J651 Kathputli Slum Community Project
India, Indian Subcontinent
The Kathputhli slum, population approx 13000, is situated in the central area of Jaipur (pop = 6-7 million), the capital city of the state of Rajasthan. Squatters began constructing their homes in the Kathputli slum back in the 1970’s, today it is one of the largest of some two hundred odd slums in this widespread industrial, commercial, agricultural and tourism city.
Most of these people have come to Jaipur from rural Rajasthan and some other north Indian states in search of employment and new opportunities. Almost all of these are today below poverty income earners. Many also remain unemployed.
Residents are of the lower castes, with a mixture of religions: Hindu (95%), Muslim, Christian, Sikh and other minorities. Because of religious and cultural beliefs most animals are free to wander throughout the slum, even into their homes, exacerbating their health and hygiene problems.
- Small business start-ups and vocational training in driving and tailoring are providing platforms for sustainable family incomes. These, combined with the project’s 20 Self Help Groups (SHGs) savings and loans programs, and coaching on budgeting, are providing a stronger financial management platform for the overall community to effectively manage their finances in both the short and long term.
- Empowerment of women, and thus community advancement, is also promoted through the provision of literacy classes, vocational training and SHG participation.
- Awareness and education in health and hygiene, addiction counselling, family planning, pre/post natal classes and child-care training are on-going programs within the project. These are designed to reduce the high rate of infant mortalities and bring long-term health and hygiene benefits to the community.
- Long-term education facilities are also operated by the project enabling the children of these communities to enhance their life skills and future employment opportunities.
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