Day 78 - Friday I'm Inspired: Anthill Creations, India
Last weekend my husband and I attended an event in Bangalore which brought together spokespeople from four different community organizations whose goal is increased sustainability and environmental awareness in India.
We heard from a woman who runs a farm-to-consumer collective, where citizens can buy fruits, vegetables, and bulk foods like rice and pulses directly from local small farmers through one of her three shops.
We heard from the director of a company whose aim is to revitalize forgotten water wells in Bangalore, and to build new lakes in order to harvest the bountiful rainfall India receives each year, to help combat the growing water crisis.
We heard from the manager of a dry waste collection center in Bangalore, where trash is segregated and properly recycled. He spoke in the local language, so we were unable to understand his presentation, but we later got some information about dry waste collection in the city and how we can get in touch with our neighborhood's center.
We also heard from two women who run a company called Anthill Creations, which they began as a project in architecture school, but later turned into their full-time business. These women collect scrap tires from all over Bangalore, and work with communities to build playgrounds for children from the scraps.
They spoke about the diminishing green space and play space in Bangalore, as the city grows and is consumed more and more by traffic, pollution, and new construction. It was inspiring to hear how they've mobilized local communities to help with their projects, which have given the locals a sense of ownership and protectiveness over these sacred spaces for children.
They also spoke about the vital importance of play for young kids, which unfortunately is not an opportunity that all Indian kids get. They spoke about the way active play helps to develop creativity and foster social skills in children, and the detriments of keeping kids indoors and in front of screens all day.
Anthill Creations has had to get creative with space in order to build these playgrounds, even making use of roofs and terraces when ground-level spaces are not available.
In a city that is quickly becoming more and more urbanized, it was refreshing to hear how these two women are standing up for children's need to play, and re-using existing materials in order to do it.
Images: Anthill Creations