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Tall, imposing walls, with a gate to march is my introduction to the remand home. The ‘Observation Home’, as it is less harshly called, is home for about 400 delinquent children – some children who have criminal cases against them while some children have been lifted off the street to be released when their parents come to claim them. All within the age group of 5 yrs to 18 yrs. Less intimidating than I would imagine a jail to be, a bit like a boarding school. Uniformed children scamper about completing their chores. In batches that rotate, some of them cook, some are in charge of sweeping the area while some attend classes. The compound is dotted with buildings that comprised the academic block, the women’s section, kitchen, dormitories and ‘Children’s Guidance Centre’ interspersed with play areas. A playroom in the ‘Guidance Centre’ is what we selected for the space lift. While surveying the remand home for the most adequate area to execute makeover, the psychologist showed us around the centre and came to a room that was attached to her clinic. The large square space was meant to be a room where the children could sleep during the afternoon, play together or just relax after a session with the psychologist. We began with a large, dull room that had a brown carpet covering most of the floor that was paved with worn out strips of

wood. The only pieces of furniture were two cupboards that carried some toys. The walls were in pale yellow oil paints that dulled the room further when light from a lone tube light fell on it. The change initiated with a ‘swanky’ wooden flooring that brought in the warmth! A bright yellow emulsion on the wall brought in the cheer. Shelves that were stacked with toys completed the picture and cushions, rugs and lamps in bright colours magically made the place more friendly and receptive. The walls were stencilled with images of animals, birds and vegetables not only added an element of design but also to get the children involved in creating a collage with their own designs! More than the visual impact of the room, the effect the playroom has had on the children is what made the effort worthwhile for the design team and the sponsors! “I feel like I belong here”, says Raju*, a 13 year old boy who ran away from his home in Bihar. He was lifted off a railway platform in Mumbai and brought to the remand home in a battered condition. Adds Arati*, a 15 year old who was duped by her parents into an abusive early marriage, “I look forward to spending more time at the playroom now since the colourful walls and cushions make me feel more relaxed.” * Name of the remand home inmates have been changed to protect identity,

Previous pages left, before and after: Warm wooden floor from Ambience International, bright curtains and cushions from Yamini lend a much needed homely feel to the playroom. Right : A frontal view of Children’s Guidance Centre. This page : The children find the playroom more inviting now and use it as an interactive space, which keeps them sufficiently occupied. Opposite page, before and after : Adjustable shelves from Woody’s Warehouse are great for stacking a generous amount of toys contributed by Toy Foundation

AMBIENCE INTERNATIONAL - FLOORING PARTNER An enterprising and motivated company, Ambience International is well-established company that is not rigid and makes a conscious effort to keep up with the latest trends in the market. FLOORLINE collection, one of the finest qualities in laminated flooring imported form Germany, is a new introductions in the Ambience International range.

Laminate flooring is a significant development in innovative flooring and is highly suitable for both commercial and residential application. The raw material used produce laminate flooring is a composite material, which consists of a high-density wood fibre core (with a very high humidity resistance) with a sheet of natural looking wood design print bonded to the surface.

WOODY’S WAREHOUSE FURNITURE PARTNERS Wood’s Warehouse has a range of furniture that spans the entire gamut of products from living room, bedroom, kitchen and office furniture. The design philosophy underlying all the products is based on 4 principles : Flexibility, customer convenience, durability and eco-friendliness. The idea Shelving System exemplifies all these qualities. It is modular in nature and can be modified to suit the customer’s space, requirements and budget on the company’s specially designed software. The flexibility of the system lends itself to endless storage, display and functional application. It is ready to assemble and thus the customer is saved the hassle of on-site work. It is made from highly durable materials such as bamboo and seasoned and treated solid rubber wood, which are also eco-friendly.

YAMINI - SOFT FURNISHING PARTNER The focus at Yamini’s is contemporary and coordinated. The attractive and affordable range of home textile ‘made-ups’ covers linen for bed and bath, living, dining and kitchen. Fabric by the metre only adds to the choices available here. New merchandise is a regular feature at Yamini and frequent special events enlarge the focus to include related merchandise such as furniture, lamps and wooden objects for example. Outlets are currently in Mumbai, Bangalore, Pune, Vadodara and Chennai and two shop-in-shop at Pantaloons mega stone, Kolkata

Opposite page, left, before and after: A sealed window was painted in bright colours to add some more colour. A rug and some cushions is all it takes to have a warm, cosy corner below the lamps! Right : A dolls house that was tucked away somewhere was given a seperate ‘Spacelift’! This page, below and inset : The walls were uniform yellow to start with, courtesy Asian Paints and then animals, birds and vegetables were stencilled on the surface.

CHILDREN’S TOY FOUNDATION - TOYS PARTNER Established in 1982 Children’s Toy foundation is a registered non-government organisation working towards accomplishing the right of the child to play described under UNO’s article 31. Their aim is to educate children beyond reading and writing, to help them to acquire real skills and reading and writing, to help them to acquire real skill and develop positive attitude. They encourage them to interact confidently with their environment and for this purpose they use the potential force of toys and games to mould the character and temperament of the young ones and hone their latent talents.

ASIAN PAINTS (INDIA) LIMITED - COLOUR PARTNER Asian Paints (I) Ltd, APIL, is the market leader in the decorative segment in the paints industry with over 26 percent market share of the total paints market in India. It has the largest dealer paints market in India. It has the largest dealer network among paint companies with 14,500 dealers across the country. Its products are available in nearly 3,000 towns with an extensive presence in the 10,000 + population category.

Opposite page, before and after: From the dull, oil paint and bulky steel cupboards, the changes that the playroom underwent made a world of difference to the children at the remand home. This page before and after : Closed cupboards were discarded and open adjustable shelves were brought in so the children could pick up the toys of the shelves whenever they wanted to play.

dongri Remand home  
dongri Remand home