Catalyzing Locally Driven Strategies in Mumbai Slums for WASH

December 2021

With the advent of COVID pandemic in March 2020, Government institutions in India declared full and then extended partial lockdowns, prioritized health services and urged citizens to follow three self-discipline rules – wear masks, sanitize frequently and maintain ‘social distance’. However, following rules dictated by the pandemic guidelines can be extremely challenging to some populations, the urban poor for example, who largely live in informal settlements or slums. This project “Catalysing locally driven strategies” was proposed in this context to understand current situation of essential access of slum residents, the challenges it posed in following these guidelines, and therefore the vulnerabilities which they were already facing, and what can be done to address them to build long term resilience to such epidemiological responses. This report documents the work of SPARC and its community network organizations – National Slum Dwellers Federation and Mahila Milan during the pandemic and in the immediate aftermath of the strict lockdowns around the objectives of the above-mentioned project. The work was carried out in two wards of Mumbai – G North ward covering Dharavi alone, and M East ward covering both slums and slum relocation colonies. The report documents work done during the period 30 June 2020 – 30 November 2021.