PUKAR Monsoon was held across various colleges in Mumbai from August 22 – 27, 2011. The annual event aimed to engage the youth of Mumbai in conversations around critical urban issues. In-keeping with this central theme, PUKAR’s Barefoot Researchers presented their research projects to diverse groups of college youth across the city.
PUKAR Monsoon, Day 1
Public Event (August 22, 2011)
PUKAR Monsoon began with a public event held on August 22, 2011 at Arbour Research Initiatives Architecture, Fort, Mumbai. Mr Kaiwan Mehta, Director of Arbour Research Initiatives Architecture introduced the event and Dr Anita Patil Deshmukh, Executive Director of PUKAR gave the welcome note. Barefoot Researcher Kshiti Gala began the programme by presenting her group’s project on ‘Documenting the lives of Rickshawalas in Mumbai’. Research findings that she presented gave the audience a glimpse into the daily wear and tear of being a Rickshawala in the city, levels of stress they face, their erratic working hours and the impact on their health and well-being. The presentation led to an interactive discussion with the audience on commuter grievances, the informal sector and public transportation in Mumbai city. Subsequently, Maruti Wadari, presented a fresh perspective on ‘Career options for Orphan boys’ a research study on this marginalized group of youth and the problems faced by them including limited career options, lack of an identity and support systems, economic pressures etc. This was followed by Barefoot Researcher Shweta Surve’s presentation on a research study on ‘Women in Politics: With and Without Legacy’. Stark gender differences in the percentage of corporators in Mumbai city (87 women out of a total of 227) uncovered through the research process highlighted the importance of reservations for women in politics.
PUKAR Monsoon, Day 2
August 23, 2011
Proceedings of day two were held on August 23, 2011, at Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Deonar in collaboration with School of Habitat Studies. Dr. Geetanjoy Sahu, of the School launched the event by introducing PUKAR and explaining the significance of the event. Barefoot Researcher Karunesh Talwar began with a presentation on ‘The Influence of Religion in the News with a special focus on English Print Media’. The presentation cleared a few misconceptions about the media and made students aware of political motivations behind what gets reported. The next presentation was given by Kiran Karande on ‘A Study of Railway Stretcher Hamal’. Over half of those present were oblivious to the existence of a Railway Stretcher Hamal and their livelihood-related perils. The event concluded with Shweta Surve’s presentation on ‘Women in Politics’.
PUKAR Monsoon, Day 3
August 23, 2011
Proceedings of day three were held at two venues, SIES College of Arts, Science and Commerce, Sion and St Xavier’s College Mumbai. The event at SIES College was held in collaboration with Ford Pathways and Higher Education Programme. Professor Asha Gala launched the event with a short introduction on PUKAR. This was followed by Barefoot Researcher Kshiti Gala on her group’s project on ‘Documenting the lives of Rickshawalas in Mumbai’. Subsequently, Maruti Wadari, presented a fresh perspective on ‘Career options for Orphan boys’ a research study on this marginalized group of youth and the problems faced by them including limited career options, lack of an identity and support systems, economic pressures etc. The next presentation on ‘Water problems in Bainganwadi of Govandi’ was given by Manohar Phansekar. It threw light on the problem of the lack of access to such a basic necessity i.e. water, in urban spaces and innovative community efforts to access the same. The programme concluded with a presentation on ‘Right to Education’ by students of SIES College.
Simultaneously, there was a series of presentations by Barefoot Researchers at St. Xavier’s College, Fort. Sachin Nachnekar presented his paper on ‘Eve teasing in Gazdhar Bandh, Santacruz’. He highlighted reasons and patterns of eve teasing prevalent in the area and its impact on girls living in that locality. This was followed by Barefoot Researcher Karunesh Talwar who made a presentation on ‘The Influence of Religion in the News with a special focus on English Print Media’. The event concluded with a presentation on ‘Changing patterns of Untouchability in the 21st century’ by Poonam Yewale, who discussed how despite having moved into the 21st century untouchability is still largely prevalent in the country.
PUKAR Monsoon, Day 4
August 25, 2011
Proceedings of day four were held at D.G Ruparel College, Matunga on August 25, 2011. With great enthusiasm Sarika Tripathi began with a research presentation on Eve teasing at Gazdhar Bandh, SantaCruz’. The next topic for discussion was on Careers for Orphan boys’ and the day ended with a final presentation by Sheeba Khan on ‘Drop out girls of Govandi, elaborating on the reasons behind this occurrence and future aspirations of those surveyed.
PUKAR Monsoon, Day 5
August 26, 2011
PUKAR Monsoon event was held simultaneously in two different colleges of the city on August 26, 2011. Presentations were held at Dr B.M.N College of Home Science, King’s Circle and Sonapant Dandeker College, Palghar.
At Dandekar College the event was held in collaboration with the NSS unit of the college. Professor Mahesh Deshmukh launched the event by presenting his research project ‘Forts in Palghar Taluka’. The presentation highlighted various aspects of heritage structures in the area and proved very informative. Subsequently, Barefoot Researcher Sunil Ghagare made a presentation on his group‘s research on ‘Within State Migrants’. The study focused on differences between intra-state and interstate migration patterns. The event concluded with a presentation on ‘Youth Perceptions of Politics’.
The next set of presentations was held at Dr B.M.N College of Home Sciences. Sheeba khan began the event by presenting her research topic on ‘Drop out girls of Govandi’ which was followed by a presentation on ‘Eve teasing at Gazdhar Bandh’ . Given that Dr B.M.N College is a girl’s college the presentations were well received by the audience and several thought provoking discussions ensued thereafter. The event concluded with a presentation on ‘Documenting stories of children working in Dadar’s flower market’.
PUKAR Monsoon, Day 6
August 27, 2011
On the final day of PUKAR monsoon, presentations were held at Ramnivas Ruia College, Matunga. Despite incessant rains the event began with a presentation by Navnath Labade on the ‘Study of problems concerning Women in brick kilns’. This was followed by a presentation on ‘The Study of Savitribai Scholarship: Awareness and its implementation in Ulhasnagar area’. Questions came up on whether or not the scholarship programme was effective and people-friendly. The final presentation was given by Shilpa Neve on ‘Problems of Families of Mumbai Police’. Mumbai being a city that has always been the target of terror attacks, the credibility of the police force came into question and the presentation kept the audience engrossed and involved.
PUKAR monsoon celebrated the city’s youth, their vision, vigour, and vitality, appealing to the undergraduate students of the city and giving them a chance to share their aspirations with PUKAR team members. The event not only provided a forum for discussion but also resulted in imparting knowledge and providing a space for learning outside the classroom.