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We Build | June 2022
We Build: June 2022


Dear Friends,

Greetings from Habitat for Humanity India!

The month of May marked the return of the offline marathon in India for the first time after the pandemic. It was a delight to attend the TCS World 10K Marathon organised by Procam International on 15th May in Bengaluru which saw a participation from over 18,000 runners across the country. Habitat India had a significant presence, with 192 corporate professionals running to support our vision of a world where everyone has a decent place to live. I met the runners from 4 corporates; and was encouraged by their passion for engagement with the community, especially for the cause of decent shelter. I would also like to acknowledge Mr. Rishi Misra, Co-Founder and CEO of Chi Sports who took part in this event, running and campaigning as Habitat’s Care Champion runner. I hope that we will get to host our runners in the builds for them to see, firsthand, the people they have helped through their participation and advocacy.

On 24th May, I had the opportunity to attend the National Campaign Strategy Meeting on Rental Housing for Workers organised by the Working Peoples’ Coalition in Mumbai, where I was invited as a guest speaker to give insights from Habitat India’s experience in designing a roadmap for Affordable Rental Housing Complex. Working Peoples’ Coalition is a network of organisations working on issues related to informal labour.

To make a project of such significance come to life, one must look to ensure scalability and sustainability. Understanding the target group segmentation whether they are permanent or temporarily employed, defining the segmentation to understand whether employees are linked with company benefits, clarity on income profiles and affordability, and designing products or services that match the affordability will go a long way. Having a practical and clear-eyed view of the work to be done on mapping and scoping, infrastructure creation (land acquisition, permits etc), and operations (maintenance and sustainability); I believe, is essential for the project to take off. I am delighted that more and more organisations are working to address the acute shortage of safe and affordable housing in the country, mainly in the crowded urban centres where workers find their employment. It is encouraging to see key recommendations being actioned just a year into the policy labs and India Housing Forum.

This is why collaboration and sharing of best practices should be taken with transparency and urgency. Learning from each other, leveraging on each other’s strengths and working together can create the needed synergy to address the monumental challenges we face in the sector today.

This is how we overcome. This is how we build strength, stability and self-reliance in the community we work with.

Wishing you and your family the best of health!

Rajan Samuel, MD

In partnership

Dr. Rajan Samuel
Managing Director
Habitat for Humanity India

Voices From The Field

On the backdrop of World Environment Day celebrated on 5th June, we bring to you one of the standout stories from our work with the marginalised communities in Vangani (Thane district, Maharashtra), where Habitat India is adopting environment-friendly and energy-efficient construction technology to build homes.

In early 2021, Habitat for Humanity released an official organisational position on housing and climate change, signalling Habitat’s long-term aspiration to raise its voice and impact on this issue. Habitat was one of the observer organisations at the 26th Conference of the Parties meeting, or COP26 - the official United Nations climate change conference for countries that have signed the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change held from 31st October to 11th November 2021 in Glasgow, Scotland.

Habitat for Humanity International has the potential to impact - and be impacted by - the future of climate change. We believe that adequate and affordable housing can be built sustainably and will contribute to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals adopted by all of the United Nations member states in 2015 as part of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

Voices From The Field

Anmol and Bharti,
Vangani, Maharashtra

44-year-old Anmol Kochar and 40-year-old Bharti are visually impaired hawkers who live in Vangani, (Thane district) Maharashtra. Together, they have three daughters Siddhi (16), Samridhi (9) and Gauri (6). The eldest, Siddhi is visually impaired too. They have enrolled her at The Poona School and Home for Blind Girls.

Because of their precarious physical and financial condition, Anmol and Bharti were forced to beg. Gradually they started selling trinkets and other utilities, as one of the many hawkers on the Mumbai local trains. They brought home an average of INR 10,000 per month to eke out a living. Despite their circumstances, their combined determination bore fruit as they were able to buy a 300 sq. ft. plot of land in Vangani after 10 years of saving. However, their dream of building a home did not realise since the children's upbringing and rent took a hit on their finance. With the help of well-wishers in the community, they were finally able to build a makeshift home using GI sheets. But it could only go so far. Sanitation was still a problem since they still had no money to build a toilet. Furthermore, the house was inhabitable during the long monsoon season in Maharashtra due to leakage and waterlogging. This meant that they would have to move out of their house to a rented place, spending about INR 3000 per month from July to September every year, to return only during the dry season where they would not have to risk their children’s wellbeing and safety.

