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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
Amit, owner of Amit Rickshaw Garage
Amit, owner of Amit Rickshaw Garage

As reflected in the feasibility study undertaken for Project Adhikar, 35.6% of Rickshaw Pullers (RPs) out of 1000 selected for the study live in the garages and other places that substantially lack basic amenities like inadequate access to safe water, inadequate access to sanitation and other infrastructure, poor structural quality of shelter, etc. These factors invariably take a toll on RPs health, affecting their productivity largely, thus, marring their livelihood.

Construction of Bio-Toilets and ensuring their proper usage will go a long way in improving their living and health conditions. Amit, owner of the Amit garage, where a large number of Rickshaw Pullers live, is a good example of how having access to sanitation facility has a very positive impact on the well being of the RPs. This twenty years old garage is the source of livelihood to roughly 200 RPs and home to around 70 RPs. As such, the responsibility as well as the liability of the RPs inevitably lies with Amit, who is equally keen to work towards their betterment.

Amit garage is one of the garages where bio toilets have been built in the first phase of the intervention. Amit said that earlier the RPs had no choice but to go out in the open to attend nature’s call but since the garage is set in an urban locale, the RPs faced space constraints, public glare and embarrassment. He even told that though he has proper water facility in his garage (supply and well), it never really struck him to build a toilet for the RPs until Maitri approached with the concept.

Amit said Maitri’s association with the garage and its constant efforts through various interventions over the years has positively affected the lives of the so many RPs. This is visibly evident in their day to day life as they are adopting good habits and hygiene practices with proper understanding of the same, thus, working towards improving, not only their lives, but that of their families and eventually their community.

Until now, under the project, 14 bio toilets have been constructed and are duly used in the first phase of the intervention in the five garages. The RPs are happy with the result of the intervention and are glad that the bio toilets are really 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 bio toilet constructed in their home for the usage of their families.

After successful implementation of the first phase of construction of bio toilets, there is an air excitement and a general acceptance amongst the RPs of garages where toilets are to be constructed in the second phase. This is the result of promotion of the intervention through word of mouth and experience sharing by the RPs amongst their peers.

In the second phase we are preparing to construction bio-toilets in the following garages.

  1. Vijay Garage
  2. Sunil Garage
  3. Mitu Garage
  4. Santosh Garage
  5. Jagdish Garage
  6. Anil Garage

Approximately 700 RPs are going to benefit from the intervention. All the 6 garages have proper water availability (either well or supply water). The construction is in the full swing at the moment. Moving forward, Maitri intends to construct bio-toilets in the four urban slum communities in and around Ranchi city.

Thank you for supporting the project and enabling us to improve the living conditions of the RPs in Ranchi. We hope to work in more garages and cater to many more RPs in Ranchi.

 

Construction for bio-toilet at Mithu Garage
Construction for bio-toilet at Mithu Garage
Toilet Cabin Construstion
Toilet Cabin Construstion
Construction work at Jagdish Bagla
Construction work at Jagdish Bagla
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Maitri CEO, staff and RPs at the inauguration
Maitri CEO, staff and RPs at the inauguration

Dear Maitri Friend,

You have directly contributed towards helping 700 Rickshaw Pullers have access to sanitation facility for the very first time in Ranchi, Jharkhand state of India. With your support, Maitri has completed the construction of 14 toilet cabins in six different garages with proper supply and storage of water. The garages are not only a place to park rickshaws but also a place where Rickshaw Pullers live because they cannot afford to rent a room. Most often, in the garages they lack basic amenities such as kitchen, toilet and running water.

In order to improve the living conditions of Rickshaw Pullers, Maitri has been working together with Rickshaw Pullers, Garage owners and the local government officials. 

The newly constructed sanitation facilities were inaugurated on 9th September 2016 for its use. A board with DOs and DONTs was placed outside every toilet to ensure Rickshaw Pullers maintain hygiene and functioning of the toilets. Rickshaw Pullers from each garage were very excited and grateful. “Maitri has not only given us information but also done something concrete for us. Toilet is most basic but it was our greatest need. I am very grateful for the toilet and running water that we have now”, said Magga 68–years-old, Rickshaw Puller who after a sudden death of his son is now forced to pull rickshaw once again to provide for his family.

Maitri team is now working with next batch of Garages to build more toilets for Rickshaw Pullers. It requires cooperation and agreement from Garage Owners. They need to consider about the unhygienic living conditions of Rickshaw Pullers and be willing to take steps for their welfare.

Health Camps for Rickshaw Pullers

Maitri team conducts regular health camps for target Rickshaw Pullers. In the last quarter, 3 Health Camps were organized at Sabir, Amit and Sharma garages, which benefitted total 186 Rickshaw Pullers. Most common ailments were related to skin problems, itching, cough and cold, and weakness in the bone for which doctor prescribed medicine and told them how to care for their health. About 8-10 cases related to hydrocele, eyesight, and asthma were referred to the Government Hospital.

