Young minds talk Mumbai
As part of their annual youth fellowship programme, Mumbai-based NGO PUKAR (Partners for Urban Knowledge, Action and Research) saw over 65 young students participate in a project titled Bare Foot Researchers which aims to contribute to a global debate about urbanisation and globalisation through community based participatory research.
Researchers at PUKAR
Cause and effect
Each group of five-six students, conducted research over a year, in their area or community on a subject of their own choice, influenced by their surroundings and experiences, mentored by the PUKAR team. Workshops, film screenings, lectures and discussions were organised on various research components that helped the new researchers in their study. Post the data collection, two-three months were devoted to analysis and at the final stage, they worked on their research outputs using methods like skits, poems, posters or creating bookmarks about their topics, which will be exhibited at public event on July 25. “None of these students were from research backgrounds, but they are curious. The topics are close to their lives making the subjects close to their hearts,” says Sunil Gangavane, Programme Facilitator, Barefoot Researchers.
A map created for the event
Some topics include challenges faced by single parents, taboos related to menstruation, problems and strengths of non-English medium students, effect of stigma of Kamathipura on its residents, among others. “We noticed that gender was an underlying theme common to most topics; maybe, it reflects our urban life,” feels Gangavane.
19-year-old-Zainab Cutlerywala, who is completing her final year in Science and Nutrition from Matunga's BMN College of Home Science, worked on a project about problems faced by students from vernacular backgrounds. “In our group of eight, four were from vernacular backgrounds. As we began our research, we found that these students faced several challenges. The project made us realise that they had many strengths too,” she adds.
Another 19-year-old student Gauri Sawant chose to highlight the problems faced by single parents in the city. “My mother is a single parent, and so I suggested the topic. We spoke to 30 interviewees, (of which, 28 were women), about social, economical and emotional challenges they faced as single parents,” she recalls.
On: July 25,
Time: Exhibition 3.30 pm to 5.30 pm; graduation event 5.30 pm to 7 pm
At: Bhasha Bhavan, Kalina Campus, University of Mumbai, Santacruz (E).