Swasti Health Catalyst revitalises health, sanitary conditions in Gurugram, with support from MCG

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As part of the Invest for Wellness (i4We) initiative, a clean-up drive was organised through collaborative efforts for a healthier habitat for the urban poor community

Situated in the heart of Gurugram, one of the fastest developing cities of the country, is the impoverished village of Mohammadpur. The semi urban-semi rural set community faces several challenges in creating a safe environment for its 21,000 migrant residents. Studies suggest that about 80 per cent of the households in the village suffered from an illness in the last three months owing to the unsanitary conditions that prevail in the locality. Out of these, 60 per cent of households did not take any preventive measures for illnesses. Given the situation, the community finds itself struggling between its traditional way of living and the recently gained status of being a town.

In response to this, Swasti Health Catalyst, a not-for-profit, initiated a sanitation and cleanliness campaign called Mission Swachh Mohammadpur. As a part of their i4We programme, the objective of this campaign is to create a healthier ecosystem for the community of Mohammadpur through prevention of potential diseases. The campaign culminated recently with a deep cleaning and sanitation drive in the area. The ceremony was organised with support from organisations like Marks & Spencer’s, Municipal Corporation of Gurugram, Chintan, BMRC and Ecogreen Energy.

Delighted to be a part of this drive, Mr Rao Bhopal Singh, Executive Engineer, Municipal Corporation of Gurugram, said, “Under the Swacch Bharat Mission campaign of government of India, Municipal Corporation Gurugram has entrusted the task of collecting wet and dry waste separately from each household and taking it to the waste management plant situated at Bandhwadi to M/s Ecogreen Energy. This is a new task for which the partnership and cooperation of the general public is essential. In view of it, Swasti Health Catalyst, which is a reputed NGO in this field, has taken up the responsibility of spreading awareness in different areas of the city in cooperation with M/s Ecogreen Energy with the aim of providing information about this mission to the people and seeking their cooperation in public interest. Under this campaign, a cleanliness campaign of eight days had been organised in village Mohammadpur. As a part of it, different kinds of activities like street plays, sports competitions and rallies were organized. People were educated about cleanliness, their role in this and the community’s responsibility, be it young or old, rich or poor. At the closing ceremony of this campaign, I congratulate Swasti Health Catalyst and M/s Ecogreen Energy on behalf of the Municipal Corporation and hope that these NGOs would continue to make people aware about cleanliness in other areas of the city as well and would continue to offer their cooperation in waste-free campaign of the Municipal Corporation.”

The week-long campaign included various activities like street play by school children, community rally, oath taking, art camp/ slogan competition and sports completion. The activities were organized in different areas of the locality like government school, BMRC and Lakhia Chowk.

Driving the initiative for the last two years, Ms Shaonli Chakraborty, Associate Director, Swasti Health Catalyst, said, “Swasti’s sanitation and hygiene initiatives are striving to make a difference by significantly reducing disease incidences through community education and engagement with schoolchildren in Mohammadpur. Through ‘Mission Swachh Mohammadpur’, we aim to establish a model for affordable and accessible primary healthcare. We have reached out to more than 6,000 community households under the i4We program.”

As a part of i4We, to support the primary healthcare facility at the village, Swasti collaborated with Marks & Spencer’s and formally launched a wellness center’s clinic in August 2017. The clinic provides healthcare facilities to every member. The clinic is run by a full-time nurse supported by telemedicine facility and community-based health facilitators, who are mostly the local women of the community. As a result, 40 functional Swasth health groups have been formed with a total of 321 women members and their families.

“As a part of implementation of Integrated Solid Waste Management Project (ISWM) for Gurugram – Faridabad, Ecogreen is in the process of eliminating open dumping of garbage in the city and prevention of waste burning. Elimination of open dumping prevents ingestion of contaminated water or food, chikungunya, dengue fever, malaria, lung’s problem etc.,” said Mr. Sindhu Nair, Manager, Ecogreen Energy,  a not-for-profit which proved as the supporting partner for on-ground activities.

Taking reference from the conditions of the village before the drive, i4We has immensely impacted the landscape of the village. This has been an increase in the level of awareness among resident families on water, sanitation and primary health.