Shelter Associates Executive Director appears on Australian National Radio
On 29th February 2012 Shelter Associates Executive Director, Pratima Joshi, appeared on Australian radio. Pratima Joshi appeared on ABC Radio Nationals 'By Design' program to explain why she received the title of 'Google Earth Hero' from Google and Shelter Associates city-wide approach to slum rehabilitation.
"Google Earth is the most commonly used, and most accessible, remote sensing technology which Shelter Associates use as a 'base map' to co-ordinate all of the data that is collected in relation to poverty. This, spatially organised, data is all on the Shelter Associates website and is available to anyone, including City Corporations. Google took the view that Shelter Associates were using Google Earth in an inovative fashion and awarded the title of 'Google Earth Hero' and made a short documentary."
"Shelter Associates advocate a city-wide approach to planning for the urban poor, as it is important to look at slums in the context of their neighbourhoods and the city. If the situation is addressed in a slum-by-slum fashion then often the most vulnerable slum dwellers are moved to the outskirts of the city; which is detrimental to their way-of-life, as they are taken away from employment opportunities, schools, markets, hospitals.
In Sangli and Miraj Shelter Associates adopted a city-wide approach and proposed a program of slum rehabilitation where 29 slums would be rehabilitated and none would be required to move out side of the city. The project requires 22 vulneralbe slums to relocate 2.5 - 3 km from their current location to 1 of 7 'recieving sites' (slums which are being cleared and rebuilt at a higher density to accommodate the relocated slums). This means that at the end of the rehabilitation process all slum dwellers from the 29 slums would have houses, essential services and most importantly they would have security of tenure and would all still be located in approximately the same area of the city. This city-wide approach also ensures that the limited land resources available to the City Corporations are used optimally.
This project is currently being carried out in Sangli and Miraj, and the city-approach has been incorporated within the guidelines of the Government of India's most recent slum rehabilitation program; Rajiv Awas Yojana (RAY)."