‘The light goes off in our houses anytime. Once we didn’t have electricity in our home for three days, after a TV burst in the building and a fire brigade had to be called to bring down the flames’, says Vinay Murlidhar Gupta of Lallubhai Compound.
Listen to his story in his own words, or follow the transcipt below:
My name is Vinay Murlidhar Gupta. I am about to start ninth grade. I live in building no. 17 of Lallubhai Compound.
About Lallubhai Compound
We don’t have a good ground to play in. There is Ganesh Maidan, which has a lot of litter and cars are parked here and there. Sometimes, functions are held there too. We can’t play there. The Colony has a few other gardens where we sometimes play, enjoying a game of tennis.
We have frequent and unexpected power cuts, which often last for 1–2 hours.
We face different problems here. In 2011, a TV on the second floor of our building burst and we had to call a fire brigade. We didn’t have electricity for 3 days after that incident.
The Cement Maidan is a space where girls are frequently eve-teased, especially after 7 pm.
Our old street was very bad, but it’s better now that it has been fixed. Tiles have been put in place. There is still some work going on in the colony. The Cement Maidan has a lot of garbage. Surveillance cameras have also been set up in our society now. The people have changed also in some ways, with all these developments .
BASS and its activities
The full form of BASS is Bal Adhikar Sangharsh Sangatan. It was founded in 2001, with the community children driving discussions and action on child rights and child protection issues, and problems in different informal settlements (bastis).
I like YUVA Centre because of people like Prakash Dada who conducts activities, and Vijay Dada who reads books to us.
About home and family
I like my house. I live with my mother and father, who go to work in the daytime, and my brothers and sisters. I play games with my siblings.
Suggestions for improvement
There needs to be a proper place for play in Cement Maidan. Also, Ganesh Maidan should have a swing set for children to use and a cricket field. Among the gardens we have here, adults play cricket in one of them so we can’t use it. We’re not allowed in the second garden, which remains locked because we use it for the Ganesh festival.
#UprootedChildhoods is a collaboration between YUVA and Leher, attempting to spark dialogue on a critical yet oft invisibilised concern — the views of children on housing. The campaign draws from YUVA’s in-depth interventions with children over the years across cities, and Leher’s focus and commitment to child rights, with a preventive approach towards child protection. Through the different blogs, photo essays, video stories, infographics and other formats we hope to present many faces of urban childhoods. Stay tuned.