Awareness on Citizenship Rights

Most Rickshaw Pullers are either not aware or do not know how to avail the welfare schemes that are available to them through the national or state government initiatives. As a result they continuously live in the margins and do not have any support to better their lives. For this reason, Maitri holds awareness meetings on regular basis. In the last quarter we held the awareness meetings at 30 different garages. Maitri staff gave them information about various welfare schemes that apply to them and how they can avail them. A total of 314 Rickshaw Pullers attended the awareness camps. Many Rickshaw Pullers came forward to enroll their names for identity cards and benefit cards. Maitri team will follow up the process and help them access their citizenship rights.

In the future, we hope that Rickshaw Pullers will themselves demand for their rights, and they will also make others around them aware of the benefits.

Garage Owner’s Association formation and meeting  

Maitri has been working towards bringing Rickshaw Garage Owners together with the goal of forming an Association. The formation of the association will empower and help the rickshaw Garage Owners’ and Rickshaw Pullers to have a voice and speak up for their rights. The registration of the Association is in the process and the documents have been submitted to the concerned authority. This is a right step towards protecting Rickshaw Pullers from any kind of exploitation and violation of their rights.

A heart filled with gratitude 

Budheo, 57, has been pulling rickshaws since 1980. He has lived and moved to different garages in Ranchi. His hometown is Angara, a village about 25 km away from the Ranchi city. His two sons are now adults and working. Besides pulling rickshaw he also grows vegetables in the small agriculture land he has in the village. His wife helps him in the farming. He has great respect and devotion to his profession of pulling Rickshaw, “It is through pulling rickshaw that I raised my children and purchased a small agriculture land”, he says. He makes only INR 200 to 300 per day but he is full of gratitude and believes in working hard. Maitri has assisted Budheo with voter ID, UID, a zero saving bank account and Below Poverty Line cards. It gives us a great joy to support a Rickshaw Puller like Bedheo who displays such content and positive outlook to life. 

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!

Inauguration of toilets covered by local news
Inauguration of toilets covered by local news
Awareness meeting with RPs
Awareness meeting with RPs
RPs gather for the meeting in one of the garages
RPs gather for the meeting in one of the garages
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Ms Sonal S. Wadhwa inspects the newly built toilet
Ms Sonal S. Wadhwa inspects the newly built toilet

Dear Maitri Friend,

We have exciting news - we have broken ground on building toilets at five separate Rickshaw Garages where the Rickshaw Pullers not only park their rickshaws but also live there. It is not the ideal space for residence, but since they cannot afford to rent a room this is their only option.

In June, we were able to transport five bio-toilet tankers, 3 tankers of 3000 liters and 3 tankers of 2000 liters, along with barrels of bacteria from Delhi to Ranchi, Jharkhand.

The toilet areas were selected well in advance on needs of the beneficiaries, assessing space, water supply and maximum number of Rickshaw Pullers living in the garages. The construction of 14 cabins at five rickshaw garages that will benefit about 700 Rickshaw Pullers will be completed by September 2016.

Our end goal is to improve the quality of life for rickshaw pullers living in garages. And having proper sanitation facilities won’t achieve that unless they are properly used. That is why we have been holding health camps in Rickshaw Garages to teach hygienic practices. The garage owners being important stakeholders in this were brought in the meetings. They all have committed to supervise the cleanliness and functioning of the toilets. The Rickshaw Pullers were instructed not to carry bottles, papers, plastic, etc. inside the toilet. It’s the full responsibility of the garage owner to maintain the toilet with proper usage and cleanliness.

This effort will be ongoing until hygienic behaviors have become habitual.  But as the community toilets are completed, the Rickshaw Pullers will finally have access to a clean sanitation facility.

Thank you for your generous support to this project.  Access to sanitation facilities is a basic human right - one we may take for granted.  Thank you for helping us provide that to our hardworking community of Rickshaw Pullers.

Toilet construction in progress in Amit garage
Toilet construction in progress in Amit garage
Placing of bio tanker in RB Garage
Placing of bio tanker in RB Garage
Maitri's President on inspection visit
Maitri's President on inspection visit
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Awareness meeting with Rickshaw Pullers
Awareness meeting with Rickshaw Pullers

Dear Supporters,

Thank you for donating towards our project Build 40 Toilets for Migrant Workers in Ranchi City of Jharkhand State in India. The project aims to improve health and living conditions of Rickshaw Pullers in Ranchi by giving them access to sanitation facility and inculcating behavioural change to stop open defecation. We believe having access to sanitation facility is ones basic human right.

