Last working day

Today was the students’ last full day to finish their projects with their organizations. The KESBO group set off early to finish painting the climbing structure and tires and to create the rope net. Yesterday’s trip to the hardware store for more paint and rope produced a rainbow of colours. The boys requested bright colours, specifically: yellow, pink, and lime green to complement the swing sets, which the students have already painted red, yellow, and blue.

By the end of the day, the playspace was completed! The students painted the structure and tires and weaved a strong, colourful net for the boys to climb. They created a running track down the middle of the space, with a green starting on on side and a red finish line on the other. The finished product truly transformed the space. Before the paint could dry, the boys were already creating out their new playspace – laughing and playing together

A pile of used tires of various sizes is transformed into a colourful obstacle course.

Arielle, Vanessa, Anna, and Kylie create a knotted rope net strong enough for the boys to climb.

Mike paints a green starting line for the race track that extends down the middle of the playspace.

Muneer tries out the new tire swing.

The Sadhana group divided into two. One group set off for Sai Chowk, a town three train stops from Dehu road. They met with a Ravi, textile printer and owner of Surabhi Textile Printing & Designing, who agreed to create a silkscreen and screen print the group’s design onto two saris and a kurta. Monfia, Zimeng, Raksha and I had the opportunity to look at samples of the kind of work Ravi produces, which includes everything from hand painted saris and hand embroidered embellishments for traditional wedding suits to t-shirts for rock bands.

After learning about the work the students are doing for Sadhana, the Ravi decided that he would not be making a profit on the project. He agreed to complete the printing with less than a 24 hour turnaround and charge just for his costs, because he wanted to be a part of this project. He explained that he received help to start his business and now that Surabhi is a successful company he enjoys giving back – the students’ work is just one of the various projects he chooses to sponsor.

Looking at samples of the Surabhi Textile Printing's work.

Zimeng looks at an example of one of the silkscreens the Surabhi has created for a detailed fabric design.

Samples of hand embroidered beadwork.

(from right to left): Ravi's brother, Anil, Ravi, and the rest of his team at Surabhi.

The other half of the Sadhana group traveled to Dehu Road to work with the kids from the cantonment area. Using their handmade silkscreen, carved woodblocks, paint, ink, and fabric, Maya and Felipe invited the children to create the Sadhana design with their hands using paint and fabric. Collectively, they created a banner and printed handkerchiefs boasting the newly designed Sadhana logo. This was one more way the students included the community directly in the process of designing and creating a representative identity and message for Sadhana. The children’s involvement summed up the participatory design process – fun, chaotic, a bit messy, but ultimately rewarding and resulting in an authentic end product.