May 24, 2016

Posted by in 2016, Children Workshop Report, News | 0 Comments

Children workshop – Akhbar slum area and Women empowerment center

Children workshop – GROUP 3

Day 1 All of us were divided into groups at the IIM campus. Each group had eight kids, three summer school participants and three volunteers. Once the group were sorted we headed to our assigned. We headed to our two destinations for the day: The Akhbas slum area and Women Empowerment Center. The field trips were aimed for the kids to observe the surroundings around them in the slum area and the empowerment center, analyze what challenges people there faced that could be technologically solved.

As we arrived at Akhbar slum area the slums could be seen from the parking as they were along the roadside. The kids were very quick to mingle with the people in the slums. They started off with observing the homes of the people in the slums. The kids asked them how they felt living in their houses unprotected from the scorching heat of the summer. Therefore one of the possible problems that came up was cooling down of slum houses. It was surprising to see that kids were able to identify a lot of problems via asking open ended questions. They were able to allow a room for an interactive discussion rather than asking the localities directly what their problems were. This allowed room for an in­depth analysis.

The kids went on and recognized problems on no proper drinking water , no proper ventilation facility for cooking in homes, no provision for education, safety issues for kids since the slum lay on both sides of the railway line and a few others. It was appealing to see kids work in a team: as one conversed with others the other one would start taking notes.
After about three hours if discussion the kids came back for lunch, ready to head to their second designation the women empowerment center.

When we reached to the women empowerment center, we learn that the girls had gone to movies with their mothers. Once they came back the manager directed us to meet the kids. Upon talking to kids, the summer school participants had a hard time in having an open conversation with them. They tried everything but the kids would merely just smile and let it go in silence. The engineering boys in the summer school left to see if the the girls got more comfortable but they did not. We didnt ask them where they were coming from and life before this shelter home because they looked pretty content and we didnt want to dig their wounds out. After playing some games with the girls then we decided to see the manager to direct us to the ladies.

The manager however for some reasons offered to explain us the whole scenario herself. She thought she could do it better and also because there were only two ladies around. The manager explained us that the ladies here were either victims of rape, domestic violence or disowned by their families for going against social boundations. The ladies and girls brought to the shelter were provided there with free food, accommodation, and education. They were also taught several skills like cooking, sewing, dancing and others according to their interest. The only problem she told us we could work on is societal acceptance. The girls who were brought in the shelter home were looked down by the society. This caused them to retreat whenever they came in contact with the outer world like how they were extremely shy with us. She went on to explain how the girls in the shelter sometimes had court cases on them, and let stressful lives, that they would at times be in distress but not say anything. Everybody in the summer school agreed with most of the things she had to say. We saw their rooms and observer that although the ladies lived confined in rules, they had everything they would need to make a life. Lastly we thanked the managers and bade a goodbye to the girls. After coming back to the campus of IIM Ahemdabad, we stopped for a quick dinner and later sat around a table for a quick discussion of the whole day. The kids were encouraged to think about the solutions to the problems they observed in the fields. The kids brainstormed their ideas and pinned them down on their notebooks. They then discussed their ideas with us and the volunteers with the engineering students collectively helped them out with making a decision on the feasibility of the decision. The day was then called off.

Day 2

On this day the kids were supposed to draw out a poster based on their solutions to the problems yesterday. We encouraged the kids to first make a rough sketch of their prototypes individually. With some help in drawing out the images the kids screened down their thoughts to at least two solutions per person. Most of them were also working on finding the solutions of the same problem.

After almost 2 hours of individually searching for an answer and having their posters ready. The kids working on the same problem were grouped together and asked to come down to one solution. The first group worked on loaf lifting ­ construction site problem whilst the other group worked on rain­water harvesting system which were the two most popular ideas. We expected the students to fight and argue with each other. The kids however sensibly discussed their ideas. Identified the plus and minus of each proposed solution. And came up with a prototype for each that took the best ideas from both. They then presented their ideas and in the Dr. Anil Gupta’s presence and were given a feedback by him. All the participants were then given certificates.



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