Slum Bombay: Ambedkar Nagar, Vikroli Park Site and architect Meera Deobhakt
Director: Ralli Jacob, Rafeeq Ellias, P.K. Das; Cinematographer: Rafeeq Ellias
Duration: 00:20:09; Aspect Ratio: 1.366:1; Hue: 44.481; Saturation: 0.217; Lightness: 0.218; Volume: 0.047; Cuts per Minute: 2.877; Words per Minute: 62.992
- Interview with Residents
- Interivew with Meera Deobhakht (Architect)
Mid shot of huts zoom out to Balwadi kids are going home. No audio
vikhroli park site
Mid shot of huts zoom out to kids teachers in Balwadi. (Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar Vikas Kendra Vikhroli Parksite Mumbai 400079). November 1991.
Shot of basti mid zoom to woman washing utensils zoom out to basti in wide angel
close up of girls
Interview with community peoples
resident1: We started Balwadi in 1980 at Ambedkar society. Everyone helped us set it up. There is 10% is us and rest of....
resident1: Most support for setting up this Balwadi came from the people of Ambedkar Society. 10% came from us, and rest of (?) with their help. After that, many lady teachers worked giving classes at night. There was also a gym here.
resident1: There are 50 to 60 regular students at Balwadi. And we host programmes on national holidays like 26th January, 15th August for all. The 10 members of Dr. Babasaheb Vikas Kendra committee are all also part of this organisation. At present there are 2 teachers at Balwadi and we support them - support, in the sense there is no financial help, but we support in social work such as a grant.
resident1: And we wish in future the Balwadi (?) we got the news that Balwadi (?) will transfer us also we request to them to build a new Balwadi, they should accept it. And rest... things are good. All these people are supportive and we all come together and work for Balwadi.
resident2: All of us committee members feel that Balwadi should now develop in a very nice way, because population here has increased and that space is not enough for all Balwadi kids. Till now government supported us nicely, so we wish that Balwadi should further develop in a nice way. This is the committee's opinion. If this happens, we would be very thankful to them, and they supported us till date and would help in future also.
resident3: The Balwadi should be built in a robust (pakka
) way, because when its temporary (kachcha
), weak or makeshift, we face many problems. And we should also get facilities for all the little children. Children need taps, lights, and we hire light from outside. We need our own lights, water tap, etc. The Balwadi must be pakka
. If we get light facility we can access Balwadi at night also.
resident4: I was working with (?) through working on heath issues. At that time Medha Patkar came and she also worked with us very nicely. We also felt good to work with her. For 2 years we worked together on health issue. We had a water problem in our area then, we were also dealing with that problem while working for health. Medha Tai was always with us. She put soil also during the making this Balwadi - as in she carried soil too. She never turned away from helping us. We were also working with her.
resident5: I am working in Balwadi since 1983. Before me there was another lady there. Before there was no schooling facility here, so children just loitered around.
Neither parents nor children had any experience (perception) of education. Then because of this Balwadi kids began to gain knowledge and develop (progress) nicely. Our (?) had trained us on various aspects of education, like how to aid development in kids, their likes and dislikes, story telling, reading, etc. The kids are understanding, learning and growing. Before this the kids were learning bad things like abusing each other and playing in dirt. Because of Balwadi kids are improving in things like behaviour, story telling, singing, learning and so they keep coming to Balwadi. There are 50 to 60 students at present.
Wide angle of highway shot
Wide angle of highway right pan to empty land, left pan to gate zoom in Private Land (Godrej)
Shot of empty land
Shot of empty + highway
Interview with Meera Deobhakht (Architect)
Meera Deobhakht (Architect): This particular project which we have done at Ambedkar Nagar because at the instance of community aid and sponsorship program. And it was mainly done by students of architecture and few architects like us who had a lot of interest in social work for these deprived communities. It was mainly in the form of technical help in improving their household and the community aid centres which were done where you saw that the Balwadi is being run, chalk-making is being done. Then in the evening the place is used for adult training centre... was a project which was taken up later on when we found that the residents were willing to participate such kind of program.
Meera Deobhakht (Architect): Unfortunately what happens in such schemes later on - which is our experience is that as the financial aids stops, the enthusiasm wears down. So, if at all some kind of step which needs to be taken is how this kind of financial Aid can be continued over the years, or how these projects in course of time could become self sufficient. We found a lot of enthusiasm in learning technical skills from us, from the residents of these particular communities.
Meera Deobhakht (Architect): I think many such projects can be taken up with the help of professional people who are willing to give their time and willing to contribute by way of this kind of service. Another contribution which can be made which I have again and again tried to harp on is that these residents do not know... come to know about the schemes which the government of India is sponsoring through aids from the banks... Indira Gandhi Awas yojna or things like that.
Meera Deobhakht (Architect): And that is the reason they can't take help of such schemes. Now with the help of social workers and technical people like us, If these schemes can be sort of more and more brought to the these communities, they would be very happy to take advantage of such schemes and the housing situation can be improved to a certain extent - of course its no solution.
But at least the localities in which they are staying, their health, their educational sort of improvement can be taken place by help from technical people like us, who can take more interest with the help of social worker, with the help of government organisations and different groups like that could be found in different communities to take advantage of these schemes which government of India is promoting.
The reason I say that its no solution mainly because any help from the government can only be a step, and finally people have to find resources to improve their own condition. And it has to be a joint effort. Now, the problem is so huge and so enormous that government cannot have money to solve the housing problem totally. Nor cant the public have the money to solve the housing problem totally. So, it has got to be a joint effort which can take place.
Now, for instance if you provide a common toilet and if you provide a toilet in a tenement, that toilet belongs to that particular owner and he knows how to take care of it. Because this being a common facility they must be made to feel that it is a facility built for them and that is the reasons they should take of it.
Now slum improvement programs are helping only to a certain extent. Again these inmates of these slum are not trained to use the facilities which are given by the government. So far as you.. everyone knows they are using street as public latrine. Now if they are given the facilities of a toilet then to maintain that toilet, to sort of keep it clean and let it be used for a longer period, longer time span, they are to be trained, they have got to be made feel that this belongs to them and then only then they can take care of it.
I think only if that kind of training is generated, society takes very long to change and its over the years only these changes can take place. That is way I feel its just these kind of help is not really a total solution to any problem.