The approach to intervention is based on Swami Vivekananda’s 3H approach – Heart to feel. Head to think. Hands to work. This translated into an Observe, Interpret and Intervene method.
On observation, the homes in Timmaiyanadoddi were far from adequate. Most of them were in a dilapidated condition with dark and dingy living spaces. Kitchens are not ventilated and homes were filled with cooking smoke from the firewood, floors are undulated and the roofs are made with harmful asbestos sheets. Aside from the obvious solutions to the home infrastructure needs, the village also lacked a community space. The villagers needed a space to come together for festivals and meetings. Building the Community Centre was the entry point to the village. The subsequent focus was on building up the community infrastructure which would benefit the community as a whole.
The Community Centre was designed to have three segregated rooms despite the small area of the building. The multipurpose space would accommodate community activities, meetings, village functions, etc. and other future needs too.
The structure was built out of stabilized mud blocks. The villagers were a little sceptical at first at using a new material. They were unsure of the material’s strength and performance, but once construction progressed, they embraced it and were keen to use it in the construction of their own homes.
By building the Community Centre first, the difficulties in operating in a remote village scenario would be brought out. Involving the villagers in construction would be a necessary process for long term, meaningful development of the village and people. The village lacked a leader and hence didn’t have a person who would bring the people together. Instilling a sense of community feeling is a time consuming task, but a necessary aspect for long term village development.