The lack of a proper habitat impacts all other aspects of development namely health, education, gender equality, ecology and social integration. When provided with basic human requirements of shelter, water, electricity and drainage, communities are able to break the cycle of poverty and resist the lure of urban migration.
Public Utility Buildings
Poor and needy women and Persons with Disabilities will live in decent and permanent shelters that not only provide them safety and security but also enhance their status both in family and society for an improved quality of life.
CBOs/Target Communities will independently manage and regularly make use of permanent school buildings cum community centres, to run supplementary schools (Tuition Centres) and for their common socio-economic, health & developmental needs.
Selected villages or target colonies suffering from severe water crisis with either absence or malfunctioning of existing public water distribution systems will have access to drinking water supply schemes through government, RDT and other organisations’ support.
Students in rural communities will have access to quality Public Educational Institutions with improved classrooms, laboratories, toilets and compound walls wherever needed.
RDT will have good infrastructure in the form of Referral Hospitals, Rural Clinics, CBR Institutions, Training Halls, Offices, Sports Complexes, Staff quarters/guest rooms etc., in strategic locations so as to render qualitative and efficient services to people.
CBOs will take timely initiatives and associate themselves effectively in the process of construction as well as maintenance of structures apart from mobilising resources from the government for further betterment of their housing colonies.
RDT’s staff members will have the required knowledge and skills to ensure quality construction and involvement of CBOs / Beneficiary families / Construction Committees in project planning, execution, monitoring and follow up.
Staff members, both at technical and managerial level have the improved skills and capability to carry out regular monitoring, technical assessments and evaluations to assess the impact of interventions, so as to help adapt strategies to changing needs and make timely decisions to accomplish targets with quality.
RDT will collaborate with the Government in Housing Programmes both in rural and selected urban areas, including areas affected by natural calamities or disasters, wherever feasible as per the agreed terms and conditions.
The government has been admirable in trying to house and provide social security to its most marginalised citizens. But information about the schemes and the eligibility criteria to avail them has been patchy and often does not reach the poorest of settlements where their need is most dire. There are government provisions under the Andhra Pradesh Housing Corporation Ltd. that now provide 872 sq. ft. (2 cents) land patta (title) to each person Below Poverty Line (BPL).
However, the houses are meant to be constructed by the people, while the government periodically reimburses them through the course of the construction. The shortfalls of this system are manifold - most of these people are extremely poor, and for them to arrange a capital to build the house is nearly impossible. Most resort to debts from richer landlords in hopes of getting the money spent reimbursed, but red-tapism or policy changes across departments mean that reimbursements are almost always delayed. Indebted and now unable to repay the loan they’ve taken, the entire family comes under severe economic and psychological distress.
The reimbursement slab set for construction of each of these houses was, until recently, approximately 50% of the cost incurred. Even if in some cases a person does manage to get the funds, they are never enough to take care of the total amount spent. In addition, government interventions are often delayed and fall short of the actual requirement. And finally, there is no technical information or support provided regarding the subject of construction methods, dos and don’ts.
So a primary role of RDT is to act as a bridge between government bodies and the rural poor and help them understand the schemes and allotments available to them. This applies not only to individual projects but also for community-based projects, bridges, roads etc. We started by constructing houses with proper ventilation, drainage facilities, and easy access to water. The seemingly simple act of moving into a new, owned house allayed the villagers’ fears, improved their health and increased their productivity. The resulting economic stability helped children attend school and in due course of time the community’s socio-economic status improved. Moreover, in the year 1995-96, RDT empowered women by registering each house built in their name - a practice that even the government, under Mr. Chandrababu Naidu, adopted while allocating lands.
Prior to RDT’s interventions, many villages did not even have a common building, let alone a school with many of the school classes being conducted at temples. From 1978 onwards, with the help of donor agencies, many school-cum community halls were constructed. RDT also constructs additional classrooms in government schools, hostels, libraries, hospitals, rural clinics, vocational training centres, residential schools, field offices, and staff quarters. RDT ensures that the built structures are habitable by providing drinking water, installing water purification plants and constructing roads and causeways. As an additional mandate however, the sector also conducts reconstructions after natural or man-made disasters such as earthquakes, tsunamis or war.
Building habitats for a better future
RDT has resolved that the rural poor will improve their quality of life through access to permanent shelter and to basic community infrastructure to cater for their socio-economic, educational and developmental needs.