Field Visits

The Global Forum’s urban and rural field visits will give a real glimpse of the life lived by the people whose livelihoods we are all trying to improve. Participants can choose between 5 different urban and rural field visits. The field visits are listed below, with additional details further down the page.
  1. Urban Field Visit: Dharavi Slum, 11 October, 13.00 – 22.00. No cost.
  2. Urban Field Visit: “Not Just a Piece of Cloth,” GOONJ, 11 October, 13.30-20.00. No cost.
  3. Rural Field Visit to Pune: Tour departs the conference venue at 16.00 on 14 October and returns at 18.00 on 16 October. Cost: $200 (includes food, overnight accomodation, transporation)
  4. Rural Field Visit to Satara: Tour departs the conference venue at 08.00 on 14 October and returns at 18.00 on 16 October. Cost: $200 (includes food, overnight accomodation, transporation)
  5. Rural Field Visit to Thane: Tour departs the conference venue at 08.00 on 15 October and returns at 18.00 the same day. Costs are per actuals for accommodation at the venue. Please make booking directly with Mumbai Renaissance on-site.

Urban Field Visit to Dharavi Slum

Dharavi Slum in Mumbai is half the size of New York’s central park. The density of the population is about 570,000 per square km. This is 20 times more dense than the whole of Mumbai, which itself is the most dense city in the world. Conference visitors will see why Dharavi is, in many ways, a microcosm of life and industry in urban India. Many people know it as the “largest slum in Asia,” but there is much more to this historic area of Mumbai than poverty. Dharavi’s industries have an annual turnover of approximately $665 million. Visitors will experience a wide range of these activities: recycling, pottery-making, embroidery, bakery, soap factory, leather tanning, poppadommaking and many more. The slum faces public health problems due, in part, to the scarcity of toilet facilities, which itself is due partly to the fact that most housing and 90% of the commercial units in Dharavi are illegal. Mahim Creek, a local river, is widely used by local residents for urination and defecation, leading to the spread of contagious disease. The area also suffers from problems with inadequate drinking water supply. Please note: If you have pre-registered for this field trip, you will have received a tour ticket when you checked in for the Forum. If you did not pre-register, please check with the Field Visit desk in the registration area to see if space is still available by 20.00 on Monday 10 October.Participants will receive a packed lunch for the bus trip. Dinner is provided in the evening, and there will be time for shopping. There is no cost for this tour. Participants should assemble at the Field Visit desk at 12.30.

Urban Field Visit: “Not Just a Piece of Cloth,” GOONJ, 11 October, 13.30-20.00

GOONJ is an Indian NGO present in Delhi, Mumbai and elsewhere, whose mission is to re-position cloth and other underutilized material beyond charity by adding dignity and turning it into a resource for development. In this tour, “Not just a piece of cloth,” Global Forum participants will see how GOONJ processes tonnes of urban waste daily. Segregated clothes, utensils, footwear and furniture is dispatched to the rural parts of the country to be used as resource for village development under GOONJ’s nationwide initiative Cloth for Work. The Mumbai chapter of GOONJ was initiated five years ago and includes a  processing centre, workshop, sanitary pad production process and exhibition centre. Participants will visit each of these components, with special focus paid to the sanitary pad production centre. As an extra level of hygiene is needed during the making of the sanitary napkins, GOONJ has a separate, dedicated area for their manufacture where old cotton clothes, bed-sheets, curtains, etc. are made into the cheapest napkin in the world. Please note:  This is a newly added field trip. Please check with the Field Visit desk in the registration area to obtain a ticket and/or see if space is still available by 20.00 on Monday 10 October. Dinner is provided at the Renaissance in the evening, but there will be time for shopping in the area.  There is no cost for this tour.  Participants should assemble at the Field Visit desk at 13.15.

Rural Field Visits to Maharashtra State: a leader in sanitation and hygiene work, 14-16 October

Maharashtra is India’s second most populous state and home to 100 million people. A leader in innovative sanitation and hygiene delivery at scale, Maharashtra has a statewide strategy focused on awareness building, demand creation, community commitment and clean villages. Since the year 2000, access to improved sanitation increased from 20% to almost 50%. The key component of this success was the government’s Sant Gadge Baba sanitation and hygiene campaign, which spread village by village and featured facilitation by senior officials, third party monitoring mechanisms and an innovative and inspirational village awards system. It led to thousands of clean villages across the state. The Forum’s field visits give participants an opportunity to understand the different elements of this approach that make success at scale a realistic goal. The visits will give insights into various crucial and key issues of sanitation related to triggering demand for sanitation, strategies for community motivation and mobilization, women’s role and participation, self regulation and sustaining the entire effort. Please note: w If you have pre-registered for a rural field visit, you will have received a tour ticket when you checked in for the Forum. Please go to the Field Visit desk to confirm which tour you will take. If you did not pre-register, please check with the Field Visit desk in the registration area to see if space is still available for any of the tours by 20.00 on Monday 10 October. See below for exact field visit dates and times. The field visits cost $200, unless otherwise indicated, which covers transportation, food and overnight accommodation. Rural Field Visit to Pune Tour departs the conference venue at 16.00 on 14 October and returns at 18.00 on 16 October. The visit to the village of Kaladari in Pune will showcase innovations in sanitation and non-conventional energy such as solar and wind energy to generate electricity. The village has achieved 100% coverage of families with individual toilets, and is officially an open defecation free village. More than 100 families have toilets connected to biogas plants. In addition, there is 1.5 kw of energy generation using solar and wind energy, which is used to light eight electricity poles in the village. Other sites in Pune will also be visited, such as a decentralized solid waste treatment facility. Rural Field Visit to Satara Tour departs the conference venue at 08.00 on 14 October and returns at 18.00 on 16 October. The village of Dahmner, situated on the river Krishna, is one of the Satara field visit highlights. The village has been active in various development programmes, including sanitation since the year 2000. In addition to achieving open defecation free status by provision of individual and community toilets, notable work in the village includes collection, disposal and reuse of sullage for agriculture purposes. The village, through active participation of the residents, has been able to maintain and sustain the cleanliness movement. Another highlight is Aasgaon, a rehabilitated village of displaced people. Open defecation used to be the prevailing and dominant practice, but the village became open defecation free through provision of individual and community toilets. This field visit also includes a stop at the Sanitary Napkins Production Centre, an effort run by an NGO that has produced thousands of sanitary napkins locally. Rural Field Visit to Thane Tour departs the conference venue at 08.00 on 15 October and returns at 18.00 the same day. Costs are per actuals for accommodation at the venue. Please make booking directly with Mumbai Renaissance on-site. Visitors will be taken to Mhalunge, another rehabilitated village. When the Koyana Dam was built, this village of 50 households was shifted from its homeland in Satara District to Thane District. The village had more than 60% families practicing open defecation, but since 2003 has sustained an open defecation free status. The village also encouraged families to install biogas plants to process human excreta and cowdung, soak pits to absorb grey water, solid waste segregation at source and community garbage dumps. The prize money received for being open defecation free is being re-invested by the village for various sanitation purposes such as repairing of school toilets, construction of storm water drains, purchasing of waste bins etc. This field visit also includes a stop to the Sanitary Napkins Production Centre run by Adivasi Mahilal Federation.