Bholu 9 is the largest school we have taken on yet. It is a multipurpose building which will serve as a school in the mornings and a community centre and health care facility for women in the afternoon. This one is very exciting as it balances the need for privacy (for the women) and fun (for the children) while using recycled materials creatively.
The school is located opposite a large plaza so a public bench was installed at the front of the building under a nearby tree. A screened patio space then leads into the main school room where the remarkable patterned stone floor is made entirely from offcuts salvaged from local industrial waste. Local breezeblock and high level gaps in the brickwork allow air to circulate and give a good view to the colourful back garden where one wall is made from flower pots. Doors, windows, gates and cupboards are all salvaged from the Sunday market.
Drawing on the experience gained at Bholu 8, volunteers worked hard to engage the local community in the design and construction of this preschool. This included employing a neighbour to do mosaic tiling of the public bench, a mother and child mural in the back garden painted by a female neighbour and the chai-cup sculptural screen made from cups donated by over 100 women in the community and assembled by male volunteers. Most of the painting was also done by volunteers, including local teens who were on school holidays during the construction period. The inauguration festival for this anganwadi was a buzz of excitement as locals crowded around (inside and out) to celebrate their own handiwork.
Bholu 9 is also the first anganwadi with a large rainwater tank and pump to capture roof water for use in the toilets and for washing. Water runoff from the wash area is channeled into the garden and a pit latrine was also installed.
The building design was conceived by AWF volunteers Lily Lim and Jesse Newstadt, and implemented by Jesus Porras Montesino and Jillian Hopkins in collaboration with the local builder and community. The land was leased by a local entrepreneur Kesar-gi and sponsored by Australian individuals. Thanks also to builder Devgi-bhai and his team of workers for their efforts through monsoon rain, clambering goats in the site and the 50 degree heat waves.