Play-doh : Early years education in rural India
Bhiwandi, India
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Location:
Bhiwandi, India
Category:
education
Phase:
construction preparation
Updated:
23 August 2021
'Play-doh'  is a unique attempt to readdress early child development in rural areas combining age-old village methods and modern urban pedagogies while revamping a dilapidated structure.

In India, education for the early age group lies at two extremes. In urban areas, preschools cover topics like basic numbers and the alphabet. While in rural areas, education in the anganwadis(preschools) does not go beyond storytelling and poetry reciting.
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Introduction
The socio-economic backwardness of the tribal villages of Maharashtra is leaving a lasting impact on the development of the children. Devoid of early years developmental skill, the children often lack readiness at preschool and primary schools level, the COVID-19 pandemic has only increased the gap. Most children in the remote villages have been devoid of education for more than 2 years affecting the age-appropriate learning curve.  Learning Space Foundation's early year's education programme aims to address the problem by providing a holistic learning experience to the children of more than 40 villages across Bhiwandi, Wada and Palghar districts of Maharashtra while working closely with the Sarpanch (village head) and native tribal families. 

The centre in Chimbipada village is housed in a dilapidated structure within the Zilla Parishad (District Council) school complex. The space is designed using a refurbished material palette reducing the embodied energy of the materials used with the support of the local community. The centre aims to enhance early years education through different components of learning such as motor skills, creative learning, cognitive skills, language and mathematics skills, technology and performance-based learning while working on the social and health development of the child. The foreseen impact of the centre is estimated at 150 children in a circulating manner.
Impact

The project will create positive impact toward its community in myriad ways - 
1. Demonstrate how a dilapidated structure can be transformed using local materials and easily available resources. 
2. Using local artisans and craftsmen generates employment opportunity while teaching them to recreate the process in the future for other similar ventures.
3. The infrastructure and design creates an experience synonymous with modern pedagogies while using traditional methods and materials to do so. Thus bringing in a quality experience to rural schools at a subsidised cost. 
4. Through the process the teachers will be taught how to use the various products, teaching aids. 
5. Finally the design of the space strives to evoke a sense of frugal innovation and creativity in the minds of the children. Thus acting as small maker spaces inculcating the sense of "jugaad" from a young age. 

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Core team
Project facilitators (NGO): Learning Space Foundation (Nitin Orayan)
The Learning Space Foundation has been dedicated to rural educational development for over 15 years with a mission to bridge gaps in the education ecosystem and act as a catalyst empowering rural children and youth with the power to live their dreams. 
Visit: Learning Space Foundation

Sarpanch of Chimbipada Village: Nita Jadhav
With the support of the village head, LSF and GrassrootED wish to provide educational support to the village by engaging with native families and indigenous resources. 

Architects: GrassrootED (Ayushi Motiwalla, Pranay Motta)
GrassrootED is a team of socio-experimental architects hoping to make good design accessible to the rural. At We are passionate about traditional vernacular architecture, working with local communities and indigenous materials to develop unique solutions in rural areas. So far our work has been focused on adding playgrounds to schools in Karnataka & Maharashtra and impacted 1750 children.

Visit:
GrassrootED Instagram
GrassrootED Website
Image gallery
Original Building

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Original Building 2

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Design Zoning

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Render 1

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Render 2

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Render 3

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Gross Motor 0

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Gross Motor 1

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Gross Motor 3

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Fine Motor 1

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Technical drawings
Site Plan

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Original Structure

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Current Structure 3D

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Revised Floor Plan

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Proposed Structure Changes

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Help bring our project to life!

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Help bring our project to life!
Where are we now
The ECD centre in Chimbipada is primarily looking for funding bodies to execute the project. The project has been approved by the village council bodies and is waiting to be executed by October 2021. 
An indication of our team’s capacity:
100% expertise already found
60% materials / equipment already found
100% builders already found
Finance: € 7,120
The funding would be used for the overall restoration of the dilapidated structure. 

The following work will be conducted from the received funding: 
1. Civil construction and repair costs of the structure 
2. Interior design execution to create learning spaces
3. Learning aids to be made using upcycled waste material designed for the centre

Collaborative funding bodies can help us execute the model project in Chimbipada, which will be used as an inspiration for more villages across the country. This design can impact 150 children in one village and over 5000 across 40 villages through LSF if it gets executed. 
  • Demolishing cost
723
  • Structural construction as per proposed layout
1,000
  • Roofing cost
900
  • Furniture and learning aid products
2,300
  • Electrical and water equipment
600
  • Flooring and finishes
1,597
Skills: Financial advice
We are looking for organizations and people that can help us acquire funding for this project, at the same time create a replicable financial model for the initiative. The organization wishes to create such centres in 40 villages across Maharashtra through an organized system.
Help bring our project to life!
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