Worker settlements are inhabited by vibrant communities with social support networks, sources of knowledge and a range of skills. The community is a source of strength and learning for children and young people. It remains the first audience of their creative outpourings. The attempt is to make family and community a nurturing space for children, build on the social and intellectual life of the community and strengthen people’s initiatives.
Building partnerships with family and community
Understanding the crucial role that family and community play in the lives of children, the aim is to foster empathy amongst parents and children, and sensitize the community to the needs of nurturing children and their creative practice. When family and community discover the tremendous creative potential children have, they begin to understand how child labour is a monumental destruction and waste of human potential and become more committed to for their children’s education and play. The community spaces are democratized for children by creating multiple opportunities for adult – child interface. Locality is the first audience of their creative outpourings, and begins to see them as storytellers, artists, researchers. Their creative works initiate conversations in the community.
Activating shared spaces
Shared spaces and sites in the locality are activated to build convivial interactions amongst the community and stimulate intellectual life. This is done through community art projects, mobile libraries, mehfils and public readings of creative works. Mobile forms such as sound booths and visual studios are circulated in the locality that arouse curiosity and interest amongst the people and engage them in conversations. This creates active audiences as well as an environment of sharing and expressing. Creative hubs are spaces for reflection, listening and reading.
Facilitating people’s initiatives
Worker settlements are indeed living testimonies of urban oppression and neglect. People are supported in their initiative to address concerns related to water, sanitation etc. and access welfare schemes for the widows, elderly and the disabled. Interface between the community and the local leaders, government officials, councillors is facilitated to accelerate the processes.
The locality archive at Sawda Ghevra is an initiative to build people’s confidence to cope with the uncertainties of life, post the trauma of demolition. It chronicles the making of a neighbourhood and is a counterpoint to the usual statistic representations of an area, because it captures the entire flow of life in the neighborhood. The archive and the events that are organized create a receptive atmosphere for the inhabitants that helps them cope with the challenges and evolve social cohesion.