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  Social Responsibility

Slum Area Development
Published on: Feb. 14, 2020, 12:56 a.m.
Arvind is changing the face of urban slums using a tripartite model
  • The nagar before and after

By Business India Editorial
I

n 1996, the SHARDA Trust (Arvind’s CSR arm) chose Sanjay Nagar, in Ahmedabad, with about 1,200 residents belonging to 200 families, as the most deserving and willing to be emancipated, based on a fact-based survey of the different localities in Ahmedabad. Since then, the Trust has delivered a transformation that has won recognition, including from the UN Centre for Human Settlement, as one of ‘100 best global practices’.

The Trust came up with an innovative model of development, which created a three-way partnership with the residents and Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation, wherein each party contributed one-third of the amount required to clean and reform the neighbourhood, including basic amenities of paved roads with appropriate gradient for drainage, drinking water and toilets.

The tripartite model resulted in the successful outcome of this public-private-partnership. By making the residents co-investors, it made them equal stakeholders rather than beneficiaries of patronage. The municipal corporation explicitly agreed to let the Trust lead the execution and stay on the sidelines – this proved crucial in making timely decisions. Arvind as a corporate entity behind the Trust went beyond the agreement to provide tactical support – including helping with loans through SEWA Bank so that the residents could bring in their part of the commitment.

The upgrade of physical infrastructure, also drove the transformation of the social fabric – whilst earlier people used to be completely illiterate and engage in arguments and fights, the improved facilities resulted in people focused on pursuing better health, education and behaviour. In 2014-15, the residents of Sanjay Nagar proactively invited Arvind to be the executing partner. All families were handed over the flats by the Gujarat CM in January 2017.


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