Blending Spectrum literally means "people from different walks coming together to realise a common ground with one another". It is a community-based programme that engages and trains young people as volunteers and peer educators to work with children and adolescents between the ages of 5 to 17 years living in Sunder Nagar Nursery (SNN), an unauthorized colony situated inside Nizamuddin Basti, Delhi.
Blending Spectrum has been working with a community comprising 150 families in SNN since 2008. Migrants from smaller towns and rural areas, largely from North and East India, inhabit this area. Though SNN is a part of the larger Nizamuddin Basti in Central Delhi, it is located slightly away from the rest of the area, thus isolating the community living there from the governmental and non-governmental interventions in place in Nizamuddin Basti. There is also a divide between the different sections of the community based on socio-economic factors, including income, origin and occupation. In this context, the Blending Spectrum programme aims to do two things:
Build enabling environments for the children of SNN to develop life skills, challenge gender inequality, reduce levels of violence & discrimination, and develop practices that promote personal hygiene in their communities through innovative lesson plans using mediums like discussion, theatre, art, dance and film.
Work to promote access to vocational skill building and training opportunities for young people
Since 2008, the programme has worked with 1300 children, 250 parents and 158 peer educators. Every year, the programme engages up to 20 young volunteers and 12-15 community leaders to work with 150-200 children.
Between 2008 and 2012, the total percentage of out-of-school children in SNN reduced from 95% to 18.5%.
The Safety Audit 2016: led by youth leaders in 3 urban slum communities of Delhi, it identified the existing gaps in the services and physical infrastructure using a smartphone app. The initiative has also helped facilitate dialogue between the community members and government representatives.
Masti Ka Din is an annual event organised under the Blending Spectrum programme, which celebrates the year-long journey of the volunteers. In 2017, this event marked 15 years of TYPF and was attended by over 300 people.
Meri Suraksha, Mera Haq: led by 16 youth leaders in SNN and the Blending Spectrum Team, the 2016 Safety Audit was revisited in 2017. The project was carried out over 3 weeks in the SNN and Nizamuddin Basti area, where they documented and mapped out 'safe' and 'unsafe' areas using cameras. The project concluded with an exhibition of the Audit Team’s findings, which they used to advocate with community members and with the local authorities for safer public spaces and improved sanitation. See pictures here.
Samvidhan Live- The Jagrik Project: In October 2016, TYPF partnered with Com-Mutiny - The Youth Collective to introduce and implement the Jagrik Project, which aims to build young people's awareness of their fundamental rights and duties as citizens of India. The project engaged young people between the ages of 12 and 25 over 8 weeks to undertake a series of community and self-reflective tasks associated with different Fundamental Rights and Duties.
In 2015-16, the programme trained 12 peer educators who further conducted 40 training sessions on Life Skills. A total of 150 children and adolescents between 5-17 years (98 girls and 52 boys) were sensitised on the issues of gender-based discrimination, violence and health and hygiene.