On November 20th, 2018, Tuesday. We had an honor to host one of the very fine architects, Sanjay Prakash from Shift Studio as the Chief Guest for the Pratham Meet 9, to share his wisdom on community engagement. He says, “A project is a complex and dependent structure of tasks which can results in a successful delivery only if executed properly.” Our guest of honor, Ar. Sanjay Prakash is Principal Consultant at Shift Studio for Habitat Culture, Member of the Senate School of Planning and Architecture and also one of the founding Member and Lead architect at Himalayan Institute of Alternatives, Ladakh.
Through his talk, he shared his thoughts on Community Engagement in Project Management and highlighted three types of communities i.e. Rural poor, Urban Rich and Urban Poor that can be engaged in any project development. He shared his experience of working with his team of 4-5 members of Architects, Statistician, Botanist (who himself was a son of local farmer) and in a collaboration of the villagers; the rural poor community to construct an open house school. This community engagement was achieved under Lok Jumbish Program in leadership of Anil Bordia in 1980’s. The local communities were encouraged to contribute their ideas and manpower from the design phase to constructing phase of the school. It led to multiple iterations of building prototypes of school using thermocol. During the whole process a lot of absolute needs came up by the villagers which were to keep in mind during the construction. Back in that time the schools used to be considered as Temples of learning, as the learning is directly associated to Goddess Saraswati. And with the same thought, the villagers conceptualized a separate area for removing shoes in the school premise. A detail, which could be easily missed by anyone who was focusing on the larger picture. By this, Ar. Sanjay Prakash meant, that when we involve communities in building a product, we get to build it better as it tends to cater to the needs of users more soundly. He also coined, that how, during the construction stage, women masons had used their clothing creativity to be a major help in the process.
He further shared another accomplishment of solving a problem of water supply and sanitation with the help of local poor of the locality in Shadipur, New Delhi. It was an informative session which showcased that Community Engagement is an effective approach for successful Project Management which has yielded amazing results in the past.
Pratham is a platform where professionals talk regarding latest construction management, best practices and technologies while facilitating Community Engagement and Leadership Development. In this pratham meet, Mr. Naveen Sharma talked about topic of Surveying further classifications of it – Engineering Survey, Defence Survey, Geological survey, Geographical Survey, Archaeological Survey and Route Survey etc. He shared various ways which can be useful while using surveying as tool.
Abhinav Bhardwaj, Director of Manomav Engineers shared best practices on interpersonal skills which are useful for coaching. He shared some common problems which people face while executing a project, namely lack of resources, improper training, lack of equipments, shortage of time and lack of motivation. He advised the audiences to listen to the problem statement intently and carefully in order to come up with the right solution.
Session was concluded by felicitating Chief Guest Ar. Sanjay Prakash at the end of the session. Best Presenter Mr. Navin Sharma and Best Evaluator Mr. Rajat Jain was appreciated at end of Leadership Development Session. Pratham Meet 9 was successfully organized by committee comprises of Time Keeper – Mr. Prashant Mahato, Sarget – Mr. Rajat Maheshwari, Secretary – Mr. Vanshaj Raj Bahal, Host – Mr. Abhinav Bhardwaj, Vice President – Mr. Antriksh Tawar at The Entrepreneurship School, located at Arjun Market, Gurugram. Pratham Meet was finished with its motto “Construction ka Bharosa hai hum, Khud ko aage rakhe, Pratham Hai Hum”