At Ashiana, we believe that the only thing temporary is fame. Labour, however, is real. For us, everyone who works with us and for us is part of our family – and we are responsible for their well-being.
We house an on-site Phoolwari or crèche for the children of our labourers so that they kept safely away from the construction site. The Phoolwaris offer colourful 'palnas' for the babies, smart uniforms for the older ones, milk and food for all children, hygiene lessons and computer education. A dedicated staff handles all efforts at each of our nine Phoolwaris at Bhiwadi (Delhi-NCR), Jaipur, Jodhpur, Neemrana, Lavasa and Halol to ensure that this becomes more than a stop gap measure.
Future plans include building in collaboration with the Central Government body, Centre for Environment Education (CEE), that was undertaken for Upper Primary School at Thada Village to educate children from both Thada and its neighbouring villages.
In 2006, we started a training institute to give opportunities to the unskilled labour workforce to upgrade themselves. To date through this in-house training institute under the Ashiana Foundation, Ashiana Housing has enabled 1080 labourers to reach the next skill level. With a mix of on-the-job and classroom training, a daily labourer has upgraded himself to a mason or electrician.
Additionally, we are conscious of the level at which women labourers are employed: largely as helpers, while men are given the ‘tougher’ jobs and by that logic also higher pay. Our skill training programmes are also designed for women to give them equal opportunity to access better employability and higher wages. We have also trained women in security and management skills, and later employed them as guards and contractors.
Ashiana Housing sponsors a monthly Panchayati Raj Training Programme for elected women representatives under the aegis of Kiran Bedi's Navjyoti Foundation. This initiative aims to empower women by training them in leadership skills and effective implementation of local governance.
Additionally, while employing up-skilled women who have been through a training programme, the Ashiana Foundation also empowers them to take greater control over their finances and contracts by providing assistance in applying for official documentation such as PAN cards, opening bank accounts and more
Right from the start, Ashiana Housing has followed ecologically-sound practices such as extensive tree plantation, rain water harvesting, water and power conservation, proper garbage disposal etc. regular consumption checks across properties are carried out to monitor use and track overuse of essential resources such as water and power. Subsequently, behaviour change campaigns are designed to reduce overconsumption.
Ashiana Housing also believes in giving back to the community and the region where it operates. We have executed various initiatives around our sites. At Jaipur, we have built a community facility for the use of locals. In the village of Balram Basti, Jamshedpur, we have built a deep tube well. At the Tamolia Village in Jamshedpur, we renovated the local temple and constructed bath sheds, while within Jamshedpur, we helped in the construction of a Police outpost. At Halol (Gujarat), we have helped restore and upgrade a local temple.