The future of sanitation in urban slums in India will continue to be a challenge. While government policy clearly mandates individual housing for slum-dwellers in the future, it clearly is a huge challenge that will probably take eons to take shape, due to ever-increasing patterns of migration within the country. Community sanitation has forever been neglected as an area of focus for policy and innovation, while it continues to be the only real alternative to several people living in urban slums in India. Because of this, it needs single-minded focus both from policymakers as well as stakeholders in the sector to ensure that there can be sustainable and well-designed solutions.
Project Sammaan should surely make an impact on thousands of lives in Bhubaneswar and Cuttack. But I also hope that, through this “experiment”, we will be able to create a model for replicable innovation that can be adapted to various contexts and can bring better sanitation to the lives of slum-dwellers elsewhere as well.