Wednesday, 10 October 2012


Even though the BMC  project on paper sounds promising, it fails to specify which section of the population will actually benefit from the plan.


As a follow up to the meeting in August where the Acumen team met with the SPARC team at the Khetwadi office,, the alliance shared data about loans given, cities and towns where it was given and also how the repayment has been scheduled. The discussion led to the team from Acumen visiting Bangalore and a date was finalized and Thomas from the federation facilitated the visit and meetings with households who had taken loans.

The visit:
The team first visited the Federation office at Bangalore, where Thomas explained them about the loan portfolio. They discussed on the number of loans given, the reasons for which families sought the loans and the overall management of the loan structure. Chinnamma who works with the families directly with the loans and savings, showed them around to meet some of the families that took the incremental loans for housing and upgrades. The Acumen team talked to Ragini from the L.R. Nagar settlement who had taken a loan to do housing repairs. They had a chat with Silvy Mary whose house had to be reconstructed following destruction with floods, since her house was situated on a low lying area. She had taken a loan therefore to perform major repairs to her broken house. Likewise, they also met a few more families and women who had taken loans to perform incremental upgrades to their houses and got an enlightening experience of how by upgrading the houses incrementally by using small loans helps communities to improve housing conditions
The team further plans to talk to John and know more about the incremental loan structure.

Monday, 1 October 2012


Jockin takes Municipal Commissioner to examine the water challenges of Mankhurd

Jockin accompanied the Additional Municipal Commissioner, Rajeev Jalota, to households relocated to Mankhurd in order to visually study the challenges of water access to these families. The households which they visited usually get water once in two days. In addition, they examined the pumps of each of the buildings to determine how to increase pressure to get additional water, calculated the electricity needed for these pumps, and established the additional costs that the society would need to incur. 

The Municipal Commissioner along with Jockin have established a two fold solution. All of the buildings in plot no. 98 (about 17 buildings) will form an association and they will be treated as one consumer with one bill. They will get adequate water and they will make a collective payment to the municipality. This solution saves the community to additional payments for electricity for booster pumps to draw in water and ensures reduced collection costs and regular payments to the municipality. 


1. In general the city by default does not give proper water supply to poor neighborhood. This process begins to address the inequity linked issues. 

2. Costs: When supply is poor and meager, households and buildings put additional pumps and spend on electricity. This will reduce their costs. 

3. Since the city does not bill properly and also does not regularly manage to document collections, often a huge bill suddenly surfaces with additional penalties. Through the revised system, the Mahila Milan can collect daily dues from 1,200 households and make a single payment, keeping 2% for their running costs for collections etc. 

If this experiment is successful, then the federation will explore this model in two other areas thus consolidating the role of the Mahila Milan as well as ensuring water access and proper payments.