NGO Insights: Triratna Prerana Mandal

Dated : 06 Nov 2014
  1. Sector and Positioning:

Triratna Prerana Mandal (TPM) is a Community Based Organization (CBO) that was selected by the Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai (MCGM) and World Bank through the Prime Minister’s Office, for renovating & operating 400 public toilets, as a part of the Mumbai Sewage Disposal Project. TPM largely works in four areas: a) Sanitation; b) Solid waste management; c) Computer classes; and d) Women development through formation of Self Help Groups (SHG). With the support from Sudheendra Kulkarni’s Observer Research Foundation (ORF) & MCGM, TPM set up the Mahatma Gandhi Centre to provide training to local sanitation workers, to help achieve the dream of a Clean India (Mission 2019 Swachh Bharat). In 2010, TPM acquired a project ‘Call for Green India’ from the Government of India to install solar lights & water heaters at subsidized rates that saved 40% of electricity in its office area, public toilets & project centers. The uniqueness of the TPM office is that it is constructed on top of a public sewer and on its rooftop, solar panels have been installed. The panels were built by MCGM and maintenance work is being done by TPM.

TPM wants to replicate the Sanitation model (public toilets using solar power) to all parts of India. With the collaboration of Mumbai First & Mahatma Gandhi Centre, TPM wants to develop a ‘Zero Waste Zone’ in Khotwadi, Santacruz, within six months. TPM also plans to run a sanitation awareness campaign (13-19 November 2014) in their upcoming ‘Toilet Day Week’ that would be held in various parts of Mumbai.

  1. Impact:
  • TPM provides a monthly or annual community pass for using toilet facilities. Around 4,141 households and a total of around 18,600 people are using these facilities.
  • A Gymnasium inaugurated by the Mumbai Mayor in 2008, has been renovated with equipment provided by SEPCO 3 Electric Power Construction Corporation, China. Local users living in slums are charged a discounted rate of Rs200 p.m. In the past six years, around 250 youth have trained at the Gym.
  • TPM promotes Women Self Help Groups (SHGs) by providing flour mills, vocational training for beauticians & fashion designers. Women SHGs also distributed Mid-day meals to over 2,000 children living in Angandwadis (Child care centers).
  • TPM started ‘Triratna Computer Center’ in 2004, to provide computer education at discounted fees, which help the youth living in slums equipped with basic computer skills to get a job. TPM received support from Deutsche Bank to start a course on MS-CIT & Tally. In the past ten years, 350 youth have benefitted. In 2009, TPM also received free computers from SBI, as part of their CSR activity.
  • In corporation with Observer Research Foundation, TPM conducted an event to improve the life of people living in slums. This event (510 attendees) was organized in association with Consulate General of Israel in Mumbai in 2013.
  1. Financial Parameters:
  • Total income is volatile for two reasons: 1) the income levels are still low; and 2) as the NGO does not have a steady income, as it works on project to project basis. Total income in FY13 declined sharply by 67% Y-o-Y to Rs0.6mn. There was a big jump of 163% Y-o-Y in FY12 to Rs2.2mn.
  • In FY13, 48% of Income was earned through service charges from its Gymnasium, Dance Classes & use of public toilets (51% in FY12).
  • Out of the total expenditure in FY13, 74% was spent on direct program expenses, which is less than its 3-year average of 80%. Overhead expenses were 19% in FY13, which is higher than the 3-year average of 16%.
  • Fixed Deposits declined from Rs0.47mn to Rs0.12mn in FY13, as the NGO liquidated investments to meet project expenses.
  • Earmarked funds declined 17% in FY13 to Rs1.2mn (FY12 Rs1.5mn). These funds were largely received from a Deutsche Bank award in 2007. These funds were used for renovating public toilets, maintenance of a nearby garden & segregation of garbage.    

  1. Sustainability Parameters:
  • TPM posted a negative CAGR of Income of 7% during FY11-13. The decline was mainly attributed to the sharp  drop of Income by 67% Y-o-Y in FY13.
  • The NGO’s income is likely to be volatile in the next few years depending on the project flow. The support of various entities with whom TPM executes projects is essential - Government of Maharashtra, Municipal Corporation Greater Mumbai (MCGM) and ORF.
  • Self Sufficiency Ratio (SSR) has improved marginally from 106% in FY12 to 111% in FY13. It has been above 100%, since FY11 as TPM gets almost half its income through service charges. SSR measures how much of expense can be met from own Income – individual donations/corpus income/fee income.
  1. Major Challenges & Scope of Improvement:
  • More funds. TPM wants to work on more projects related to sanitation, but due to shortage of funds they cannot expand their work in other locations. TPM should consider approaching corporates for funding to help them continue their projects on a long term basis.
  • Project manager. TPM stressed that they need a project manager to help strategize & monitor their project plans.
  • Need Volunteers on the ground. TPM requires around 250 volunteers to complete the ‘Zero Waste Zone’ project successfully. They currently have 20 garbage bin trollies, whereas more than 150 trollies are required. With each trolley costing around Rs12,000, TPM would require around Rs1.8mn – a large sum given its current financial situation.
  1. Governance & Reporting Standards:
  • The Board consists of 12 members, all of whom are actively involved and meet every month, to review the project performance. However it is not mandatory for trustees to attend every meeting.
  • TPM has tied up with Sudheendra Kulkarni’s Observer Research Foundation. Sudheendra Kulkarni is a well-known politician and columnist. His foundation funds TPM on a regular basis to help carry on with all its projects.

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