At this point, we have raised enough resources to build about 25 toilets in six Rickshaw Garages. There are about 20 to 25 Rickshaw Pullers in each of these garages benefiting from the sanitation facility. And our plan is to build community size toilets with three to five cabins in each of these garages. 

When designing this project, our focus has been to find the right technology that will not contaminate the soil or the water in the area. As you can see in the pictures, the bore well tap in the same garage area is the source of water that the Rickshaw Pullers use for drinking, cooking and cleaning. They do not treat the water or filter but consume it directly from the tap. Therefore, it is important to ensure that the construction of toilets do not contaminate soil and water, which again could have hazardous effects on the health of the Rickshaw Pullers.

Apart from the right technology, our focus was also the easy maintenance and functionality of the toilets after it has been installed. We visited installations of Bio-toilets on site to be doubly sure that this is the appropriate technology for our project. Bio-toilets is invention of India’s Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and comes with tankers that are filled up to 40% with bacteria that consume human waste. Currently, the procurement of the Bio-toilets is in process.

We know that the behavioural change is something that cannot be achieved overnight. And it is crucial for the success of this project. We have been holding meetings not only in these six garages but also in all the garages where Maitri is working to engage with Rickshaw Pullers on Health, Hygiene and Cleanliness. Our goal is to show them the health risks involved in open defecation, not washing hands with soaps and not keeping the toilet clean.

We really hope that when the toilets are finally constructed, the Rickshaw Pullers will not only use the toilet in the right way but also take responsibility to keep it clean and functioning.

Thank you for being part of this project. You are about to transform the community of Rickshaw Pullers in Ranchi for better.

Amit Rickshaw Garage
Amit Rickshaw Garage
Vijay Rikshaw Garage
Vijay Rikshaw Garage
Bore well hand pump in Mitu Garage
Bore well hand pump in Mitu Garage
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Free Medical Camp for Rickshaw Pullers in Ranchi
Free Medical Camp for Rickshaw Pullers in Ranchi

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.

In the past three months, Maitri held 46 awareness meetings with various rickshaw garages that houses about 15 to 20 rickshaw pullers. The purpose of the meeting was to engage Ricksha Pullers in imparting knowledge about their rights and to promote health-seeking behaviour among them. They were given awareness on the benefit of Universal Identity Cards and how they can use the card to open zero balance bank accounts and avail health insurance from the state government. The Rickshaw Pullers were also made aware of the health risks due to lack of personal hygiene. During the meeting they raised concerns about not able to store adequate clean drinking water. Maitri then provided them with large buckets with lids at subsidized rates so they can store clean water for drinking and cooking. Maitri also distributed sheets to Rickshaw Pullers to protect themselves from rain.

In two different health-camps about 145 rickshaw pullers were examined, given prescription and provided with basic medicines, all free of cost. Accessing free health check ups and basic medicine is a huge relief to Rickshaw Pullers who live a challenging life.

In India so many people lose their lives during winter due to their vulnerability to the cold weather. For Rickshaw Pullers it can also mean loss of income as their work hours get reduced due to freezing cold. Maitri collaborated with Citizen Foundation to distribute clothes to 1250 rickshaw pullers in seven different areas. Instances like this remind us that even the smallest of help could greatly improve lives of people.

With regard to the construction of toilets for Rickshaw Pullers in Ranchi, we are grateful to you for donating to this project. The ground clearance work has already begun in target rickshaw garages. This is our dream project for rickshaw pullers and we are delighted that we can begin with the construction of first 25 toilets. This will greatly improve hygiene and health among rickshaw pullers that Maitri is serving. 

Here is how you have made a difference in Ashok’s life

“Rickshaw is my friend and my livelihood,” says 70-year-old Ashok who has spent almost four decades pulling rickshaw for survival. He lives alone in Ranchi city, Jharkhand state of India. He is an inspiration to those around him for his hardworking nature. “I work hard and I am proud that I can earn my bread”, he says.

Ashok has been associated with Maitri since 2012. It was with the help of Maitri that he enrolled himself to avail Aadhar Card, an identity card and later availed benefits of accessing government schemes. With the identity card he was able to open a zero balance bank account that encouraged saving habits. He also accessed Health Card ensuring of INR 30,000 in case of an accident. Currently, the state government is working on integrating various benefits for marginalised population but as soon as state invites application, Ashok wants to apply for senior citizen’s pension. He regularly attends Mairi’s awareness meetings and has been active participant in improving his life.

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! 

Maitri helped Ashok get an ID card & open bank Acc
Maitri helped Ashok get an ID card & open bank Acc
Ground clearance underway to construct toilets
Ground clearance underway to construct toilets
Clothes distribution among Rickshaw Pullers
Clothes distribution among Rickshaw Pullers
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Maitri India

Location: New Delhi, Delhi - India
Website:
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Twitter: @Maitri NGO
Project Leader:
Maitri India
New Delhi, Delhi India

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