The Urban Health Resource Centre (UHRC) works with slum communities to better inform them on issues of health, nutrition, infection prevention, understanding of government services, schemes of various government departments and how they can be availed. The objective is to ensure that demand for better health services emerges from the community itself with better knowledge.
The focus of the Urban Health Resource Centre’s (UHRC) efforts is not only improving health outcomes in underprivileged communities but also building foundational human capacity. UHRC’s social facilitators work consistently with the women and children groups in the slums of Indore and Agra to strengthen and deepen self-confidence, build self-esteem and instil confidence to enable them to demand their rights.
A key component of the UHRC’s program is building competence and confidence among the under-privileged communities to better negotiate with officials for their entitlements and the services due to them. For instance, women’s groups and children’s groups are taught how to write, submit (with a proof of receipt) community requests and petitions, reminders. They are encouraged to maintain a paper trail and thus learn to negotiate skillfully and tactfully.
The emphasis of the efforts is to negotiate with officers and politics based on evidence and to demonstrate the ‘how to do’ of actions.
These capacities built over time develop into a kind of non-perishable competence which grows with time and efforts among the women’s and children’s groups across the more than 400,000 vulnerable population in the slums of Indore and Agra. Through these skills slum communities are able to demand and access services such as healthcare, vaccination, care of pregnant women, paved streets, drains, electricity connections, water supply and sewerage systems. The spill over effects mean that sometimes communities living even beyond the UHRC program area benefit from these efforts.
Program sites: Agra, Uttar Pradesh. Indore, Madhya Pradesh. North-East district of New Delhi.
population gained access to the sewerage system
could avail address proof of the city
women received antenatal care and received hospital delivery
To foster socio-economic development, better health, nutrition, well-being and empowered individuals and community organizations among disadvantaged urban populations.
We envision a world where all people – even the most disadvantaged – acquire the power to create opportunity for themselves and others.
“Our team was taken into slums and met with women’s groups. These women were as strong and resolute as I’ve ever seen. (In fact, I asked myself throughout my time in Indore if I, given the same circumstances as these families, could not only endure these conditions, but even hope to positively work to organize, save, protest… all the while keeping the family unit intact.) It’s amazing to see the power of the human spirit in such places. “
“I interviewed the women’s groups about their efforts to build a bridge in their basti. The women’s groups were very involved in making a bridge for their community so children do not have to cross unhygienic water during the rainy season to school. With their dedication and efforts, the women and all the other members of the basti contributed small donations and built a temporary bridge until the government officials accept their request for a permanent bridge. A true story of the women’s resilience, confidence and commitment to improving their community!”
“Among my most enduring memories from observing UHRC’s programme were the changes I saw in individual women involved with the programme. I remember noting how quiet one women’s group member was in the first meeting I observed after arriving in Indore; she was too meek to speak in front of the group. When I saw this same woman again towards the end of the year, she was among the more assertive members of the group and had even taken on a leadership role. ”