14 September 2016

IBDP Geography Field Study Trip to Sanjay Colony Okhla, New Delhi by Chahana Bansal, Gr 11

The IB Geography students started with their IA recently and to mark the beginning of this assignment, we went on a field trip on 10th of August, 2016.  Our fieldwork task was to investigate areas of urban deprivation and accordingly, to carry out the fieldwork on a rather muggy Wednesday morning, our stop was the Sanjay Colony in Okhla, New Delhi

“Is Sanjay Colony, Okhla a slum/ area of urban depirvation?” This question became the base of our investigation and a questionnaire was drawn up after discussions in the classes earlier.  Initially, we went to Deepalaya School in the same area from where we  were accompanied by 2 volunteers who were familiar with Sanjay Colony and the people living there, too. They guided us as we made our way through the narrow lanes covered with sludge and dirt. The air felt different as soon as the two volunteers led us through the scanty pavements to the homes of the citizens of Sanjay Colony, the economic disparity shining through.   Our next step was to complete questionnaires and interact with the locals of the colony, which made us use interpersonal skills as well as make our own judgments.

As we completed our surveys in the different blocks of the colony,
the main question of our IA, “Is Sanjay Colony, Okhla a slum/ area of urban deprivation?”, became even more relevant as the disparities became crystal clear. Whilst we were carrying out our investigation, the locals thought we were taking surveys for a greater cause, to change their living conditions. This was evident throughout our fieldwork as a glimmer of hope sparked in the citizen’s eyes every time we interacted with them. It made all of us wonder about the hardships and struggles that the people living in areas of urban deprivation undergo. Similarly, with the the locals of Sanjay Colony, living in the crammed houses with limited and negligible civic facilities, the indigence of the slum surpassed our expectations.

In conclusion, although the data collected through the surveys helped us with our IA but it also showed us the discrepancy between the way we live our lives and the way the people of Sanjay Colony live theirs. It was an eye-opener, a learning experience like no other.