One of the most critical aspects of understanding the complexities of urbanization in a metro like Mumbai is to know it from the lens of people who shoulder it and who make this city pulsate. And who would those be but the unheard and unseen marginalized who are almost always off the map. Knowing this reality, and based upon seminal essay by Professor Appadurai” Right to Research” PUKAR, a Mumbai-based research collective, initiated yearly program 16 years ago that is anchored in the community based participatory research and advocacy through the lens of youth. When the youth create knowledge via community based research, about their own lives and communities, they bring to the fore those aspects of the city that are seldom available to people studying Mumbai, the uniqueness of this fellowship.
Last year, in its 17th cohort, 65 recipients of PUKAR’s Fellowship, the Barefoot Researchers, embarked on this journey at the crossroads of academic research and community-based research to make sense of themselves, their communities and its issues. They attended workshops to learn about research tools like interviews and mapping, research ethics and communications, debated caste, religion, gender, environment and how all these realities impact their lives and their aspirations. They made community residents their partners in this endeavour, collected data, analysed it and aimed to intervene based on that evidence. In groups, fellows explored the following topics:
Experiences of Widows from Ghatkopar’s Ramabai Nagar
Understanding and Building Social Resilience in Versova’s Koliawada’s Kathiawadies and Kolis.
The Impact of ‘Social Media Influencers’ on Mumbai Youth’s Dietary Choices
The Struggles of Menopausal Women from Mumbai’s Suburbs
Experiences of Women Rag Pickers from Kalva’s Jai Bhim Nagar
Life Stories of Women Who Sell Garlic from Mankhurd’s Sathe Nagar
Challenges Faced by Youth Technicians,
Electricians and Repair Workers from Dharavi
Ordeals of Women Working in Mandala’s Plastic Industries
Study of the Present and Future of Mumbai’s Transit Camp Residents
The State of Women Piecemeal Workers in Dharavi’s Garment Industry
We invite you to engage with them during PUKAR’s Annual Exhibition and Graduation Ceremony on Saturday, 25 June 2022 from 2:30 pm onwards. This event is open to the public and will take place at the below address. 6th Floor, New Library Hall, Old Campus, Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Chembur, Mumbai, 400088. Further queries? Contact Abhishek Shah, Communications Officer, PUKAR at 9870534430
PUKAR (Partners for Urban Knowledge, Action and Research) is an independent research collective and an urban knowledge production centre based in Mumbai that was formed in 2002. PUKAR conducts multi-sectoral, cross-disciplinary, community-based participatory research on issues related to urbanization and globalization. PUKAR’s flagship programme, the Youth Fellowship Programme, aims at generating new knowledge on urbanisation in Mumbai. The onus of creating a new information paradigm has been on the programme’s Barefoot Researchers since 2005.