Sustainable housing: Gharaunda

Brief Note It takes thousands of years for nature to build fertile Topsoil, but it takes minutes for brick kilns to decimate the top 6 inches of life giving soil for being used in construction. Thousands of villages in India have become infertile. Drishtee is offering sustainable housing solutions for marginalised rural dwellers. Designed by rural women, the house is built with compressed eco bricks and bamboos. 1000 such houses in clusters of 20 each is needed for demonstrating an alternate solution.

What is the issue, problem, or challenge? There is a need for an estimated 21 million houses for low-income families in India. Bihar is the 3rd largest state in terms of population, of which close to 85% lives in villages, and 30% live at less than $ 1 below the Poverty Line. Majority of the youth are seeking employment in cities under difficult living conditions. The pressure on farmland for fast paced urban growth is leaving behind a trail of destruction in villages leading to lack of Livelihood, Housing and Access to basic services.

How “Gharaunda” solve this problem? The alternate Eco housing solution would solve the basic issues of unsustainability. It would provide for alternate construction livelihood, increased farm land for agriculture and respectable living for marginalised families. The model aims to use indigenously grown bamboos, compressed bio bricks and locally trained labor workforce for building beautiful, environment friendly houses which would offer modern amenities and spacious living at a modest $20 per square feet space.

Potential Long Term Impact Rural village communities have remained the building block of rich Indian civilization. They breed tolerance and traditions which Mahatma Gandhi cherished. India lives in these villages and offers to the world an alternate to the lonely life of cities. The localisation of basic needs such as food, clothing and shelter would ensure the sustainability of 1 million such communities and their growth. Housing has been found to be the single largest contributor to community building.

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