Like many other slums, Shyamaprasad Mukherjee Camp is an overpopulated urban poor slum area in the western part of Delhi having little or no access to basic services like water, sanitation, waste management and electricity. The slum houses 150 households comprising daily wage workers, labourers and domestic workers.
Until 2019, the slum lacked clean water, decent toilets, and good hygiene. Open drains, poor sanitary conditions, no system for waste management and grey water management, and unprotected drinking water points were common sights for whoever visited the slum. Waste disposal was a big issue as the municipality garbage collection vehicle did not visit the slum every day, and a big drain behind the slum became clogged with dry leaves and garbage being dumped over it. As it was an open drain, there were times when dirty water would enter the houses as well.
In 2019, WaterAid India along with its partner EFRAH and the support of Altico Ltd., intervened to make a difference in the slum. Baselines and regular meetings with the community members helped them understand the problems faced by the residents and seek appropriate solutions.
As the intervention began, the community was informed of ways in which they can keep their surroundings clean and why it is important to do so. With regular awareness sessions for the community, a small group of women’s collectives was brought together. The women were explained the importance of hygiene and were supported to raise a voice to the concerned authorities to avail better amenities for the community. They wrote to the municipality corporation and created awareness within the community as well. With the involvement of the local Anganwadi in the entire process, Hand wash, soaps, sanitizers, toothbrush, toothpaste, filter for clean drinking water and two separate dustbins for segregation of waste were provided to the community.
Today, the garbage collection vehicle visits the community every day. The residents practise handwashing at critical times, and maintain food hygiene, i.e. wash vegetables before cooking and cover food and water with properly cleaned utensils. Additionally, with dedicated efforts, the water supply in the community has also improved as piped water is available. People have also been asked to maintain a safe distance from the open drain to ensure the water is clean. Beside this. water wastage through taps and valves has also decreased immensely with people using the water they get responsibly.