Bholu 3 was a new anganwadi constructed on a piece of land within the Tekra community close to Manav Sadhna. The land was donated by local ’maji‘ Nanuma with the wish that the school be constructed on the property beside her own dwelling so that the children would learn and grow around her.
The site was quite long, but bordered closely on both sides by neighbouring houses which we were to be considered and respected in the design. Apart from site/neighbour considerations there was basically a blank slate to create a new building for the children. A significant amount of time was spent liaising with the teachers, Manav Sadhna and Nanuma in order to design a building which would best suit the community needs.
Although AWF is in India to help guide design and construction and to give of what we know, much of what we are doing is also learning. Learning how to construct differently, to accommodate different needs, different weather conditions, different social conditions and different usage patterns. It is definitely a two-way street of information and knowledge, which makes the process so much richer.
The design of Bholu 3 was to be a single room structure with sufficient light, air and amenity for the preschool classes. It was constructed from leftover ash bricks (from the community centre), recycled and found timber windows and doors and fibre cement corrugated roof. Special effort was made to provide outdoor courtyard spaces for play and relaxation all year round. These areas were enhanced with mosaic tile works and hand painting. The bathroom space was also upgraded and altered to provide extra storage space and privacy. All of the walls within the property were repainted and educational messages were drawn on the insides of the classroom walls. The children themselves were encouraged to help paint and decorate their own space, particularly the central tree on entry, adding to their sense of ownership and connection to their new building.
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