Name of School: Anando
Registered Office 301, Priyadarshini
36/3 Southend Park
Field Office 63/8 PGHS Road, Ground floor
Jadavpur, Kolkata 700032
NGO Director Gitanjali Ghosh
Sr. Name Age Grade
1. Madhumita Roy 14 yrs 8
2. Mamoni Mondal 13 yrs 8
3. Pinky Panja 13 yrs 8
4. Piyali Chandra 12 yrs 7
5. Deepti Aich 13 yrs 8
Mentor Teachers : Gitanjali Ghosh, Arati Bera
THE DIRTY DIVIDER
Implemented over 8 days between 29th August 2010 and
(Please note our children’s recreation group meets only on Sundays and thus the project was
implemented over consecutive weekends.)
What is the problem you were attempting to change?
Anando runs a weekend activity club for disadvantaged children between the ages of 6
and 14 years. The groups meet every Sunday on the premises of the Shishumela
Vidyalaya, a government –run primary school.
The school is a bit drab and not very well maintained. The members of the weekend
club are often disheartened by the unkempt classrooms they have to work in .They thus
strongly felt that this was an issue that they could do something about. They decided
they would clean up the school premises and brighten the school hall.
There was another motivation for choosing to clean and brighten the surroundings of
the school. The children who meet here every week are often involved in a host of art
and craft activities which they enjoy thoroughly. The girls, who are all adept artists, felt
that they could spread this enjoyment to the young children who attend the Shishumela
Vidyalaya and who rarely get the opportunity to participate in group art projects. They
thus wanted to do something where they could involve the school students as well as
their friends in the weekend club.
Tell us some of the ideas generated
A number of ideas were thrown up by the group. These included whitewashing a
classroom, cleaning up the school garden, addressing the problem of open drains next
to the school and painting a mural for the school hall.
Although the group started work on several of these ideas, it was the last that they were
able to complete to their satisfaction and which they chose to present for the Design for
What was your final solution and how did it change the situation and yourself? (Do include number of students participating
and the number of people impacted)
The Final Solution
The final solution that the group chose was to paint a colourful mural on a wooden
classroom partition. The partition had been lying bare for a while and was being used to
divide the school hall into two separate classrooms.
The group felt that by painting it in vivid colours they could help brighten up both the
classrooms. Further the divider could be used as a backdrop whenever the school
students organized celebrations and performances.
The project would also help them involve the young students of the school in the
project. The group could then share their own talents with the children while helping the
students gain a sense of pride in their school and its surroundings.
The group consisted of 5 girls from Anando’s club for older children. As leaders, they
were responsible for planning the project, setting up dates and getting permission from
the school. They also took the onus of teaching the school children and involving them
in the project.
The group decided that they would involve all the members of Anando’s weekend club
in executing this project. This included the 15 other students in their own group as well
as the 25 children in the younger children’s group (6 to 9 years). 15 students of Classes
3 and 4 from the Shishumela Vidyalaya also took part in the project.
Thus in all 60 children were involved in the project at different stages
Change in the Situation
The school hall looks a much happier place now! Though the walls are still drab, the
vivid colours of the partition overshadow them and light up the classrooms. The painting
has also inspired the two classes on either side of it to fill up the walls of their space
with lots of drawings!
The partition is now regularly being used as a backdrop for all school functions and
even by local groups who hold events there.
But perhaps, the most remarkable change has been in the attitude of the school
students who took art in the project. They are extremely proud of their work and are so
happy when others compliment them on it ! They have also been taking extra care to
ensure that other children do not deface it.
Change in Self
The group who implemented this project has been impacted strongly by it. The project
allowed then to take up an issue and address it in their own way with minimal adult
interference. This initially made them nervous, but their confidence just kept increasing
as every stage was successfully completed. At the end they were understandably very
proud of their achievement!
The project also gave the group an opportunity to involve a number of others in their
efforts. They worked side by side with the boys in their club in a spirit of teamwork and
camaraderie….a first for them! They were also able to share responsibilities with each
one looking into a certain aspect of the project.
Teaching younger children and helping them participate in the project was a first for
some of the group members. The enthusiasm and organizational strength they showed
was remarkable and many of them termed this “the best part of the project”!
As young girls stepping into their teens, the project allowed the group to take on adult
responsibility. In the process of trying out their ideas they learnt to handle
disappointment when some of their plans fell through for reasons beyond their control.
Perhaps, one of the most significant changes that the girls experienced was realizing
that one could get so much happiness by making others happy!