Addressing the Unaddressed

Addressing the Unaddressed

“Simply outstanding: an innovative, life changing use of technology”

July 8 – This is how the Judges unanimously described the work of Addressing the Unaddressed as they awarded them Gold in the Technology for Good category within Global Good Awards. (This award is all about rewarding businesses, NGOs, charities and social enterprises of all shapes and sizes for ‘doing good globally’).

LinkedIn has also recognized ATU as an inaugural “Top 10 Compassion Award” Finalist.

Seven years ago, Alex Pigot and Tina Roche saw the life changing benefit that postal addresses can have in the slums of Kolkata India, and were moved to setup the charity, Addressing the Unaddressed, which is providing a unique address to the 1.5 million slum dwellers. Without an address you do not officially exist – you have no human rights.

  • The process starts by working with the community to explain the benefits.
  • To allocate an address, an ATU employee stands in front of a slum with a smartphone equipped with innovative software and converts a GPS signal to a 12-digit alpha numeric code, e.g. 7MJCG969+C8Q6 giving a precision of 1 metre square. This is printed onto a sign which is attached to the individual dwelling. This Plus code links directly to Google maps making it easy to locate individuals living in a slum. Such a simple concept which is life changing.
  • A household-based census is then undertaken recording details of the occupiers, their access to water; sanitation; healthcare and indoor air quality. Workshops are then arranged on how to access the services which are now available.

With an address slum dwellers can get mail delivered to their home rather than to a communal table shared by over 300 families; they can open a bank account and save money securely; have a utility account; a voters card; more readily obtain an ID card and they can receive social benefits. They can be easily found by the emergency services, and their children included in immunisation programs.

With Google’s support we have now reached the milestone of providing 100,000 dwellings in Kolkata slums with postal addresses. This is giving a new life to over 400,000 slum dwellers at a cost of just €2 per home – a hand-up, not a hand out.

Rupa Mondal, a slum dweller in Kolkata, has summarized what it means for her to have a recognized address: “I am 26 years old and living with my mother, father and younger brother.  We received a Plus code in November 2018 and have benefitted hugely from an address.  When I was studying, I found it embarrassing that I didn’t have an address that I couldn’t identify where I lived like other people in my class could.  Now I have pride, feel like myself and family have a true identity that is recognized by the government”.

A neighbour – Shadhana Halder commented: “Another benefit is if one of us were to become ill we phone the ambulance service that can come directly to our home.”

Founder Alex Pigot says “The success in Kolkata will act as a reference point for our Address Academy which will shortly be setup locally. It will demonstrate how others can copy it in their slums, anywhere in the world.  We will freely share our expertise globally with full details made available on our website.”

By the end of this year everyone in the slums of Kolkata will have an address.

United Nations estimate there are 883 million people living in slums around the world.


Addressing the Unaddressed is a not for profit charity founded by Alex Pigot and Tina Roche.  Our vision is to provide a unique postal address for people living in slums and shanty towns around the world today. Please see our website: or contact Richard Mason:

Phone: 0044 (0) 7484 773709


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