In addition to the millions of annual pilgrims who visit the Dargah, the initial surveys revealed that 25% of resident families did not have in the home toilets. The baseline study conducted in 2008 revealed that 57% of the community expressed the need for better sanitation in the Basti.
Group discussions revealed that out of the two community toilets only one was operational and that too was poorly maintained, thereby limiting access to safe sanitation for a quarter of the resident population and the 3.5 lakh pilgrims to the Dargah. Women felt unsafe and the toilets lacked adequate privacy especially at night. There were no provisions for children and many of them did not want to use the community toilets. For families with no access to toilets, women were forced to bathe in the open or make temporary arrangements within the home.