Tag Archives: Housing

संजयनगर । महामारी के बीच घरों का निर्माण

आशुतोष सिंह हमारी संस्था के साथ कंस्ट्रक्शन मैनेजर के रूप में काम करते है और फिलहाल अहमदनगर में संजयनगर स्थानीय पुनर्वास के कार्यों में लगे है। यह लेख उनके और उनके साथियों के COVID सम्बंधित निजी अनुभव के बारे में है। लेख से जुड़ी तसवीरें भी उनके द्वारा खींची गयी है।

 

उम्मीद से भरी 2021

संजयनगर के स्थानीय पुनर्वास का कार्य नवम्बर 2020 में दोबारा से शुरू किया गया, जब देशभर में COVID लॉकडाउन धीरे-धीरे खुलने लगा था। सभी नियमों का पालन करते हुए हमनें कंस्ट्रक्शन में काफी तरक्की कर ली थी। ग्राउंड फ्लोर तेज़ी से तैयार हो रहा था, और सभी निवासियों को दिखाने के लिए एक सैंपल फ्लैट भी बनाया गया था। काम के रफ़्तार को देख कर हमें भरोसा था कि जून 2021 तक पहली बिल्डिंग का काम पूरा हो जाएग।

 

मुश्किल की घड़ी 

लेकिन मार्च 2021 के दुसरे हफ्ते में महाराष्ट्र में COVID की खबरें फिरसे उठने लगी थी, और कुछ शहरों में छोटे-मोटे कर्फ्यू लगने लगे थे । होली का त्यौहार भी आ रहा था, जिस दौरान लोग अपने खेतों में अगली फसल की तयारी भी किया करते है। हमारे कंस्ट्रक्शन साइट पर ज़्यादा से ज़्यादा मज़दूर भारत के उतरी और पूर्वी राज्यों से थे, जो त्यौहार और खेत के काम के लिए पहले से ही गांव जाने की बात कर चुके थे । मज़दूर कम पड़ने वाले थे, लेकिन हमनें महाराष्ट्र के दुसरे ठेकेदारों से बात करना शुरू कर दिया था । पर जैसे जैसे COVID की खबरें फैल रही थी, वैसे वैसे सख्त कर्फ्यू और लॉकडाउन का भी एलान होते जा रहा था। COVID की दूसरी लहर अब हमारे दरवाज़े पे थी। जो मजदूर गांव जाने की या अहमदनगर आकर हमारे साथ काम करने की सोच रहे थे, वो भी इस दुविधा में थे कि कहीं वह रस्ते में फस न जाए। सुनने में आ रहा था कि यह लहर पिछले वाले से ज़्यादा घातक होनेवाली थी और हर दिन खतरा बढ़ते जा रहा था।

 

निजी  कठिनाइयाँ

अप्रैल के दुसरे हफ्ते तक अहमदनगर में COVID बुरी तरह फैल चुका था। जिस तादार्त से मरीज़ों की संख्या, खासकर बच्चों में, बढ़ रही थी, उसी तीव्रता से बीमारी से जूझने के साधन भी ख़त्म हो रहे थे। कई दिनों तक सब्जी व् अनाज जैसे ज़रूरतमंद चीज़ों के दुकाने भी बंद रहते थे। दुसरे शहरों और प्रदेशों में बसे हमारे माता-पिता और अन्य रिश्तेदारों में जब यह बीमारी फैलने लगी, तो लगा जैसे हम खुली आँखों से एक डरावना सपना देख रहे हो। ऐसे माहौल में हमें कुछ कठिन निर्णय लेने पड़े, और मैं और मेरे कुछ साथी अपने बीवी-बच्चों को अहमदनगर में छोड़कर अपने रिश्तेदारों की देखभाल के लिए रवाना हो चले।

 

पुनः उम्मीद से भरी 2021 

इन सभी कठिनाइयों के बीच हम कंस्ट्रक्शन का काम भी चालू रखना चाहते थे। संजयनगर के सभी निवासियों को दिया वादा हमें पूरा जो करना था। कंस्ट्रक्शन का काम चालू रखने की अनुमति सरकार ने दे दी थी, पर अहमदनगर में ठेकेदार और मज़दूर दोनों ही मुश्किल से मिल रहे थे। 18 ठेकेदारों से बात करने के बाद हमने अंत में एक के साथ बात पक्की की, और मई में काम दोबारा से चालू करवाया। संजयनगर के कुछ निवासियों को हमनें कंस्ट्रक्शन साइट पे काम भी दिया जब लॉकडाउन में उन्होंने अपना रोज़गार खोया था। जैसे जैसे मज़दूरों की संख्या साइट पर बढ़ रही थी, COVID सम्बंधित नियमों को भी उतने ही गंभीरता से लागु किया जा रहा था। आज लगभग 3 महीनो के बाद हम कह सकते है कि बिल्डिंग का कार्य नियमित रूप से बढ़ रहा है और हम संजयनगर के परिवारों को उनके घर सौपने का वादा दृढ़ निश्चय के साथ निभाने में लगे है।

Sanjaynagar | Building Homes through the Second Wave

Ashutosh Singh is a Construction Manager at Community Design Agency, who is currently working at our Sanjaynagar slum rehabilitation project in Ahmednagar. This narrative is his account of the challenges he and others in Ahmednagar encountered during the second wave of Covid in India. Photographs of the project construction site have also been taken by him.

