The term Vikasini is a local feminine connotation meaning “carriers of development”.
MHT believes that grassroots women can become drivers of more sustainable and inclusive urban development in their communities as well as cities. Towards this, MHT supports poor women in disenfranchised communities to build their social capital, and empowers them with technical knowledge to negotiate complex urban planning and service delivery processes and procure better habitat services.
MHT’s Community Organization & Leadership Development Model
The leadership development model of MHT is based on a three-step process. First, MHT organizes all families in a community into a membership group called the Community Based Organizations (CBO). MHT organizes sensitization campaigns, hosts area meetings with CBO members to identify needs and aspirations of the community. CBO members are then encouraged to identify women leaders among themselves as members of the Community Action Group (CAG). The CAG, comprising 10-12 women leaders acts as the executive committee of the CBO members and leads action on their behalf. The CAG members are trained to actively interface with government bodies and take charge of improvement processes.
MHT builds and nurtures this leadership in slums by involving them in implementation of programs. Over the years, CAG members become highly knowledgeable about their communities, as well as their rights as citizens. They are able to independently work with government and service providers to bring improvements in their communities. These women leaders who exhibit exemplar abilities to address habitat issues in their own communities (called Vikasinis) into a city level platform to engage with city-level decision-making and strengthen their influence on urban development plans and policies.