Habitat Observatory

    KEDES Building Centre – Chathanoor

Kerala Educational Development and Employment Society (KEDES) works towards creation of livelihood opportunities by providing skill based training to the rural masses of Kerala. It came to the fore in 1983, initiated by a committed team of enlightened social workers of Kerala, under the leadership of the world famous social activist and reformer Mr. P.N. Panicker.

The Building Centre promoted by KEDES is established at Chathanoor, kerala. It supervises and constructs buildings and structures using cost effective technology conceived and promoted by HUDCO. Building materials like Hollow Bricks, Ferro Cement Slabs, Concrete Joinery items, Funicular Shells etc. are manufactured in bulk and they are made available for construction purpose.

Key Features
In the efforts of KEDES to empower women through technology, KEDES has drawn up a unique training programme in Cost Effective Building Techniques to women. Through this special training programme women will be equipped to take up rural housing delivery system with people's participation. P.N. Panicker Souhrida Grama Sanghom (SHGs), the grass root level units of KEDES are implementing this scheme in the rural areas with the support and participation of local panchayats.

Through the consultancy and R&D work of KEDES Building Centre, it had successfully undertook and completed the work orders of supplying cost effective joinery items worth Rs. 87 lakhs to Kerala State Housing Board. Ferro cement slabs worth Rs. 176 lakhs to Kerala State Electricity Board. Through this Building Centre KEDES have constructed 121 EWS house at Nelliyampathy, Palakkad district.

The training programme, designed by KEDES in Cost Effective Building Techniques has come up with the concept of motivating women to take up production of building materials to pool their energies to reduce cost and get better returns. The training programme helps women hitherto treated as unskilled workers to become entrepreneurs and complement the masons - and not to supplement them as unskilled workers. Through this training programme 1110 rural women were trained under the self-employment project. The Building Centre has successfully completed a major project of construction of Executive Hostel Building of the Institute of Co-operative Management (ICM) of the Government of India, at Trivandrum and Kannur with a total cost of Rs. 352 lakhs.

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    Housing and Toilet Provision by Women Self-Help Groups


In Krishnagiri and Dharampuri districts of Tamil Nadu, Women Self Help Groups (SHGs) has enable construction of 24,705 houses and 17,000 toilets by sourcing affordable credit lines for the members of the saving groups.

Earlier housing was a serious problem in these two districts and less than 15 percent of population in rural areas and 20 per cent in urban areas have adequate housing, with less than ten per cent having an access to a toilet. Homes are typically old, small and overcrowded and lack adequate lighting, ventilation and water supply. Toilets and kitchens lack proper drainage and waste disposal systems. Surveys conducted in these regions illustrated that between 60 and 80 per cent of all illness was due to inadequate water and sanitation. Due to limited sanitation and personal hygiene options, women in particular are affected by tuberculosis, leprosy, filariasis, skin infections and cervical cancer.

Key Features
To improve the living condition of both urban and rural poor, a non-for-profit organization, an Integrated Village Development Project (IVDP) started working with them. They mobilise poor women to come together to form self-help saving groups (SHGs) and taught them to run SHGs. A huge network of 6,700 SHGs was established, each of which is made up of 12 to 20 disadvantaged women living below the poverty line. Members of the individual SHGs meet and save money regularly and use these savings to provide loans for housing, emergencies, school fees and other local priorities. Women within the SHGs develop managerial and administrative skills, whilst building a sense of group solidarity, self-confidence and an enhanced social status within their villages.

The SHGs have so far saved over INR 1.3 billion (US$27.7 million) i.e. US$230 per person and accessed loans worth INR 12.4 billion (US$265 million) i.e. US$2,208 per person. The availability of loans for house and toilet construction has improved the living conditions and health of participating families. SHG members’ incomes have increased with the support of income-generating loans helping them to repay their housing and toilet construction loans ensuring the future availability of loans and increasing women’s self esteem.

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