In November 2020, during the height of the pandemic, Habitat India partnered with SELCO Foundation to build energy-efficient homes with 33 marginalised families in Maharashtra. 8 families from Vangani (Thane district) have at least one visually impaired person while 25 families belong to the tribal community in Karjat (Raigad district). Anmol and Bharti were one of the families who received support through the project. They celebrated Diwali (Festival of lights) of 2021 in their new home.

All the homes are energy efficient and have been built using environment-friendly construction material thereby minimising the carbon footprint of Habitat’s development interventions. The home design incorporates optimal use of sunlight within the homes, adequate ventilation and improved insulation that protects the families from harsh weather conditions. Further, solar energy is integrated into the housing units to help reduce electricity consumption.

“We have struggled all our lives. Struggling to build a decent home amidst the pandemic even after saving enough to buy this little plot was an agony for us.

The new home improved our well-being and we have access to a toilet in our own home. A new dawn has broken for us, and we are thankful to Habitat India and SELCO Foundation for their love and support,” says Bharti.

voices from the feild

Habitat at TCS World 10K Marathon, Bengaluru 2022

Habitat at TCS World 10K Marathon, Bengaluru 2022

TCS World 10k Marathon, organised by Procam returned to an offline mode after a long hiatus in Bengaluru, Karnataka. On 15th May 2022, 192 runners from Karle Infrastructure, Koch Business Solutions, Micro Labs, and Molex Marketing Services ran to support Habitat for Humanity’s vision of building a world where everyone has a decent place to live. Mr. Rishi Misra, Co-Founder and CEO - Chi Sports Pvt. Ltd. was Habitat’s Care Champion runner for this year. Habitat India’s Managing Director Dr. Rajan Samuel and other staff members attended the marathon and cheered for the runners.

We are truly grateful to the teams of Karle Infra, Koch Industries, Microlabs Ltd, Molex and our Care Champion Mr. Rishi Raj Misra for believing in the cause of decent shelter and sanitation. It is inspiring to see the passion of the marathoners to do good in a post-pandemic world. Thank you for making a difference!

Solar Powered Smart Classes Inaugurated in Rajasthan

Solar Powered Smart Classes Inaugurated in Rajasthan

Renew Power, India's largest renewable energy company in collaboration with Habitat for Humanity India has supported seven schools with access to solar power and smart classes in the Bikaner and Jaisalmer districts of Rajasthan. Handover ceremonies were held on 17th May 2022. The schools are equipped with an off-grid 2.5kw solar system, and water filters and have also been supported through electrical fittings.

This region has been struggling with electricity shortage for the past 20 years, affecting the functioning of the government schools. This initiative will benefit 990 students from Government Upper Primary School- Malinath, Government Primary School - Diyatra, Government Primary School - Nayko ki Dhani, Government Upper Primary School - Devikot; Government Upper Primary School - Bhikasar, Government Senior Secondary School - Bhainsara; Government Senior Secondary School Dangari.

The handing over ceremony was attended by Mr. Sanjay Verma (Deputy General Manager, Renew Power), Mr. Vijay Singh (Senior Executive, Renew Power), Mr. Firoz Chauhan (Representative from the Block Education Office), Mr. Omprakash Khadania (Primary Elementary Education Officer), Mr. Shiv Kumar Meghwal (Sarpanch of Bikaloi), Mr. Kishan Singh (Sarpanch of Diyatra), and Mr. Shrawan Kumar (President - School Management Committee).

Project Nirmanshree - A Project Funded by the European Union

Project Nirmanshree Updates

On 9th May 2022, Ms. Amrapali Kamble and Ms. Sindhu Mane - members of the Nirmanshree Women Federation group from Hasegaon village in Kalamb block, Osmanabad inaugurated the centring material rental business. Both the women were part of the Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) and Entrepreneurship Development Program (EDP) training offered by the project. The rental business includes centring plates, column boxes and bamboos which will be rented by the villagers. This business will support the women with an additional income of INR 6000 per month. To encourage this new beginning in a male-dominated construction sector, 15 well-wishers from the village participated in the ceremony and felicitated Amrapali and Sindhu.

Project Nirmanshree Updates

On 10th May 2022, masonry kits and certificates for completion of the Entrepreneurship Development Program (EDP) were distributed to trained women workers in Dhenkanal, Odisha under Project Nirmanshree; funded by the European Union. The kit consists of eight different tools useful for masonry work such as measuring tapes, large and medium trowel, wooden floater, steel floater, plumb bulb, spirit level and hammer. 40 women were part of the program and they were motivated to continue working in the housing sector.

