1 country. 1.3 billion people.
Home to some of our planet’s most ancient surviving civilisations, the Indian subcontinent – from the jungles of Burma to the mountainous Afghan frontier and the coral reefs of the Indian Ocean – is vast and varied in its people, language and cultural traditions. It’s also tackling huge, social, economic and environmental problems.
We have two offices in India. Much of our consulting work is based at our Delhi office, while our project work is administrated from our office in Odisha.
Our focus in India is on helping people living in the city slums live healthier, happier, more productive lives. We do this through improving hygiene, making sure people have basic amenities such as fresh water and waste disposal services. Our energy programme helps people to access another necessity – electricity.
Nearly a quarter of India’s population – about 276 million people – live on less than $1.25 a day. We know how to help.
Cities fit for people
Nearly a quarter of India’s people live in urban slums. That’s millions of people without proper toilets or waste services. Transmission of water-borne diseases such as cholera is exacerbated by environmental pollution and low levels of personal hygiene. We’ve developed solutions that can help people break out of poverty and fulfil their potential. Read more…
People living in city slums often don’t have proper toilets or safe drinking water. They have to use makeshift pit latrines that are emptied at night by the poorest of the poor. There are few controls over what happens to the waste, so it often ends up in rivers, polluting the water. These are the same rivers people get their drinking water from. There’s little in the way of handwashing facilities and people aren’t aware of the importance of good hygiene. Diseases like cholera are rife.
Women and girls have an extra challenge. Menstruation is taboo, so when a woman has her period, her activities – everything from where she can go to who she can see and what she can eat – are restricted. As if that wasn’t bad enough, she can’t even keep herself clean because of the lack of fresh water.
Then the monsoon comes, and life in the urban slums becomes even more difficult, because of the torrential rains.
We work with partners to introduce solar-powered water pumps and improve toilets. We help make life better for the people who empty the toilet pits. We initiate community groups and projects to educate people on the importance of handwashing. In our work, we focus particularly on women, and on empowering them to support each other and lessen the taboos around menstruation. And we work with national and city governments to ensure that poor people are included in sanitation planning.
By 2030, we’ll work with 200,000 more poor people, in and around Odisha, to help them have a better quality of life in the slums.
Energy that transforms
31 million of India’s homes don’t have electricity. A vital ingredient in helping people lift themselves out of poverty, electricity allows people living in poor areas to break out of a cycle of poverty and unlock their potential. Our projects in and around the city of Odisha are lighting up communities that have previously been in the dark. Read more…
People living in extreme poverty can’t lift themselves out of it unless they have reliable energy sources. These communities are also the least able to adapt to India’s annual monsoons, or the devastating consequences of climate change.
People in India need electricity to power their businesses, schools and hospitals. Parents need it for earning an income, as well as cooking and refrigerating food. And, as daylight fades, children need it for safety and study.
A combination of solar power, skills training and knowledge sharing is already transforming lives in Odisha. Families are harnessing the power of the sun to give them the electricity they need. With the extra hours of light the electricity gives them, people can run more profitable businesses, cook in safety and children can study at home.
Last year, we improved access to safe drinking water and sanitation services for communities in Odisha in India, with the support of H&M Foundation, who donated £1 million to help us build improved toilets and waste treatment systems.
Funding partners for our work in India include:
- Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
- United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund
- Clean Energy Access Network
- AB In-Bev
- H&M Foundation
- Nirmal project funded by BMGF
India – Odisha
Postal address: Practical Action, Plot No: H-4, BJB Nagar, Lewis Road, Bhubaneswar – 751014, Odisha, India
Telephone: +91 (0) 674 2430135
+91 (0) 674 2431220
+91 (0) 674 2432836
India – Delhi
Postal address: Practical Action Consulting, A1 – 178, lower ground floor, (Near Jerusalem Marthoma Church), Safdarjung Enclave, Delhi – 110029, India
Telephone: + 91- 991148871