Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Phase 2: Creating and Implementing a Slum Improvement Project

So this week we begin the second phase of our project in which we will use everything we learned studying the slums near Deepalaya and apply our strategies to a new slum area nearby. Though only a few kms away, this slum in Govindpuri Kalkaji is definetly worse than the others we have seen. It's bisected by a busy road and has many shops and vendors, meaning more trash and littering. Also as one goes deeper in to see the slums the roads are all mud and sewage with the smell and flies making the situation a whole lot worse.

Grazing cows (lost cows are EVERYWHERE in Delhi and though they are sacred animals, no one really takes care of them) near an overflowing dumpster. The government is supposed to pick these dumpsters up every week but that doesn't often happen. I took this photo at high noon (~90F), imagine the smell!
We met up with a local NGO, the YWCA (like the YMCA in the U.S. but targeted towards women). They provide vocational training for older women and academic schooling for younger children.L-R: Our superivor Dr. Miraj, woman who helps run YWCA, and a Jamia Milia Islamia (university) social work student named Mafoos who seems just a little older than us. Mafoos has dedicated his career towards improving life for the underpriviledged and engaging in social work which is a sacrfice not many make who are as well off as he is.
The RF girls :)- Mansi, Meenu, and Samridthi in the community.

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