Walk for Arcause 4.0

Day 22 – 28th Jan 2024: THE FINALE
The culmination event at the Museum of Art and Photography began with an invocation by children from the Spastics Society of Karnataka, followed by Mr. Srikanth Karra, Chief Administrative Officer, Mphasis addressing the audience after which Gita spoke on the intent, learnings and findings from the initiative. The discussions that followed were punctuated by a Dance by Saisha of Spastics Society of Karnataka, a recitation by children of Samarthanam and a song by a group from AVAS.

Day 22 – 28th Jan 2024
The last lap of this unique journey took place on the 28th of January from a significant location – The Spastics Society of Karnataka, a nonprofit organization formed through the shared passion of its members, committed to dedicating their lives to the well-being and advancement of individuals with developmental disabilities. Together with a group of avid runners and other supporters, Gita completed the last 5 kilometers of this journey arriving at Bangalore’s landmark Cubbon Park. From Cubbon park, a commemorative walk ensued.

Day 21 – 27th Jan 2024
Spastics Society: Located in Indiranagar, the Spastics Society is a center for developmental disabilities. After a short walk through the campus, Gita shared about her journey and the cause. The session was followed by a questionnaire by children with disabilities present there.

Day 20 – 26th Jan 2024
 Republic Day celebration at a Government School in Kumbala Hally, near Hoskote organized by IIA. Amazing performances by school students. 

Day 19 – 25th Jan 2024
Case study of Cloud 9 villas: Located in Bommasandra, cloud 9 villas are part of a villa gateway community. There were two villas shown in the case study tour where one villa was not accessible by wheelchair and the other villa was exclusively designed to cater to persons in wheelchairs. The latter was designed for the client who was in a wheelchair for quite some time and using a regular home was difficult for him.

Day 19 – 25th Jan 2024
Fourth Wave Foundation, a NGO primarily based from Bangalore , started an initiative named “Nangu shale” also known as  “Schools where all belong.”  This initiative was started to give education to children with disabilities in regular government schools, to give them a happy childhood along with hope for their future. Knowing about this initiative, we visited them and got to know about the problems they faced and explored collaborations. Students from Arcause clubs member colleges in Bangalore visited the office as well. 

Day 18 – 24th Jan 2024
 Visited the Vishranthi Trust in Hoskote. Interacted with elderly people and exchanged Stories. 

Day 18 – 24th Jan 2024
Visited Shree Aditya Degree College in Hoskote to interact with college students. Had a session with students in their 2nd academic year. Gita shared about her journey, learning and findings highlighting the importance of architecture in day to day life for all. 

Day 17 – 23rd Jan 2024
Met Manohar, a BA pass person. He was struck with paralysis during his final year. His right hand, leg were affected. Though his leg got cured to a certain extent, his right hand is still a struggle. He now works with the Crop Development Office as a crop surveyor.

Day 15 – 21st Jan 2024 :
Visited Antharaganga Vidya samsthe, an educational cum residential campus which houses and educates people with physical disabilities and cognitive development challenges. Met Mr. Shankar the founder of the organisation and had chat with him about the various design requirements of the people at the centre as we were taken on a tour of the campus.
The organization’s primary goal is to offer free education, training, and rehabilitation facilities to children facing various disabilities, including orphans and economically disadvantaged children.

Day 13 – 19th Jan 2024
A day of spontaneous interactions with vendors, pilgrimage walkers and school students along the journey.

Day 12 – 18th Jan 2024
Visited the Rishi Valley School. The campus is designed by Flying Elephant Studio. Gita interacted with the students on her previous exploratory journeys and the importance of inclusivity with students of classes 8 and 9. The session was followed by a flurry of questions from the inquisitive students.

Day 12 – 18th Jan 2024 :
Inspired by the walk and the cause, a local YouTube channel in Palamner interviews Gita.
Watch the full video here

Day 11 – 17th Jan 2024
Visited DRIK Patashala in Chittoor. Interacted with students about the motive of the walk and the importance of universal design.

Day 10 – 16th Jan 2024
At the Chittoor railway station, engaging with the dedicated railway personnel adds a touch of local warmth to the journey, creating meaningful connections along the way.

Day 9 – 15th Jan 2024
Crossed the Tamil Nadu border to enter Andhra Pradesh embarking on a journey that promises new landscapes and diverse experiences. Excitement fills the air as the adventure unfolds beyond familiar horizons.

Day 8 – 14th Jan 2024
Pongal Celebrations at Cheyyur Village thanks to MSAJAA Architecture college, Chennai : Witnessed the Tirupaavai Closing Pooja at Perumal Temple, followed by traditional Pongal Pooja at Chelliamman Temple. A Rangoli competition ensued between girls and women of the village at the Government Middle School followed by a cutural programme. A visit to the farms followed by scrumptious lunch at the Kanniamman Temple of Avinachi Kandigai Village brought the delightful day to a close.