Project Nirmanshree Updates

On 9th and 12th May 2022, two Re-Pad (Sustainable and reusable menstrual pad) stalls were inaugurated for Ms. Ashamati Lokare in Malegaon village, Kaij block, Beed district and Ms. Swati Ambore in Diskal village, Kalam block, Osmanabad under Project Nirmanshree. The ceremony was attended by 24 other women in both villages. To date, four Re-Pad stalls have been set up in Maharashtra and Odisha under Project Nirmanshree. The selling price for one pack of the sanitary pack is INR 300/- comprising 3 regular and 1 large pad.

Project Nirmanshree Updates

On 12th May 2022, a meeting of 14 women construction workers was held at Naholi village, Kaij block in Beed. The meeting focused on the registration of women construction workers under the Building and Other Construction Work (BOCW) Act. The Act regulates the employment and conditions of service of building and other construction workers. Detailed information was given to the women workers on the documents required for the registration.

Project Nirmanshree Updates

On 23rd May 2022, 121 women from Vyasanagar Municipality, Jajpur district participated in the 'Jaga Sampark' program. Jaga Sampark initiative celebrates the Government of Odisha’s Jaga Mission. The vision of Jaga Mission is to create a slum-free Odisha by transforming slums into livable habitats. Habitat India is supporting the Government of Odisha’s vision by providing future homeowners with housing support services. Jaga Sampark marks the formation of the Slum Dwellers Association (SDA). SDA acts as the 4th tier of governance which is explained to every household during the event. The convergence between Project Nirmanshree and Odisha Gruhabikas Program is deepening the impact and supporting people on the ground through interventions in the housing and housing eco-system. Officials of the District Administration placed on record, their appreciation for Habitat India for mobilizing the community to better understand opportunities and challenges in the housing and housing ecosystem.

Mason Training Conducted in Odisha

Mason Training Conducted at Konark, Odisha

With support from J.K. Lakshmi Cement Ltd., Habitat for Humanity India organised training for masons at Dhenkanal, Odisha on 6th May 2022 and Hindol, Odisha on 25th May 2022. Two batches of 60 masons participated in the one-day workshops. The workshop majorly focused on capacity building and livelihood enhancement with the objective of upskilling for better livelihood opportunities. Altogether, 90 masons have been trained under Odisha Gruhabikas Program.

Disaster Risk Reduction and Response



Till date, we have served 3,62,970 people by providing them with Hygiene and Family Essential Kits and by setting up Habitat Care Centres under Road to Recovery 2.0. Under Road to Recovery 1.0, Habitat India served over 1.32 million people from March 2020 to March 2021.

The crisis is far from over. Housing is the frontline of defence against coronavirus. Join hands with us to build healthy homes to help Indians affected by the pandemic.

You can contribute as an individual or through your company’s CSR department. Write to Mr. Mohan D’Souza, Director - Resource Development on [email protected]

Click here to learn more about or contribute to our COVID-19 response.

Water, Sanitation and Hygiene

School Sanitation Unit Inaugurated in Assam

Groundbreaking ceremony for a Community Sanitation and Access to Water

With support from Indostar, Habitat India handed over a school sanitation unit at Janata Hindi Vidyalaya High School, Guwahati, Assam on 25th May 2022. In addition, sanitation and hygiene materials were also provided to the school for the upkeep of the sanitation unit. This support will benefit 400 students enrolled in the school, who also received facemasks and other hygiene materials. Our thanks to the CSR Head of Indostar, who took an active role in ensuring timely delivery of this crucial intervention, for the students in Assam.

Pan-India School Sanitation Project Handover in Delhi NCR

Pan-India School Sanitation Project Handover in Delhi NCR

On 31st May 2022, Habitat India inaugurated a School Sanitation Unit at St. James Convent School, Ghaziabad. Supported by Bank of America, construction began on 21st January 2022 to improve sanitation infrastructure and facilities in 9 schools in Delhi NCR, Ahmedabad, Chennai, Hyderabad and Mumbai. Out of the 9 schools, 3 are government-aided and 6 are government-funded. This project supports the students through improved sanitation facilities including gender-segregated washrooms, incinerators, and drinking water. Behaviour Change Communication training is imparted to all 6,598 students enrolled in the schools as a part of the project.

voices from the feild
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