The area in which we study is near a large mountain and a lake called Chandola. For others, it might evoke healthy green surroundings but the fact is antagonistic. The mountain is not regular green mountain but a garbage mountain, Ahmedabad’s dumping area. We are constantly troubled by the toxic gases and smell that comes from the garbage mountain. The lake is associated with a specific metallic pungent smell coming from nearby barrel and paint industries. We even faced a threatening situation when we were not able to come out of our homes during recent rainfall. Few of my friends had to shift their houses even. Among this chaos, our school gives us opportunities to see outside our windows with hopes.
Welcome to Chandola, where the bare minimum necessities such as Clean drinking water and air to breathe is still a luxury the people can’t afford. It is situated right next to the Dump yard of Ahmadabad. The community is mostly habituated by Immigrants after the 2002 riots. Currently, the population is around 60000. In thirteen years, the community development has been obsolete. Though, there are power cuts and unsafe connections which are very hazardous in rainy season. The community has lack of proper environment and role models to inspire its next generation. The community sees a drop out rate of 80% as they enter Secondary school. The garbage disposal site for Ahmadabad city is very near and its pungent smell makes breathing difficult. The water TDS level in around 1200 to 1400. There is no provision of water supply from Ahmadabad Municipal Commission. The lack of clean water for bathing is also a very serious issue as it might be the probable reason for the frequent skin disease amongst the kids.
Some of the main challenges plaguing our community are :
- Un-hygienic living conditions
- Poor financial management
- Re-creational space for the community to get together and share their experiences / Skills
- Lack of equal opportunity for the girl child
- Early kids drop out
- High illiteracy rates – unaware of the Government policies
- Lack of role models to the teens
- Domestic Violence
Roots and Wings is safe space for all its members to share their ideas, queries, success and learnings. Through this we would like to expand our sphere of influence to realize the change the community deserves. Through this space we wish to work closely with Working fathers/ Non working fathers, early school drop outs, House wives, Artisans. We want to customize the workshops to cater to their specific needs.
- DFC – Design for change is a design thinking process where the people identify their most pressing problems within their community and create need based solutions for the same. This also helps in building Inter-dependency and a strong sense of ownership.
- Incorporating Technology : Access to Internet, Resources to make themselves aware about the government policies and the wide array of opportunities and UPI methodologies to help them with their financial management in Business.
- Hiring professionals to conduct Workshops to cater to their specific needs to build awareness and to enhance their understanding.
- Leadership talks by Inspiring figures to build in a sense of possibility.
- Field trips to places to observe best practices.
- Health check ups at regular time intervals and some association with a hospital for benefits – Medical Insurance.
- Community Baithaks - To touch upon sensitive topics such as Domestic violence, Minimum respect at home, menstrual cycles, Women working outside the community.
- Self - help groups to empower and enable the artisans of the community to create more art pieces and expand their reach with the integration of Technology – Amazon/ Flipkart, Learn new techniques.
- Resource bank.
- Self- sustaining structure by electing a body of facilitators from within the community. We already have the passion and zeal to make this dream come true. However what we lack is the financial viability . To see this ambitious change a reality we need your help. Your small gesture this new year can permanently change the lives of many. This new year lets gift our fellow people happiness.