Day 7 – 13th Jan 2024
Visited and studied the Fire station at Sholinghur: Met the fire fighters who shared invaluable insights on fire safety for able-bodied persons as well as persons with disabilities as well as persons with disabilities, fostering a comprehensive approach to emergency preparedness and inclusivity.

Day 6 – 12th Jan 2024
In an enlightening session at SNV Matriculation School, students from 8th to 12th standard were treated to an engaging presentation on universal design, imparting insights into creating accessible and inclusive environments.
The interactive dialogue sparked a collective understanding, inspiring the students to champion diversity and embrace design solutions that cater to the needs of all.

Day 5 – 11th Jan 2024
Paint in Good light is a campaign by the Ethos Foundation in association with Nippon Paint to create awareness about design and its social impact through sensory stimulation. The morning began with an interactive session by Gita on the impact of good design in improving lives and the various career opportunities in the field of design followed by the revealing of the carefully curated artwork.

Day 4 – 10th Jan 2024
Engaged in a transformative experience at the Anabalaya Foundation, where meaningful interactions foster inclusivity and empower individuals with visual impairments to thrive in diverse educational and vocational pursuits. Students of Anbalaya school showcased their talents singing, dancing, and captivating the audience with a myriad of artistic expressions!
Day 3 – 9th Jan 2024
Observing the various courses offered for persons with acquired blindness as well as those with partial/complete blindness.
Learning the printing process at the regional braille printing press that provides schools with academic books, novels and short stories at subsidized or free of cost. Ar. Gita Balakrishnan explored a supportive environment dedicated to enhancing skills and building a community that transcends barriers.

Day 2 – 8th Jan 2024
Students from four institutions of architecture in Chennai and surrounding regions gathered with enthusiasm at the Government Girls High School in Walajabad to engage in a collective painting endeavour, driven by a shared cause. Paint in Good light is a campaign by the Ethos Foundation in association with Nippon Paint to create awareness about design and its social impact through sensory stimulation. The morning began with an interactive session by Gita on the impact of good design in improving lives and the various career opportunities in the field of design followed by the revealing of the carefully curated artwork.
Day 2 – 8th Jan 2024
Vidyasagar’s workshop on universal design and accessibility fostered awareness by engaging students in a collaborative exploration of inclusive and accessible design principles.
Through hands-on activities and discussions, various college students gained valuable insights into creating environments that cater to the diverse needs of individuals, promoting a more universally accessible and equitable society.

Day 1 – 7th Jan 2024 : Flag-off
Ms. Jayashree Muralidharan, The Secretary For the Department of Welfare for the Differently Abled, Chennai along with representatives from various NGO’s working towards an inclusive society, architects, students, and people from different walks of life were present at the flag-off ceremony which took place at the Museum of Possibilities (MoP) on January 7th, 2024. MoP, dedicated to showcasing and advancing Assistive Technology for People with Disabilities, aligned seamlessly with the mission of raising awareness on Universal Design and creating environments that are accessible and inclusive for all individuals.

Day 1 – 7th Jan 2024 : Symbolic Walk
Accompanied by several persons with disabilities, Ar Gita Balakrishnan walked on the Accessibility Corridor to the Museum of Possibilities, Chennai

5th Jan 2024
Ability Foundation is a charitable trust focused on empowering and mainstreaming individuals with disabilities. With expertise in various initiatives such as generating employment opportunities and conducting accessibility audits, we had the opportunity to visit their office to learn about creating inclusive built environments alongwith students from MSAJAA Architecture College.
The experts went through academic works of the students and spoke about planning and design from the lens of accessibility.
5th Jan 2024
A walk in the park? Much more than that. Known for her contributions to India’s first “barrier-free” public play spaces, Kavitha Krishnamoorthy took students of architecture on a walk through one such play area that is inclusive to children with physical and developmental disabilities, Infinity Playspace, Kotturpuram, Chennai. Students from MSAJAA Architecture College, School of Architecture and Planning, Chennai Academy Of Architecture And Design, Hindustan Institute of Technology and Science joined us for this session.
5th Jan 2024
A visit to the Karna Vidya Technology Centre, Chennai helped open a discussion on the various challenges faced by citizens who are visually impaired on a day to day basis. Raghuraman Kalyanraman, has been tirelessly working for the Not-for-profit training cum placement centre and took us through the intricacies of their expectations in order to be able to navigate spaces with ease and hence feel included.