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Brians behind the concept.
Graduating from one of the most prestigious and sought-after institutions in the country, the IIT, one would expect them to take up one of those high paying jobs and “settle down”. But this is not what these 5 IIT Kharagpur graduates did. Pooja Rai, Nancy Charaya, Souradeep Paul, Vishesh Gupta, and Nupur Agarwal are architects, who during their visit to a school for underprivileged children in their final year, were inspired to start “Anthill Creations” in 2015.
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Playscapes in the time of candy crush
The privileged have lost the essence of playing while being glued to their tabs and ipads, the underprivileged are seen playing with sticks, stones, and tires. This made Pooja and her classmates start Anthill Creations, a startup which built “playscape”- a playground built using cheap recyclable materials.
In order to come up with a design, the Anthill’s team played a game with the children. The children were divided into two teams. One team was asked to describe ‘play’ and the second was tasked with drawing what is described. In short, the children designed their own playground by playing. This project was incubated at NSRCEL, IIM Bangalore, in 2017 in association with Michael and Susan foundation.
How is it different from a normal playground?
Playscapes are completely made using cheap recyclable materials like old tires and drums and cost 1/4th of that of a normal playground. Playscapes can be built in 5 days and are DIY (Do It Yourself).
Since it has integrated teaching with play, playscapes have helped the children in their complete development.
The playscapes being “Do It Youself”, it has encouraged community participation and involves the people in bringing about a change.
Till now over 29 playscapes have been built in13 different cities and villages spanning across India and Nepal benefitting more than 12,000 children.
More from “Anthill”.
Reading is a very essential quality that has to be nurtured for the overall development of an individual. While the rich can afford buying expensive books, the poor are denied that privilege. This provoked Anthill in collaboration with two other organisations “Storytime” and “Mantra” in building libraries after building playgrounds.
A crowdfunding campaign which raised 66,180INR and 120 used tires, and 700 used books are being put together in building a library for the underprivileged in Florida school in Bangalore.
In order, a build a very inviting décor, reusable materials like old tires and shelves are being used to build chairs and tables. The library will be equipped with over 700 children's books ranging from fairytales to mysteries to comics that have been collected.
About the organizations
STORYTIME- What started off as an attempt to inculcate reading among children, Storytime, is a network of volunteers who aim to set up reading environments in under-resourced schools and communities spread across 4 countries. Storytime has co-created 22 reading spaces in 3 years.
MANTRA- is an NGO started by Santosh More (ex-Janagraha employee, TFI alum, ex-Infosys employee) and Khushboo Ashwati (ex-Narayana Health employee, TISS graduate, and ex-Wipro employee) in the year 2013 armed with the vision to create a better world through quality education and healthcare. Mantra focuses on its School Transformation and Empowerment Project(STEP). STEP has been implemented in 12 schools urban Bengaluru; 10 low-fee private schools and 2 government schools. It caters to 6600 students, guided by 202 teachers.