Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Journeys, Learnings & Action at Mauka!

I have not posted for several weeks, and here I am with lots of news:

The first classroom at Mauka is complete now and we are set to begin the English/Hindi and Computer classes soon. We also had a chat with a local school which offers both ISC and National Institute of Open School syllabus and their administration offered us use of their rooms (after their school hours) and have expressed interest in collaborating on non formal and vocational training for youth. While we will look into these possibilities in the future, here is a look at our first classroom which is in our own premises!

Meanwhile, I also got a chance to attend two Video workshops in Sept- October in New Delhi which were conducted by Kanu Bharti and Kavita Das Gupta from Drishti Media and facilitated by CYC. The first workshop was on Basic Techniques of Film Making where we learnt how to handle the equipment as well as visualize the story through the video film camera. We made some short movies using the streets of New Delhi as our inspiring canvas. The second workshop was on Film Editing and we learnt softwares such as Adobe Premiere. As part of my final film making assignment, I had made a storyboard and then later a film on making of bamboo furniture. I shot almost 2 hours of film and later edited it to a short approximately 9 minute long film. I have called the film 'More Than Grass', and hope to upload it on youtube soon. You can see the Film unit here:

In September 2009, I also had a chance to visit the Indian Institute of Crafts and Design at Jaipur, during their Convocation. I met up with a really diverse group of designers, educationists, academics, development professionals from across the country. It was a rich meeting of minds! There was K B Jinan from Kumbham in Kerala, who is working on 'un-educating onself''! He can be followed on this url: I also met MP Ranjan, Professor at NID, Ahmedabad who blogs regularly on various topics at this link: There were several others; context designers Jogi Panghal and Sandeep Sangaru, master craftsman Khatri Mohammed Isa from Bhuj, Hina and Sana, faculty from the Crafts Development Institute, Sringar, J&K. Jaipur is home to a wonderful group of designers, like Ayush Kasliwal, Sanjeev Bothra and Sangita Shroff who were very generous with their hospitality to all of us visiting from outside.

Also, recently Mauka has been invited to collaborate with a local neighbourhood waste management and awareness campaign. We are part of the Old Rajpur Mohalla Swachata Samiti, an informal network of volunteers who are working on garbage management in our neighbourhood. The first step has begun with a door to door campaign and a doorstep garbage collection service. See some posters which Mauka has designed for the campaign.