New Delhi, November 2, 2022: PVR NEST, the CSR arm of India’s leading film exhibition company, PVR Limited in association with the Municipal Corporation of Delhi today dedicated a large public health infrastructure, ‘Garima Grih’ to women and children in Delhi’s slums and disadvantaged sections of the community. ‘Garima Grih’ is designed to provide safe, sanitation, and hygiene spaces along with skill development and income generation opportunities for empowering women of marginalized populations. It will serve the multifaceted needs of the community residing in Jawahar Camp, Chuna Bhatti Camp, and Harijan Camp in Kirti Nagar comprising a user base of more than 10 lac annually. The First of the ‘Garima Grih’ in the city was inaugurated today at Jawahar Camp, Kirti Nagar.
One of the most complex challenges our country is facing today is the pace of urbanization. The urban population is growing with migration to cities adding to the pressure on cities. Policies to manage urban growth need to focus on vulnerable groups for housing, education, health care, livelihood, and a safe environment. The high density of the population instills fears of catching communicable diseases living in slums that are unregulated and have congested conditions characterized by four air and no sunlight. Delhi is projected to continue growing and become the most populous city in the world around 2028. The city’s significant population lives in slums among substandard conditions aggravated by dirty water, clogged and open drains, narrow lanes, cramped houses, heaps of garbage devoid of basic necessities like proper sanitation and water supply.
‘Garima Grih’ will cater to the needs of this section of society and play a contributory role in ‘Urbanism’. It will bring about a basic change in the health and sanitation habits of the inhabitants of this diverse population group. It will lead them to interact with the environment in a positive manner being a part of a liveable sustainable community. Developed on the basis of a thorough understanding of the SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals), ‘Garima Grih’ will protect the city’s underprivileged population, and enhance their social well-being to live a decent life with access to basic services. ‘Garima Grih’ is aligned to the government’s Smart Cities Mission, Swachh Bharat Mission and The Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation 2.0 (AMRUT 2.0), and National Skill Development Mission.
Commenting on the launch of Garima Grih, Ms. Deepa Menon, Founder Head, PVR NEST said, “The social relevance and the impact which the ‘Pink Centres’ created inspired us to take an ambitious step towards expanding the scope of our Safe Centres catering to a wider demographic and bring disadvantaged communities to the mainstream. Urban spaces like ‘Garima Grih’, a one-of-its-kind unique concept of the multi-utility safe center have the ability to create sustainable jobs which in turn leads to socio-economic development among women”.
‘Garima Grih’ is completely accessible through ramps and is inclusive (friendly for Persons with Disabilities friendly, senior citizens, and children). Women can get access to Menstrual Hygiene products through a Sanitary Napkin Vending Machine and can dispose of them in the most sustainable way through incinerators. Besides toilets, there are changing rooms, and bathing and handwashing areas. It has a Common Services Centre ‘Jan Seva Kendra’ offering digital services for the public completely run by women. The ‘Women Empowerment Centre’ will be used for the skill development of women teaching them essential skills for earning their livelihood. Additionally, there is a covered open space for women to take a rest after a hard day’s work which adds up to an area to run capacity-building workshops for increasing or developing skills and competencies of the neighborhood community. Towards meeting the skill development objective, 200 unique stakeholders will be provided computer skills, and 100 reading and writing skills with over 2000 women expected to be skilled in the next 3 years. ‘Garima Grih’ will enlist the support of multidisciplinary organizations such as Water Aid India, Deakin University, Lady Irwin College, NIFT, Read India, and PVR Pictures to realize its objectives.
Ms. Shashanka Ala (IAS) Deputy Commissioner, Municipal Corporation of Delhi (Karol Bagh Zone) said,“PVR NEST has been a sustainable excellence partner running various programs at its 20 Pink Centres in Delhi contributing to the development and empowerment of women in the community. We are extremely pleased that our partnership has progressed over the years to eventually take the shape of a project of such magnitude. The location of the complex is extremely strategic with a densely populated community reaping immense benefits from the multifaceted role that ‘Garima Grih’ will deliver”.
PVR NEST in association with the Municipal Corporation of Delhi and the National Commission of Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) operates 20 ‘Pink Centres’ in Delhi that provide free-to-use, women-exclusive sanitation facilities managed by well-trained women sanitation workers known as WASH Champions. These centers are considered as ‘Beyond-Toilet facilities’ because they offer essential amenities such as grooming space, resting/reading space, bathing facility, breast-feeding space, changing room, and menstrual hygiene products. These safe accessible spaces uphold the right to hygiene, dignity, and safety among women. During the covid outbreak in 2021, with several vital facilities being shut, Pink Centres continued to operate with covid protocols thanks to the immense courage and determination displayed by these WASH Champions. In its endeavor to make sanitation equitable, the centres have garnered 5 Lakh + users.
Mr. Sanjeev Kumar Bijli, Joint Managing Director, PVR Limited and the CSR Committee Member of PVR NEST who built a strong foundation and a shared vision for PVR NEST said, “The PPP model is a sustainable development model that can be replicated across the country. We feel proud that our Pink Centres have becomes a model of quality sanitation and playing a role in nation building while meeting the social development goals of government schemes”.
PVR Cinemas has been serving the communities where it operates for more than 25 years. PVR’s mission is centered on serving the community, and this value is at the core of everything it does. Through its CSR arm, PVR NEST over the last 16 years has made a vital contribution to various sustainable community development programs such as Aaanchal Care and Protection Centres, Child Friendly Railway Stations, ‘Paalan’ and Pink Centres through the immensely successful Public Private Partnership model.
Women and children are some of the most vulnerable members of societies in India and across the world. Health, safety, and well-being are pivotal facets which get compromised due to lack of accessibility to toilets and Menstrual Hygiene Management (MHM). The lack of awareness of MHM, taboos, and inaccessibility to toilets have compounded the problem with women and girls taking refuge in open defecation, becoming more susceptible to Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs) and eventually Cervical Cancer.
Pink Centres have helped in attaining resilience from safety and hygiene concerns regarding open defecation, UTIs, zero inclusivity for PWDs/transgender persons, women’s safety, and privacy at the public toilet facilities. They have accounted for behavioral shifts among the users which resulted in their higher consciousness towards sanitation and an increase in the usage of sanitary pads. These centers further paved the way for over 100 WASH Champions to lead a dignity-rich, sustainable living through employment opportunity and the skilling workshops have empowered them to get better opportunities in the future.