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A Community Managed Sanitation Program for the Residents of the Majnu Ka Tila Pakistani Hindu Refugee Camp in Delhi, India

Mallik, Anisha (2023) A Community Managed Sanitation Program for the Residents of the Majnu Ka Tila Pakistani Hindu Refugee Camp in Delhi, India. Master's Thesis, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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Sanitation is a human right for all. All people are rights-holders to systems that are safe, accessible, hygienic, private, and culturally acceptable. The whole process of collecting, containing, treating and safely disposing of human waste is known as sanitation. One of the most basic requirements for a dignified and healthy life, and a key part of sanitation, is a functioning toilet. Toilets function properly only when they are connected to a system that can safely manage human waste. However, over 4 billion people globally do not have access to sanitation systems that adequately separate them from contact with human waste. When this access is lacking, the basic process of digestion becomes a cumbersome task, forcing people to make choices that put their health and safety at risk. 
On the outskirts of Delhi, the capital of India, there is an area called Majnu Ka Tila (MKT), where about 700 people have been living in a makeshift camp since 2012. Fearing religious persecution in neighboring Pakistan, these people fled to India to seek refuge. Despite having been here for over a decade, the residents of the camp have little to no access to water, decent sanitation, or electricity. People from the camp are forced to openly defecate in the surrounding areas, leading to adverse health effects and subjecting them to verbal and physical harassment from the public.
Aiming to design a public health intervention that can help to address their basic human right to sanitation, this thesis presents a community-managed sanitation program for the MKT camp. After outlining relevant definitions, presenting a thorough review of both the global and local scope of the issue, exploring caste and gender dimensions of the issue and evidence from successful programs, I will present a tailored program designed for the context of this camp. The program is centered on the residents and their needs, and will build community toilet blocks using dry composting systems and women-led oversight. Careful co-production and co-management of the program with the community, relevant government authorities, and local partners will work to empower camp residents to claim their human right to sanitation.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Mallik, Anishaanm268@pitt.eduanm268
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairBaumann, Sarasarabaumann@pitt.edusarabaumann
Committee MemberDocumet, Patriciapdocumet@pitt.edupdocumet
Committee MemberFinkel, Mugemfinkel@pitt.edumfinkel
Date: 15 May 2023
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 17 April 2023
Approval Date: 15 May 2023
Submission Date: 26 April 2023
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Number of Pages: 81
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: School of Public Health > Behavioral and Community Health Sciences
Degree: MPH - Master of Public Health
Thesis Type: Master's Thesis
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: sanitation, human rights, toilets, community management
Date Deposited: 15 May 2023 21:50
Last Modified: 15 May 2023 21:50


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