Water, Sanitation & Hygiene (WASH) Program
If we have the right to life, logically we should also have the right to live a healthy life. Sanitation is one of the most important aspects of a healthy and dignified living. The topic of toilet is considered undignified and sanitation is an unglamorous issue that until recently did not have the champion and attention in the mainstream as it does now.The unsanitary-issues contaminating ecosystems and its consequences severely contributing to disease pandemics are important conversations for our communities that have severe consequences of debt-cycle amongst the rural communities.
Open defecation practices compromise human dignity, safety and health. Half of all undernutrition is estimated to be caused by lack of access to safe drinking water, sanitation and hygiene. Dumping our dirt in our water bodies has endangered human health as well as ecosystem. However water is a basic resource required to sustain life.
Shramik Bharti believes that safe drinking water and toilet facilities are fundamental rights of an individual in his quest to. With this understanding Shramik Bharti is engaged in ensuring safe drinking water, sanitation and promotion of hygiene practices in urban and rural communities in Uttar Pradesh and Punjab.
We emphasize on enabling communities to gain access to Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene (WASH) services and developing good WASH behavior for sustainability of infrastructure.
Shramik Bharti had taken up an Action Research project on WASH in rural areas of Saharanpur district with the support of Rajiv Gandhi Charitable Trust along with International Centre for Research on Women (ICRW) as our research partner. And we also worked on sanitation issue in 10 Gram Panchayats of Ekona Block of Shravasti district with the support of United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM).
WASH Program among marginalized communities
Poor people living in villages, slums and improper settlements lack facilities for safe drinking water and sanitation. Shramik Bharti is implementing its WASH program in urban and rural communities of Uttar Pradesh and Punjab for enabling them to access their WASH rights.
In Uttar Pradesh we worked with 400 urban communities and villages in 10 rural blocks of Kanpur Nagar with the support of WaterAid and with the support of HDFC Bank we are working in 21 villages of Fatehpur, Barabanki, Bhadohi & Chandauli districts of Uttar Pradesh and in 12 villages of Firozpur, Amritsar and Taran taran distrits of Punjab.
We have adopted Community-Led Total Sanitation (CLTS) approach to sensitize the community about the issues of Health and Sanitation, capacitated citizen leaders, formed Ward committees and District WASH forum to demand WASH rights and ensure sustainable management of WASH facilities. Our concerted efforts lead towards making 57 urban communities and 12 villages of Kanpur Nagar and 1 village in Fatehpur district Open Defecation Free (ODF).
With the launch of Swachch Bharat Mission (G), the pace for toilet construction is increased. But even where they have been built, studies have shown that the vast majority are not being used, especially in rural areas. In some cases, it’s because the toilets still aren’t connected to clean water and sewers. Shramik Bharti ensured the use of toilets by restoration of partially functional/defunct toilets of poor households; 342 Household toilets in Uttar Pradesh and 133 Household Toilets in Punjab were restored with the support of HDFC Bank.
Menstrual Hygiene Management
Despite the fact that menstruation is a natural and healthy biological process, it is approached with hesitance and misinformation because of deeply rooted silence and cultural taboos surrounding it. Women and girls miss out education, work and other opportunities in their life when they cannot manage their menstruation with normalcy and dignity.
Shramik Bharti is working on Menstrual Hygiene Management Education enabling young girls and women to manage their menstruation properly and with dignity. These sessions are organized in schools and communities.
Mostly women & girls in rural Uttar Pradesh take bath in open compromising their health, safety & dignity. The hardcore poor families neither have space nor financial capacity to construct bathrooms in their houses.
Shramik Bharti constructed 70 community bathrooms near public hand pumps in villages of Uttar Pradesh with the support of HDFC Bank. This initiative is ensuring safety and dignity of women from 700+ poor households in Uttar Pradesh.
Private spaces for bathing are equally important for personal hygiene of women & girls especially for menstrual hygiene management.bRural households who had some space, capacity to make small financial contribution and do some physical labour were motivated to construct household bathroom. With the support of HDFC Bank 719 families in 21 villages are supported for construction of household bathroom and 128 Smart toilets (Combined Latrine+Bathroom) were constructed in these villages.
Household Wastewater Soakpits
Household wastewater is a major cause of unsanitary condition in villages. It is also a reason for many conflicts among neighbours. To manage this menace efficiently Shramik Bharti with the support of HDFC Bank has constructed 332 Household waste water soakpits in 21 villages of Uttar Pradesh and 310 soakpits in 12 villages of Punjab. This simple yet effective solution, is also recharging, more than 1.5 lakh liter water per day.
School WASH Program:
Schools are incubating grounds of life-long habits and with this insight, Shramik Bharti chooses to implement the “SCHOOL WASH Program” to inculcate healthy practices and eventual habits that can increase the quality of lives of the children and diffuse to their households.
Adequate, well maintained water supply and sanitation facilities in schools encourage children to attend school regularly and help them achieve their educational goals. It is especially true in the case of adolescent girls who skip schools during menstruation. This hampers their education and leads them to drop out of school completely.
Shramik Bharti is addressing these issues effectively through its School WASH Program with the core objective of integrating and improving WASH facilities and behavior in schools.
For making School WASH program sustainable and successful Shramik Bharti ensures the involvement and buy-in of teachers, school managers and School Management Committee members (SMC) by organizing training on WASH in School.
School Hygiene Education sessions are conducted on Hand Washing, Use of Toilet, Safe Handling of Food, Safe Handling of Water, Sanitary Disposal of Child Faeces and Menstrual Hygiene Management.
Along with Information empowerment 12 School Sanitation complexes are constructed and 11 school sanitation units restored in 21 villages of Uttar Pradesh and 16 School Sanitation units were restored in 8 villages of Punjab with the support of HDFC Bank. Similarly School WASH (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene) facilities of 64 schools were improved benefitting 68,949 persons with the support of WaterAid.
Water is life and there is no overstating our dependence on this finite resource is immeasurable. Civilizations sprang near water sources and our communities depend on it. Its misuse and mismanagement have repercussions that are life-threatening and civilization ending.
Increasingly groundwater depletion is adding to the already stressed crop production economy. Shivrajpur block of Kanpur Nagar has been recognized as semi-critical for groundwater as per Central Ground Water Board. Therefore, Shramik Bharti started working in this area in 2010.
Milestones achieved towards water security: 4.3 hectares of Sagra Pond & 1.3 hectares of Nau ponds were renovated in Harnu village, Kanpur Nagar Uttar pradesh. A pond of 2.5 Acre in Bholuwala village, Firozpur, Punjab has been reconstructed as constructed wetland to treat wastewater for reuse in agriculture, fishery or groundwater recharge. 4 check walls, 217 hand pump soak pits were constructed.
More than 50 recharge bore wells were constructed in farmlands in villages of Kanpur with the support of individual donations received through GiveIndia. 50 rain water harvesting pits in farmlands and 5 roof top rain water harvesting structures are constructed in 8 villages of Punjab with the support of HDFC Bank.