As we have deepened our engagement across our focus areas, we have also strived to remain true to our mission and respond to the dynamic needs of this sector. Accordingly, the Foundation has chosen to work in certain ‘special’ areas, although out of our key focus sectors but certainly meeting an established need and community requirement.
Kerala experienced the worst flood in nearly a century in August 2018. The torrential monsoon rains triggered several landslides and affected the livelihood of many from the region. The Kerala Government spearheaded the rebuilding and rehabilitation process with the aid of many stakeholders one of them being H T Parekh Foundation. We undertook the rebuilding of homes lost during the floods to support the most distressed families needing long-term rehabilitation. The Foundation focused on single women households, senior citizens and families having persons with disabilities.
A six-member committee with representatives from local village Panchayats was formed to vet out the beneficiaries after verifying the socio-economic record status and land records. The list was narrowed down to 75 families, 25 families in Ernakulam and 50 in Alleppey were identified for support to rebuild their lost homes.
Our response to the shelter needs of people affected by the flood is our attempt to provide a base for socio and economic rehabilitation and re-establish communities.
Water is a cross-cutting theme across sectors such as livelihoods, food security, gender equality, health, and poverty reduction. Addressing water issues have a multiplier effect and is key to addressing multiple social issues.
Paani Foundation's (Paani) unique approach to the water crisis in Maharashtra has mobilised communities to recognise problems and find their own solutions. Paani provides holistic training for villagers across selected talukas in Maharashtra on watershed management and leadership skills.
A team of five men and women from each village in the taluka take part in the training programme that culminates at an event called the Satyamev Jayate Water Cup. A competition that imbibes the spirit of collaboration, spread over 45 days, where participating villages compete to do the best work in watershed management and leave with the knowledge and skills to setup water management infrastructure and practices to solve their own water issues.
Our support to Paani's approach has been instrumental in helping them achieve impact at scale. The programme has been able to create water storage capacity of 318 billion litres between 2016-18.
‘Dhal ni Pol’ an old neighbourhood in Ahmedabad, Gujarat is considered to be the genesis of the city. Many structures with traditional façades and courtyards, wells, bird-feeders are still present and in use across homes. Such neighbourhoods are a living example of the city’s rich architectural and cultural heritage and have generated interest from both government and civil society to restore and revitalize these areas.
Our partner Gujarat Mahila Housing Sewa Trust having closely worked with the Dhal ni Pol community for multiple interventions of around sanitation took up one section of the ‘Pol’ for a complete facelift and revitalization of the public spaces within, along with conserving the heritage character.
The Foundation has supported this unique project in a section of the Pol’ covering 1000 households. This will enhance the heritage character of the precincts and improve the living environment for its residents by striking the correct balance between restorations of the old structures and improving the civic facilities in the area. The women in the community have been trained in organising heritage walks along the precincts for locals and tourists showcasing their culture and heritage thereby also providing additional means for them.