Clean toilets, affordable drinking water and laundry services are not commonly associated with overpopulated and congested slums in Mumbai, However, an initiative by Hindustan Unilever in partnership with BMC’s Swacch Bharat Abhiyan is making this possible. Suvidha centre – A First-Of-Its-Kind Urban Water, Hygiene And Sanitation Community Center, will now be set up in Dharavi.
It is the 6th such centre in Mumbai.
It is a purpose-built, sustainable community centre that addresses the sanitation, hygiene, drinking water, and laundry needs of low-income urban households in slum/ chawls who face severe challenges due to lack of infrastructure and facilities.
The first centre was established in 2016 in Ghatkopar’s Azad Nagar slum and now the sixth and biggest centre is on its way to be set up in Dharavi.
“With the onset of the pandemic, it has become more critical than ever to provide hygiene and sanitation solutions to low-income urban households and especially to communities residing in congested arrangements, ” said Kiran Dighavkar, nodal officer of Swachh Bharat Abhiyan and Assistant Municipal Commissioner G (North) ward (Dharavi, Dadar, Mahim).
He added,”The Suvidha Centre in Dharavi will offer a holistic approach to the issues of poor personal hygiene, lack of laundry facilities, lack of safe drinking water and poor sanitation. The centre will be one of the biggest community toilets in Mumbai with over 100 clean flushing toilet seats for women, men and children, accessible toilets for people with disabilities, facilities for feminine hygiene needs and a safe, private, hygienic, and odour-free environment. The centre will also be designed with safety in mind with separate entrances for women and girls. Specific toilets will open at night to help reduce the risk of violence that is so prevalent at many slum toilets.”