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.

The narrative of the reality and the numbers on the issues of Water, Sanitation, and Health are tragic as there are approximately 60% of people who defecate in the open in India. The practice of Open Defecation increases the risk of transmitting diseases, contamination of water by leaching, runoff and multitudes of health implication.

Shramik Bharti believes that safe drinking water and toilet facilities are fundamental rights of an individual in his quest to. 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).

Shramik Bharti in its concerted efforts from 2008 has Capacitated citizen leaders from 200 slums of Kanpur to take their water & sanitation rights. Trained leaders improved access to water for 108861 persons and access to sanitation for 109329 persons. Our Team has worked on community awareness on sanitation and menstrual hygiene in 40 villages of Sultanpur district.

Urban WASH Project:

Urban Water and Sanitation Health (WASH) is project of Shramik Bharti that covers the population of 1.16 million people living in and around 400slums of Kanpur Nagar. We have adopted Community-Led Total Sanitation (CLTS) approach to sensitize the community about the issues of Health and Sanitation Hygiene. We have capacitated citizen leaders, formed Ward committees and District WASH forum to demand WASH rights and ensure sustainable management of WASH facilities.

Menstrual Hygiene education & management is an integral part of our WASH Projects and is being conducted in both schools and communities.

Sanitary Napkin Depot ‘Suvidha Ghar’ has been established in the community to make sanitary napkins easily available to women & girls. Moreover, these “Suvidha Ghar” are a center for women & girls to get menstrual health education & counseling.

Rural WASH Project:

Rural WASH Project is being implemented in 537 Gram Panchayats of 10 Blocks of Kanpur Nagar since 2015. Shramik Bharti engages with district authorities and Panchayati Raj Institution to achieve the target of total sanitation & hygiene goals.

Health is an essential component of sustaining development and is a part of larger Sustainable Development Goals that envision “The Future We Want’. By involving and mobilizing the community, we are able to sensitize and capacitate the volunteer cadre that takes initiative. Vigilance committees that involve children as their active members create awareness about sanitation and emerge as a pressure group to achieving communities that are Open Defecation Free (ODF).

We also promote the mainstreaming WASH issue in the work agenda of empowered Women Self-Help Groups, Aanganwadi workers & NSS/NCC volunteers for greater scalability and impact.

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.

Working with children in both rural and urban slums of Kanpur involved educating them on Hygiene and Health. With adolescent girls, it was necessary to incorporate the education on the biological process of Menstruation and hygiene management practices associated with it. Overall, we worked on improving the knowledge, attitude, and practices relating to Water, Sanitation and Health.

School WASH Program is an essential and a breakthrough component of both Urban & Rural WASH projects because it successfully breaks silence around the stigmatic issue of menstrual hygiene. By creating an open forum within the safe confines of educational premises, we train the teachers to discuss menstruation in the class which eventually encourages the women and girls to learn and adopt good practices for healthier hygienic lives. Along with information empowerment, ‘Lena Dena Banks’ (Sanitary Pad Bank) has been set up in schools where girls can avail sanitary pads in case of emergency & will return the same afterward. Menstrual Hygiene Management Committee set up in schools is responsible for the operation of ‘Lena Dena Bank’

WATER SECURITY

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 for water security: 4.3 hectares of Sagra Pond & 1.3 hectares of Nau ponds were renovated in Harnu village. 4 check walls, 19 soak pits for hand pumps were constructed.

More than 50 recharge bore wells were constructed in farmlands with the support of individual donations received through GiveIndia.