Slum Upgrading in India

Indian womenSlum Upgrading in India

In order to help revitalize the physical and social infrastructure so that residents could improve their habitats while strengthening their sense of community, CHF implemented the Sahbhagi Yojana 2 Support Program (SY2SP) from 2003 to 2007. Funded by the US Agency for International Development, CHF implemented SY2SP in three cities in India’s western state of Gujarat, Ahmedabad, Surat and Vadodara.

Through SY2SP, CHF focused on improving the technical, financial and managerial effectiveness of several groups within the Self-Employed Women’s Association (SEWA), a trade union owned and developed by poor, self-employed Indian women. Some 92 percent of women in India’s labor force earn their living in the informal sector, lacking regular salaries and welfare benefits.

The overall goal of these efforts was to help SEWA and its affiliated groups to become effective partners of the municipal corporations and slum communities in each city, so that they could make tangible and lasting improvements to the physical infrastructure of local slums.

The program’s impact includes:
  • Helped residents to form 148 community-based organizations and leveraged new banking services for the community, including the first-ever pension program for women working in the informal sector
  • Provided nearly 10,000 people with training in health and hygiene
  • Immunized over 2,000 children
  • Provided 2,500 people with access to insurance
  • Distributed low-cost generic medicines to nearly 30,000 people through 66 health centers
  • Delivered services to over 143,000 people living in over 100 slums in the three cities.

SY2SP was so successful that it piqued the interest of municipal corporations outside of Gujarat that were eligible to receive funding from the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM), a $27 billion city modernization program launched by the central Indian government. Following consultations with CHF staff about its experiences and lessons learned during SY2SP, three additional cities submitted applications for JNNURM funding.

Supporting People Living with HIV/AIDS

While implementing the Sahbhagi Yojana 2 Support Program (SY2SP)in Gujarat, India, CHF field staff began noting the disproportionate impact of HIV/AIDS on vulnerable populations living in slum areas. CHF responded by developing a comprehensive program to provide economic development opportunities, deliver HIV/AIDS prevention, care and treatment services, and slum upgrading projects to the urban poor.