Bholu 8 is a great example of our architects implementing simple green architectural techniques for air flow, water collection and recycling and temperature consistency. It is a very beautiful and simple design with lots of colour, outdoor stage and an imaginative playground made from tires. Features include the woven ‘katlo’ screens made with recycled sari rope, a scrap metal fence and salvaged terrazzo tiling on the floor. The roof sheets are made from pressed juice boxes and the fly ash bricks were also used. The doors and windows were rescued from a nearby market and painted yellow to match the teachers’ new sari uniforms.
The interior of this school is also really special, as it incorporates the anganwadi children’s scribble sketches and handprints into an elaborate mural. The colourful artwork painted by volunteers (including some children) includes a river full of fish, houses, a tree flourishing with fruit, the 3 wise monkeys brushing their teeth, peacocks, camels and other local animals. The existing toilet block was also painted by a budding local artist, 15 year-old Raul from the Ranip slum area. He chose to show children pointing the way to the anganwadi.
Sanitation and water are always important aspects of the anganwadi preschools. Local and international volunteers built a new latrine pit for sewer waste from the existing toilet. Due to the prohibitive cost of a new water line to this relatively remote location, this school shares its water supply with the owner’s house.
This Bholu was a real team effort, with the siting and form designed by Jesus Porras Montesino , Jesse Newstadt and Sam Russell and the finishing touches undertaken by Jillian Hopkins and Lily Lim. This school was sponsored by Total Balance Group and Living Edge Furniture and constructed by the very professional Devan-bhai, a local builder and engineer who also constructed the Manav Sadhna Community Centre.
In addition, the local community assisted with a gardening day, painting the outbuildings and fence and digging the playground. Special thanks to grandmother Rada-ben for lending her land for the school and her hands for the gardening!