Through My Eyes: Nambur Village, India

Ameen Ul Insan
Sep 13, 2018 · 6 min read

Environmental perception at Namburu (16.361747,80.531080). Never experienced an amalgamation of productivity and Excitement/t.Had a great bootstart after going through Christopher Alexander ‘Notes on the Synthesis of Form’. How a designer should think amd perceive, And why one is failing to do it. It seems very relevant before going for environmental perception because all that we are going to see are nothing but forms inside contexts.It was ‘Green to Pale green ’.Coming from a state like Kerala to Andra Pradesh was a completely alien experience like.

18000 Namburians spread over 30.13 km² suburban lands. When I roam around the village to study SPACE — PEOPLE -ACTIVITY. I started with people, Among 80% of people I saw have that typical village men attitude and innocence in their eyes and rest 20% different and early adopters ,
But how Namburu people was different from others was that they live for today, no tension about tomorrow linear thinking

The space was calm and quiet, here I don’t see the rush for time and money. Above all the love and caring they showed to us was shocking,
People themselves are blended with nature earning their livelihood from mainly farming and cattle rearing. Further look took me to personalities like Mankamma who belongs to serious citizens which had very different approach towards us. She was hard working and happily living. She was a tailor and a govt. Anganwadi teacher. Her son were all educated well and went on their own ways. There are many highly educated people in Namburu even then, a majority of this portion is not employed, because of the financial and other social factors that drive them down again. So I think education to these people didn’t help them, because they were not able to create anything out it.

But moving out to space, meeting experienced and skillful people like Sanjanna and Narayanamma, who belong to Yerukkula community was again a different experience. To see their dedication towards bamboo basket weaving. And the intangible that I observe is that it is valuable skill and tradition is what going to get extinct because their children are educated and are not planning to catch up. This village continues to create ironies in my mind.

Cowdung and Palm leaf are two fundamental things that they rely so much on . And how they use the locally available to their advantage. They can polish the floor, create manure and insecticides, medicines, cow dung cakes as firewood also. And the palm leaf which contributes to many household products like brooms, creating partitions for land, and mainly for roofing.

The village wakes up early morning around 5, start their busy morning activities like men going to fields along with buffaloes and children going to school. And women doing household. Btw these household women only brush their teeth at 10. That is probably the time when they are finally done with the morning duties they have.

Products used by villages always inspired me, like most of the things are natural. They don’t use toothbrush they use neem branches as alternatives, and things like rollu,manga , mulla kancha walls, gamba etc.
Talking to the junior citizens like Pradeep (engineering student), according to him the main problems faced by the village is not child marriage or women harassment although they exist. But it was religious discrimination existing.

Namburu has mainly Hindus, Muslims and Christians. But each group live together in a pack around their worshiping center. Muslims are living around Nambur Masjid, it’s very obvious but it will also bring some disagreeing activities like selling Beef. which is unavoidable for Muslims and sacred for Hindus.
Also, the Panchayat election system that exists in the village is according to the religion. Like now it is Sheikh Kasim B, he belongs to Muslim will rule for 4 years, then Hindu leader for four years and then Christian like that. So to some extent, people belonging to particular religion get more attention and benefits. But 10 years ago it was the system of the village leader, where the entire village will choose their suitable leader.

Namburians are so much involved in rituals. There are practices like rooster sacrifice for Gangalamma, drishti bhommai and gummadi kaya hanging for keeping the evil eye away.

And the very artistic and symmetrical muggulu drawing in front of most of the houses. Although according to them it was done to maintain preciousness and beauty of their house. But I find it also shows the responsibility of the women in that particular house.

The transport issue in Nambur is not that problematic for villagers, because most of them, will prefer walking and riding their cycles, rather than taking public transport,They just have so much time. But for that matter, if anyone wants to get to Vijayawada or Mangalagiri then they’ll have to rely on multiple trips.

The main vehicles used by villagers are cycles, auto rickshaws, TVS — xl-super, tractors. from this, they prefer utility vehicle to use it for their work along with their personal needs also with lesser cost. And these machines are very efficient they’ll give at least 70km mileage. (xl-super). And as they are selling loose petrol in bottles in the village. It’s again beneficial for them, so they don’t need to go to Guntur for filling.

The public transport is 500m away from Vijayabhaskar Nagar. So auto rickshaws are the only way for local mobility. In the auto rickshaws which are meant to carry only four people including the driver. They are carrying up to 15 members in these auto rickshaws. And the thing is no one is worried about the safety issues with this transpotation. The Andhra Pradesh Police doesn’t have any initiative to prevent this.

But after further thinking and observing that part. I came to realize that it’s not the vehicle that always causes the accident, But the people inside it, Being illiterate doesn’t measure someones ability.

Its basically because of the attitude difference, If a village locality is traveling in a 15 member crowded auto rickshaw or any other such contexts. He or she has that adapted attitude to adjust with difficulties and successfully come out of it. We can even see this among children the effort they put to help their family in works. So according to me (maybe), in Namburu such initiatives should not be taken, which is irrelevant.

The environmental perception course according to me one of the most important course we had here in NID, as being a design student and ‘ design cannot exist in isolation’. We have to be more empathetic towards our surroundings rather than to ourselves as a designer.

I personally find it very productive, because I personally was silent type and shy, But after the entire 3-week environmental perception course. Our faculty Mr.Vikram said to me about my improvement that I made during this, I never felt so good.

While returning from Nambur I always had that gloomy feeling that As a design student I shouldn’t have left the place without doing something. Maybe a simple design solution for at least one problem in the village. But then I realized aren’t they happy already?

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Product Designer , I would choose a bike than a car.

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