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Case Study

    UNDERSTANDING RURAL HABITAT
  Summary

From September 2009 to December 2010, the basin- South Asia platform organised, Lok Awaas Yatra- a series of learning journeys across North, South, East, West and Central regions of India with the intention of building a deeper understanding of good practices in eco-habitat development in rural India. Over 420 people travelled on 14 trails in the fi ve regions visiting over 60 habitat initiatives led by Panchayats, Civil Society Organisations and state social housing programmes.

The journeys brought together Yatris (co-travellers) from different walks of life; Panchayat members, district government officials, village artisans, NGOs, professionals and students. Each journey or regional Yatra comprised of three trails (except in the North where there were two). Over five days, the Yatris visited three to five grassroots initiatives with focus on the different aspects of rural habitat such as:

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    Safe Habitat
  Summary

Natural and human made disasters pose an ever-grater threat to the lives and livelihoods fo millions of people in the Development World Especially vulnerable are the large majority of rural populations in these countries who exist in close communion with natural phenomena. Development achievements here can be wiped out by a major disaster and economic growth reversed.

Disasters are frequently caused by vulnerabilities created by human actions, such as uncontrolled or inadequately planned human settlements, lack of basic infrastructure and the occupation of disaster-prone areas. Inanition development of safe human habitat is often constrained by limited knowledge of safe construction practices, poor resource availability, lack of technological options, low priority attitude towards safety and social discriminations.

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    HOME MAKERS TURN INTO BREAD - WINNERS
 
Summary

After the 2000 super-cyclone in Orissa, massive reconstruction programmes were undertaken by several agencies. One of the challenges indentified by most of them was unavailability of technically trained skilled workers, particularly masons. Appreciating this need, Orissa Development technocrats' Forum (ODTF Trained unskilled laborers (including women) as masons, first in slums of Bhubaneswar and then in several districts across Orissa. The training included some of the poorest women without compromising on technical standards essential for such an intervention.

The results have been impressive with as many as 380 trained women laborers along with a team of master masons. This has raised the overall quality of environmentally and technically sound construction technology and knowledge with special focus on construction of individual household latrines. The success of this initiative has led to further training sponsored by the Government of Orissa.

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