Khushali: Improving the quality of life of the urban poor

Duration: 2012–2015 (From October 2015, Khushali enters its next phase of funding)

Location: Resettlement Colony, Madanpur Khadar, New Delhi

This comprehensive urban community development and health project in the Madanpur Khadar resettlement colony of New Delhi covers a population of 54,000 slum dwellers.

It combines preventive health, sanitation, community organization, non-formal education for children, adult literacy and vocational guidance for youth.

The health component of this project addresses adolescent, maternal, neonatal and child health, emphasizing the adoption of healthy behaviour, as well as improved access to and utilization of primary health services. Balanced attention is paid to family planning, antenatal and post-partum care for mother and newborn, nutrition, growth, and immunization of children under two.

A new component of community mobilization has been added this year. Mahila Arogya Samitis have been formed and members trained and prepared to take responsibility for informing their neighbours about the need to utilize health services. In the months ahead, the Mahila Arogya Samiti will work on the difficult issue of solid waste disposal and on converting public spaces from garbage dumps to parks and playgrounds.

A youth information centre for livelihoods and continuing education has been opened. It provides information on career choices, employment vacancies announced, and employment training opportunities available. It also helps young people to submit on-line job applications and apply for open school and university entrance and examinations. Plans have been made to commence vocational information talks for students of classes 8 and 9 from schools in Madanpur Khadar. These talks will encourage students to think about trades and skills that they can acquire to improve employment prospects after school.

Thirteen of the 36 women who have been attending adult literacy classes for a year, took the open school examination and all of them have passed. They will now prepare for the next level examinations.

Outputs and outcomes of this project are provided at the end of this report.
From October 2015, Khushali enters its next phase of funding. To better define the shape of the next phase, Agragami has commenced a set of small studies. The first of these looked at how the population of the settlement is growing and changing. Since December 2013, the number of dwellings has doubled from 594 to 1218 and the population has grown by 43.5% from 54,000 to approximately 77,000. Half the families now living in Madanpur Khadar moved in after December 2013, and 21% of the population that lived here in December 2013 has left. This is a highly mobile population and growing rapidly. A formal end-line study of the achievements of the health component is also scheduled for July 2015.

Using learning from this project, Agragami has developed a rural version of the Khushali model, and has obtained funding for a one-year pilot to serve 60,000 people in a cluster of 7 urban wards and 10 villages in and around Bodhgaya town of Gaya district. Agragami plans to use this integrated village development model more extensively in other locations in Bihar.