Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Viveka 2: Mud Building

Back at VIVEKA with the Green Chakra Crew (eco-apprenticeship program). We were weaving bamboo and placing old bottles in formation for windows before we built the wattle and daub walls. In the picture above you see us dancing the straw into mud to form daubs for building. It was so fun to get all muddy to the rhythms of Tamil and Kannada music.
The whole project was a huge undertaking so we worked into the night. Just cause the materials are natural doesn't mean it's easy!
So it's work. And it's a paid internship for the Youth in Green Chakra who come from urban slums in Bangalore where there is very little economic opportunity. Some of the young men have had problems with the law or still do, so this opportunity to get paid while learning green building and eco-design is even more precious asset. This is the green economy in action, like what Van Jones talks about:

Above is a drawing of Gandhi done by a child who participates in the programs at VIVEKA . On Republic Day (January 26th, 2010) the (mostly) finished toilet was inagurated at a large community event that included dance performances, traditional songs, drama and speeches. The youth remind me of what Gandhi said: "Be the change you want to see in the world."

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Composting Toilet @ VIVEKA

I spent 5 days at the VIVEKA campus (Eco-Village) at Chikkaballapur, a free residential “Schooling” center dedicated to transcending urban-rural boundaries and empowering poor children from both city slums and isolated village regions. Together with Jackson's eco-building interns from Bangalore slums, we laid the foundation for a new composting 2 toilet bathroom.
I already knew two of Jackson's interns I met in June 2009 when I facilitated a Drama and Video workshop at Drishya (see blog post). It was nice to reconnect with them, work outside, sleep outside and dance to Tamil music.
“Earth provides enough to satisfy every man's need, but not every man's greed”
Mahatma Gandhi