Saki Naka Slum
With only a month left in Canada before flying back to Mumbai, I have started to formulate the fist major project for DWP in the Saki Naka slum community.
DWP’s biggest project to date was the funding and completed construction of the free school and community centre in Saki Naka slum.
I have been in close contact with Ashley of Janvi Trust, the local Mumbaikar that makes DWP’s work in Saki Naka possible. The new school is already having a great impact on the community. Several new classes are offered in the new space, including free-spoken English classes taught by Vignesh of Discover Urjaa, and a new dance class that will begin soon called “Dance Saki Naka Dance”. This class will be for older children with a passion for dance and will be taught by a profesional a few times a week to give the children the attributes to become a dancer.
After completing the school, at the end of June, BMC officers (local government office in charge of the pipeline that runs through the slum) offered DWP and Janvi unused land in the slum to continue to clean and improve the community. The first patch of land is to the left of the stairs as you descend into the slum from the main road. This land is currently useless and is covered in broken glass and garbage. During the monsoon, water flows over this area creating sanitation issues for the community. The second area of land is 100 mtrs to the right of the school. It’s a long narrow piece of land that is covered in garbage and human waste and remains unused by the community.
While the BMC and other government bodies forbid us to build any buildings on this land, they have given us permission to clean, beautify and relcaim this land for the community. DWP plans on not only cleaning these ares but to make them useable green spaces, creating parks for the area’s children and gathering spots for the people of the community. For those of you that have not been to Mumbai, green space is hard to come by and rarely looked after. In a city of over 18 million people space is a premium. Slum dwellers live in tiny, cramped, hot homes and the ability to get out of their small spaces and to sit in a clean, green space would greatly enhance the quality of living. It will also give the hundreds and hundreds of children a safe, clean place to play, instead of muddy, cramped laneways.
While helping the community gain useable land it will also help Janvi and DWP expand our sphere of influence throughout the community. Being a pipeline slum, the slum is approx 20 yards wide by a few kilometres long in either direction. Due to this long, narrow, shape there are many families that remain unaware of our projects and are unable to take advantage of our free services. By cleaning and using land farther away from the school, we will be able to hold medical camps and programs in other areas of the slum, bringing the community together.
This is no small project and may take months to complete but will create jobs and raise the standard of living for a few thousand people who live in and outside the slum.
Below, I’ve attached the e-mail sent to me by Ashley of Janvi Charitable Trust in Mumbai, outlining the cost/benefits of the project. DWP’s upcoming Dinner Fundraiser will be raising money for this project and I hope to see you all there…P.S. During my last trip to Saki Naka, I taught many of the local kids how to use my camera. They love taking photos and are excited by the results. If anyone has an old digital camera you would like to donate to the kids of Saki Naka, or old prescription eyeglasses (much needed) please bring them to the August 29th Fundraiser in Victoria, at the Ambrosia Event Centre.
The land left to the stair-case: The work that will involve in it:
- Clearing the heaps of Garbage and Muck.
- Creating alternative drainage for the sewage water from the roadside shops who just leave the dirty water on the land.
- Leveling the land and filling it with atleast 2 feet soil.
- Building a small boundry wall on the periphery.
- Decorative Painting of the Walls etc.
- Plantations of Plants and Trees.
- Installation of Fence to prevent the plants from getting damaged.
- Installation of Benches.
- Installation of Swings and Slides.
- Providing a Water Tap facility and Tube-Lights.
- Installation of a Water Purifier to provide Pure, Safe Drinking Water.
- Building a small open study center at one end so the children can gather and study over there.
- Providing a Facility of a Free Daily News-Paper Stand for the Community.
How will the Slum Dwellers benefit from this project?
- Freedom from their cramped and tiny congested houses, they can relax and rest under the spacious green cover of the Garden.
- Children get an opportunity to play in a clean environment and get access of using Swings and Slides.
- The elderly and weak have an easliy accessable space to unwind.
- Residents can use the newly created Garden for their small functions and meetings.
- A clean environment is provided to the residents, free of all the garbage and stench.
- Diseases and illness will get reduced. Medical expenses minimised.
- Creative workshops for Children, Women and Adults can be arranged for their benefits.
- It will help them to change their attitude for the better towards Cleanliness, Sanitation and Environment.
The estimated cost for this Project would be around 1.8 Lakhs.
The longer patch would cost less if the BMC fixes the Broken Grills and builds the broken walls. It would then cost us around One Lakh. But if BMC does not do it then it would cost us around Two Lakhs.donate, education, fundraising, health camp, India, Mumbai, Photography, school, travel, victoria event center, volunteer