Eight eager foreign students from the New School arrived in Pune, wide-eyed yet uncertain about what we were there to see. The decision to take the trip came after a week of site visits with slum communities in Mumbai who work with the National Slum Dwellers Federation (the Federation) on savings, sanitation, and relocation.
While meeting with Jockin Arputham, he emphatically told us that “everything began in Pune; you cannot start your work here until you see Pune.”
The four of us are documenting the informal mechanisms by which knowledge is transferred from current Federation community leaders in Mumbai to younger generations.
Our goal in Pune, aside from understanding its importance within the Federation, was to sneak in a couple of questions about knowledge transfer during our whirlwind 36-hour stay.
The organization’s process of knowledge transfer has many layers. The leaders formulate the enumeration survey questions by spending time in communities and reflecting on their own experiences: “We live in slums; these are the questions we come across in our daily lives.”