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Environment Day: Looking At Lived Experiences

Workshop at Living Hope Boys Home

5 June 2008
Downloads: Workshop report Living Boys Home

On June 5, World Environment Day, ESG organized a half day workshop on the Urban Environment for the children of Living Hope Boys Home. Fifty children (in the age group of 4-14 years) participated enthusiastically. For a detailed account of the workshop, read on…

The aim of the workshop was to introduce the children to the various elements of the larger environment they live in, starting with their lived experiences.

The children of Living Hope Boys Home come from families of migrant labourers, and they stay at the Home during the academic year so that their schooling isn’t interrupted by the seasonal migration of their families. The workshop was designed keeping this in mind.

We began the workshop with an icebreaker and a round of introductions. Then, we split the children into five groups, ensuring that each group had a good mix of older & younger children.

Each group was asked to come up with a play on their idea of Bangalore, their experiences and their views on the city and were encouraged to use songs, dance, dialogue and anything they could think of. The groups were given twenty minutes to prepare.

The plays that the five groups put up were diverse in the content, and each one was innovative. While one group portrayed the troubles of a new migrant hunting for jobs in the city and trying to ensure proper schooling for his children, another group looked at the availability of resources in a city as compared to villages, mocking the piteous state of the city’s borewells. The third group put up a play on the behaviour of party loyalists after an election, while the other two groups tried to show the dangers of the city as seen through the eyes of new migrants: as a place of smooth talking people one can’t trust at face value.

After the play, we had a discussion with the older children to further explore and develop an understanding of the various elements they had brought out in their plays. One of the issues that particularly fascinated the children was the water requirements of a city as contrasted with their homes in the village.Following the discussion, we played a game with the children to demonstrate the scarcity of resources on the planet and increasing competition for the scarce resources. Water & Power were explored a little in depth, and the questions the children raised were also discussed.

We ended the discussion by explaining what “Environment Day” stood for, and why we commemorate it. As one boy reflected, every day, nay, every moment, each of us have to think of the issues discussed and not merely on a single day in an entire year.

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