In this apartment in Akari, the residents live a peaceful existence.
“I like it here,” says Sushil.
“We’re a good team here.”
Sushill, a 20-year-old from Kutch, is one of the lucky ones.
The 23-year old was the first person to rent the apartment in October, and is already planning his next move.
“When I got the first offer I didn’t think much of it,” he says.
“But now, I’m like, ‘Let’s make it a habit’.” The other residents of the apartment are also in the same boat.
“It’s the first apartment that I’ve ever lived in,” says Jair, a 30-year person from Bhatkal, Uttar Pradesh.
“At first I thought it was for people who wanted to get married.
But I found that it’s good for business and education.
People from different fields are here.”
So far, they have also helped a group of five couples who are living together in a two-bedroom apartment in a new building.
“The girls were looking for a place for a new start,” says Taha, a 32-year resident from Bhojpur.
“This is where I could get the most education.”
But what do you do when you have a place to live?
“I’d rather spend my time with my friends than studying,” says a 23-years-old resident, who asked to be named only by his first name, Saheb.
Sahebr, who is also a social activist, said the apartment is not the only place where he can go.
“There are a lot of people in the area who are interested in education and are ready to teach,” he said.
“And it’s also a place where I can make friends and build a career.”
For a long time, Sahelbh has been looking for the right apartment for his wife and his children.
“Before I had a job, I was making money as a cashier and a housekeeper,” he explains.
“Now I am working for a government department and saving money for my family.”
It’s not just the income that is helping the young couple to live a comfortable life in a newly renovated apartment.
They are also benefiting from the fact that there is a lot less pollution in the neighbourhood.
“As I live here, my children can go to school,” says Sahebh.
“My wife’s job is still in Kolkata.
We live in a suburb but have to travel here to get our kids to school.”
A recent poll conducted by the Akari Council for Women (ACW) found that only 1 per cent of households in the region have an open toilet, while 40 per cent have closed toilets.
However, the Akkar police say they are monitoring the situation and will not comment further.
While Akari residents are not getting any benefit from the development, they are getting the most out of the amenities provided.
“Akari has a high density of residents, and people here are willing to pay,” says Dr Kala, a resident of Akari.
“In most parts of the country, it’s expensive to live in apartments.
In Akari it is a cheap and safe way to live.
I’m happy to help my neighbours in the most basic ways.”