Md. Harun Sheikh (father) and Sahara Md. Sheikh (daughter) who participated at “Doodle with Dad” drive in Mumbai
Sometimes you want to be reminded about things that you already know. Hearing them from someone else inspires you more. And that’s what happened when I was retold, “when there is a problem, there is a solution”, by a social worker, a father from Mumbai. I met him during one of the “Doodle with Dad” drives that I organized with Leher, a non-profit working on protection of child rights in India. True, there are problems everywhere. Especially if you are thinking differently from usual societal norms. But if you observe closely, the solutions are also living around you. You just have to be a patient listener and a curious observer to find them. Something that Dr Maria Rosario Jackson highlights at CCF in the month of August. She specifically talks about ‘community assets’ that you can explore when you decide to work with a community. These assets will be a bundle of positivity that will constantly energize your project plan. As a community artist-cum-mobilizer you would know what are the strengths of your community and how to better use them for the benefit of the people living in that community.
It is about looking at things from a different angle. Often I have entered a community searching for issues to be addressed. And once you have identified the issues, you discuss possible solutions. Next time, I would love to take a different entry point. First, observe the possibilities and then engage the community to find the issues and see how the possibilities in hand can address them. There are no right or wrong approaches in doing good but I find this approach more liberating.