundation were part of the same.

 The workshop involved presentations that discussed the accidental inaccuracy in street design wherein they explained how in designing streets there is often more accidental mistake rather than deliberate ones with examples from different cities; the basic principles of complete street design wherein the principles of street design, elements of street, different street typologies, issues and challenges .

 Such a workshop also helped our beneficiaries to be aware about what complete street is, and involved them in getting important suggestions and inputs for developing a holistic street design manual, which Jharkhand government is going to prepare.

 Apart from this,. This month Maitri organized health camps in Dhananjay Garage, Pawan Garage and Vijay garage. Health is an issue which Maitri looks at very seriously. Owing to their financial limitations and harsh working conditions most RPs and their family cannot afford proper healthcare. Our health camps are a means to bridge the gap in the healthcare system. Regular check-ups have helped the target population get treatment and bring in awareness about their health conditions

 Major cases of body ache; especially leg pain, back pain and whole body pain are seen due to the nature of their job. Due to seasonal change, majority of the Rickshaw pullers were found to be affected by fever and cold. Majority of them have problems of gastric and indigestion as well as worms were common here.

 Thank you for giviging us a platform where we can salute such stories .

We couldn’t do it without your support.

Thank you friend!

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Initially under the second phase and third phases, six bio toilets in 6 garages, and 10 bio toilets have been initiated in 2 garages and 4 urban slums of Ranchi Municipal Corporation. These initiatives are for the benefits of more than 700 rickshaw pullers.

Maitri believes that this outreach work will be instrumental in shaping as wellas adding on to the work with rickshaw pullers.As per a report from WorldHealth Organization (WHO), more than 700 million people in India lack access to toilets and sanitation. They defecate in open fields, water sources or other sources, which again leads to different kind of diseases and pollutions. These figures are alarming because not only it constitutes half of the entire population of India but also is more than twice the number of people practicing open defecation in 18 different countries combined. Maitri is hopeful that construction of toilets in these garages will end the practice of open defection, and will be one step towards accessing public health right in India.

Camps focusing on generating awareness and disseminating information

While construction of toilets is a continuing process, Maitri organizes different kind of activates and camps to strengthen developmental work with migrant workers. BCC camps were organized to improve understanding and generate awareness around the rights available. The camps helped in explaining as well as disseminating important information regarding usage and importance of UID, ration card, BPL cards, bank account etc. Rickshaw pullers are also playing an active role in demanding their rights. The camps are also becoming more interactive in nature and have moved towards a new phase where important dialogues about concepts of identity, dignity and respect are being

One of the topics discussed at every camp is the need to follow proper health and sanitation practices. We live in a country where thousands die every year because of diseases transmitted through human waste. As per a report submitted by WaterAid, more than 140,000 under-fives die in India each year from diarrhea. The discussions got a lot of support as well as the needs to built toilets were welcomed with an affirmative yes. These camps are important for awareness as well as hanging behaviors. In places where toilets are constructed, because of lack of effective awareness and discussion, people don't adapt themselves to these changes. Culture related obstacles; lack of proper campaigning creates obstacles in this process. Maître has noticed effective changes and impacts of creating dialogues and awareness with people. Rickshaw pullers who are mostly migrant population are now not just self aware, but want to replicate the same in their homes and villages they belong to.

Case study: An example of positive impact.

“When I started pulling rickshaw 18 years back, rent to hire a rickshaw was 2 INR and I managed to earn 120 to 150 INR daily. I gave 2 INR as rent and used to spend some on food and could manage to save upto 7 to 8 INR at the end of the day”. -One of the benefeciaries of the project.

Today , he is 53 year old and earns around 250 INR per day from which he pays 40 INR to owner of the garage as rent. He spends around 10-15 INR for food and buys groceries with the rest amount. He manages to save around 100 INR per day. He has been in the vocation of rickshaw pulling from past 18years. He has his own house in Jhiri village, Ranchi. He hires rickshaw on rent from Vijay garage. He commutes from his village to the city for earning livelihood on a daily basis. He lives with his two sons and he lost his wife to anaemia. His elder son works for Ranchi Municipal Corporation as a rag picker from which he earns 5, 500 INR per month and younger son work as a labourer. The elder son is married and has two daughters and a son. After getting information about ration card and its usage through Maitri’s BCC camps organized at the Vijay garage, Shivnath applied for all relevant documents and received them too. Now he receives ration too.

He lives in a mud house with no toilet facilities. After witnessing the toilets built by Maitri, he is hopeful to construct one toilet in his area as well.However he is not able to get an application from the Mukhiya. He is deeply inspired from the work and activities of Maitri and is determined to build a toilet in his area. He acknowledges how building a toilet is a step towards accessing health right and hence a step towards a life of respect and dignity. Better toilets can lead to better lives. He is grateful for Maitri for working towards improving lives and making a difference.

Construction of toilets in Vijay Garage
Construction of toilets in Vijay Garage
Construction of toilets in Vijay Garage
Construction of toilets in Vijay Garage
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Construction work in progress
Construction work in progress

Under the intervention, six bio toilets have been constructed each in the second phase in six garages, Maitri is working with, in Ranchi.

More than 700 rickshaw pullers are the beneficiaries of the intervention. All the 6 garages have proper water availability (well and supply water).

During the third phase under the intervention, we intend to construct 10 bio toilets in 2 garages and 4 urban slums of the Ranchi Municipal Corporation. It is our effort to seek cooperation and support from the designated authority (Garage owners and Community Representative), thus, catering to the general masses of these slum areas.

Maitri aims to seek behavior change in the beneficiaries and is doing outreach for the same.

Case study on positive impact of the intervention

Dev Nandan (40 years old) when spoken to, said that he has been pulling rickshaw since 2002 and has been living in SRK garage, where Maitri is working, from the last two years. He hails from Latehar district of Jharkhand and his family lives in the village. SLK garage is one such garage where toilets were constructed because of Maitri’s constant efforts to bring hygiene and sanitation in the lives of rickshaw pullers.

He shared, “Earlier we used to go out in open for defecation but we used to face so much problems like passersby used to call us names, we had to use places areas where garbage is thrown etc. which was extremely unhygienic with flies and mosquitoes as well as humiliation of no privacy. We knew it was not good for our health and the environment also gets polluted, yet unfortunately we had no choices. Maitri team convinced Mr.Suresh (garage owner) and us about the disadvantages of open defecation and benefits (health, hygiene, sanitation, environment, dignity) of using a toilet. We became increasingly aware and finally Mr.Suresh was motivated to allow construction of two toilets constructed in the garage.”

Maitri’s outreach interventions brought about change in the attitudes and behavior of not only the rickshaw pullers and the owner but it extended beyond to their families as well. Mr.Dev expressed, “After I got in the habit of using a toilet, I realized how this little change in our lives has brought about a huge transformation in our daily lives. It spares us the humiliation, social awkwardness, health risk and most importantly has led us to the realization that we too deserve a hygienic life for our families and us saving from disease and infection. I felt guilty that my wife and daughters and other family members had to go out in the open for defecation in the village and I decided and built toilet at my home for my family’s use.”

He further added that he and his fellow rickshaw pullers in the garage have a feeling of shared responsibility towards keeping the toilets clean and maintained.  He also expressed his gratitude towards Maitri for working for the betterment of their lives.

Pit dug for the construction of Toilets.
Pit dug for the construction of Toilets.
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Maitri India

Location: New Delhi, Delhi - India
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Twitter: @Maitri NGO
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Maitri India
New Delhi, Delhi India

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