A Hopeful 2021

The construction work at the Sanjaynagar slum rehabilitation project in Ahmednagar picked up pace as the first countrywide lockdown tapered towards the end of 2020. With all safety measures and precautions in place, we were making great progress on site. The ground floor was shaping up and a sample flat was being readied for the residents, based on which we were looking at June 2021 to complete this first phase of the project. 

Crisis Strikes

By mid-March 2021, murmurs of a spike in COVID cases began to do the rounds in Maharashtra and gradual restrictions and curfews were being announced. This coincided with the spring festival of Holi, which also marks the harvest season and preparation of land for the next crop. Majority of the labourers on our site were migrants from Eastern and Northern India, and were already planning to go back to their villages to tend to their fields. A labour shortage was imminent, but we made preparations well in advance by dealing with labour contractors from other cities in Maharashtra. However, in rapid succession, cities and districts across the state began to announce their respective lockdowns once again. The second wave of the pandemic was upon us. Workers heading back to their villages, or contemplating coming to work to Ahmednagar, were nervous about traveling and possibly getting stuck. There were rumours that the new variant was deadlier than the previous one, and the situation was becoming dangerous with every passing day.

Personal Challenges

By mid-April, Ahmednagar had become a hotbed of Covid cases. The surge in cases, especially among children, and shortage of resources was nothing short of tragic. For weeks on end the markets, including shops for essential goods and basic groceries, would remain shut. Our worst fears came to life when our parents and close relatives living in different cities started testing positive. My colleagues and I had to travel in these perilous times to take care of ailing relatives in our hometowns, and took the tough decision to leave our spouses and children behind in a resource-scarce Ahmednagar.

A Hopeful 2021: Part 2

Through all these upheavals, we also had to find ways to keep the construction going. We owed it to the residents of Sanjaynagar, who have been living in transit housing while their homes are being built. Construction activities were permitted by the State within certain restrictions during the curfew, but we were unable to find contractors or enough local manpower in Ahmednagar to continue our work. After reaching out to over 18 labour contractors in the city, we finally found one who was able to meet our requirements and budget, and resumed construction in May. We also hired some residents of Sanjaynagar, who had lost their livelihoods in the lockdown, to work on the construction site. As the labour force expanded, the safety protocols vis-a-vis Covid were also implemented with greater rigour.  It’s been two months now, and we are making steady progress on site. Our resolve to continue building homes and handing them over to the families as soon as possible is stronger than ever.

Children playing in front of two large buildings on top of a cement tank

Mapping Quality of Life in Resettlement Colonies of Mumbai

AIM

This project aims at being the first step towards assessing policies and practices employed in rehabilitating the urban poor in Mumbai by determining their quality of life, using appropriate socioeconomic and environmental parameters in order to build a case for how the quality of housing impacts people’s well-being. As such, we intend to highlight the disparity between policy and its execution, while also questioning the sustainability of the Slum Rehabilitation Scheme in Mumbai. The information garnered from this study would further fuel a large-scale mapping project of Slum Rehabilitation Authority (SRA) colonies that would be shared on an open source platform made accessible to all and also be used to publish research papers.

APPROACH

The study will use both qualitative and quantitative data to assess the policies and practices employed in rehabilitation for the urban poor communities in Mumbai. This will be measured against the quality of life parameters to build a case on the quality of housing and how it impacts people’s well-being. By selecting a limited sample of SRA projects in the M/E Ward, we plan on constructing a solid and replicable methodology that could eventually provide assessment parameters for measuring quality of life of all SRA Projects across the Mumbai Metropolitan Region.

Status: Ongoing

Health and Housing

AIM

The aim of this study is to understand if access to safe housing has an impact on the health of children. According to a study done by WHO, India has one of the highest populations (43%) of underweight children in the world.

Is there a correlation between underweight children and the quality of housing, given India is also home to a large population living in unsafe housing conditions? To probe this link, a health survey of children aged between 6 and 12 – who are residents of Sanjaynagar – was conducted in partnership with Snehalaya. This baseline survey will be followed by another survey of children from the same age group 5 years from when they move into their new homes.

APPROACH

Young community representatives who have been working with Snehalaya on the ongoing housing program were trained to conduct surveys on their phones via an app. They also participated in creating the questionnaire and added community specific insights. The data collected through the survey has been analysed and shared with the community representatives and team of Snehalaya working on health issues who are going to create specific initiatives on basis of the findings of the survey.

Status: Ongoing