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How One Easy Initiative Is Cooling Down Houses for 20,000 Girls in Slums


Mahila Housing Belief, an organisation devoted to helping girls on the grassroots degree, is utilizing cool roof expertise to assist them escape the warmth in Ahmedabad. This initiative has revamped 20,000 houses cooler and extra snug in the course of the heatwave.

“Warmth was insufferable,” says Radha, who lives within the Ignas Park slum in Ahmedabad, Gujarat. With heatwaves and ever-rising temperatures within the nation, many others like Radha have been struggling with out satisfactory methods to chill down. “With excessive temperatures come enormous electrical energy payments. There is no such thing as a respite,” she provides.

Because the temperature rose to 42 levels in June 2024, town has been bearing the brunt of the warmth. “Since our home is on the nook of the slum the place it will get very warm, we didn’t know the best way to cool it down,” she says.

A Monetary Categorical report means that “India has seen 16,344 suspected heatstroke instances since 1 March this 12 months, with 486 suspected heatstroke instances on 22 Might alone.” One other report in Bloomberg identified that in Ahmedabad alone, town recorded 45 instances of warmth strokes final summer time with no complete information on heat-related deaths.

Whereas residence options like dampening the curtains of their entrances and throwing water to chill down the roof labored, all of them have been non permanent fixes.

Taking the scenario into cautious consideration, an organisation referred to as Mahila Housing Belief (MHT) got here up with a easy answer to the slum’s warmth woes. In case you now have a look at the roofs of most of those houses in the slums of Ahmedabad from a hen’s eye view, you will see that all of them painted in photo voltaic reflective white paint in order to chill the indoors.

“MHT representatives got here to us and informed us in regards to the photo voltaic reflective white paint. We felt that it was an inexpensive factor to do. After portray our roof white, we seen a major enchancment within the temperature inside our home. It was once unbearably scorching, however now, it feels rather more snug,” says Radha.


“Whereas I’m at work, my mom stays at residence all day, and he or she additionally feels a lot better now,” she provides with a smile.

Serving to slum dwellers survive the heatwave  

Bhavna Maheriya, MHT’s programme supervisor, shares in regards to the dwelling circumstances of slum dwellers. “Their foremost concern at this level is to outlive. Even whether it is 50 levels exterior and the Authorities points warnings of a heatwave, they should exit and earn their meals for the night time. Warmth motion is their final precedence,” she says.

The Mahila Housing Trust has helped women in slums bring down the temperatures in their homes.
The Mahila Housing Belief has helped girls in slums deliver down the temperatures of their houses.

When the warmth is a lot, the rooms warmth up too, turning into hotter than exterior on account of lack of correct air flow, she shares. “If they’ll’t care for the warmth, it turns into our responsibility to do it for them. The belief works in several areas and this is likely one of the initiatives that now we have taken up,” she shares.

The undertaking began as a pilot in 2016 when the belief was trying into cheaper and progressive methods of lowering warmth. “The organisation has been working in several areas corresponding to air pollution, local weather change, and so forth for nearly 30 years. In 2010, we began working for environment friendly vitality and helped a variety of rural folks in Ahmedabad have authorized electrical energy,” she says.

“Earlier they used to get electrical energy illegally from poles or from another person’s connection by paying them a small quantity. This was unlawful and extremely harmful. Nonetheless, as soon as the folks switched to authorized connections with authorised metres, the payments began to stream in. Most people complained about excessive electrical energy payments,” she says. The MHT crew inspected the houses of those folks and realised that they have been utilizing 100-watt bulbs.

“In a small residence with one or two rooms, excessive payments are usually not doable. We seen that the houses didn’t have correct air flow on account of shared partitions. They’ve the kitchen in the identical rooms, which additionally contributed to rising the warmth inside the house,” she says.

To cut back the warmth, folks used to run followers and coolers your complete day at full pace, rising the invoice. “This made us realise that altering their bulbs wouldn’t clear up the issue. We wanted a warmth motion plan,” she says.

The UV reflective paint not only brings down the temperature but also reduces electricity bills due to less usage.
The UV reflective paint not solely brings down the temperature but additionally reduces electrical energy payments on account of lesser utilization.

A ray of reduction

Bhavna takes us by way of the assorted pilots and schemes it launched earlier than the UV white paint pilot.

“We launched initiatives which modified their roofs. We launched a fibre sheet roof, positioned in a dome type with a jaali construction for air flow. This not solely improved the air flow but additionally diminished the warmth. This plan turned extremely popular and we put in it in practically 500 houses. In 2013, we launched one other pilot referred to as modular roofs. The discount in temperature was 5 to 6 levels however the product wanted a variety of modifications within the present construction,” she says.

“We additionally had pilots like thermocol false ceilings and bamboo ceilings too. It was in 2016 that we launched the rooftop white paint. The paint diminished the temperature by 5 to 6 levels inside the house,” she provides.

Calling it the cool roof expertise, she says, “One of the best factor about this initiative was that the applying was very simple. The ladies might simply supply it from us and apply it,” she says. The Ahmedabad Warmth Motion Plan committee additionally reached out to us to know how the cool roof expertise works. “They included our cool roof expertise of their revised plan,” she says.

When the assorted initiatives are launched, many steps are taken to make sure they profit the folks. “When there are structural adjustments within the houses of slum dwellers, we give them a one hundred pc assure that if the expertise doesn’t swimsuit them, we’ll reverse all of the adjustments made to the home,” she provides.

At the moment, over 20,000 slum houses in Ahmedabad have benefitted from the organisation’s initiative.

The women in slum areas are given proper induction before a project is implemented in their homes.
The ladies in slum areas are given correct induction earlier than a undertaking is carried out of their houses.

“I discovered about this white paint and its advantages throughout a Group Motion Group (CAG) assembly supported by the Mahila Housing Belief (MHT). They gave us a poster that had particulars in regards to the photo voltaic reflective white paint. We understood that it helps scale back the warmth inside our homes,” she shares.

“Our home doesn’t have correct air flow. It was once so scorching in the course of the summer time that we couldn’t sit inside comfortably. However after we utilized the paint on our roof, it feels a lot better,” says Suman who lived within the Ignas Park slum.

The belief will depend on funds and contributions to proceed serving to the folks dwelling in slums, right here is how one can assist them.

(Edited by Pranita Bhat; All pictures credit score: Mahila Housing Belief)



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