• Community Outreach Workshops @ Jahangirpuri

    November 7, 2017

    “I have realised that crime in the area will be reduced only when we work together. I would like to get associated with you and start working towards this. I would like to continue these workshops in the future ‘didi’ (meaning older sister, referring to Ms. Puneeta Roy in this case). Please keep coming”

    – Rinki, a resident of Jahangirpuri was part of our Community Theatre workshops. Her children study in the local government school.  “We can’t keep our houses unmanned or kids alone in the area because of constant threat to their lives”. Jahangirpuri is filled with such stories that need to be heard. Rinki particularly enjoyed pen-making as part of our up-cycling workshops. One afternoon during the mirror exercise, she broke down as she received love and affection from her fellow participant that she hadn’t received in her own home.

    Our entry into Jahangir Puri comes at the back of our work in the Aadharshila Observation Home for Boys, G.T.B Nagar for the best part of the last decade. Our interactions with the children, magistrates and key members of the Home made us aware about this area’s notorious reputation as a hotbed of crime and inhuman living conditions. Our consequent interventions have focused on understanding the socio-economic construct of ‘Youth At-Risk’ in urban slums in Delhi. 

    In July 2015, we conducted a one week long intensive Expressive Arts workshop with women and children in the area. With the help of school authorities, we approached students of two Government Schools in  D Block and K Block, Jahangirpuri. Interacting with their parents later led us to form a core group of participants for the workshops which were held after school hours. We started with basic warm up workshops and moved onto arts-based skill development to strengthen the vision behind our intervention.

    Our first workshop in July  was centred on 2 paradigms:

    1. Bridging the Inter-Community Gap: Participants were invited from different blocks in Jahangir Puri. Each block houses a specific community who rarely interact with one another. Most participants had seen each other for the first time.
    2. Creating an environment of Entrepreneurship by providing an Opportunity Structure: The workshop was designed to expose participants to an array of skills and practices that can inspire them to start household industries and activities. Participants had been exposed to such programs for the first time.

    Our subsequent research has helped us expand the scope of this intervention. Our work started with a core group of 25 women, and has now expanded to a network that spans over 150 families in the area. 

    “There is a general sense of apathy towards these issues. We feel unsafe. But the area has changed now. More and more houses have come up. There is hardly any space” says Rinki. Many like her who attended the workshop feel the same, as they now look to form connections within their community to continue this work.

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