Shivani Bharadwaj along with Mayur Vihar residents started an initiative named Love Your Neighbourhood (LYN), which involves creating warmth among neighbours in Mayur Vihar in 2013.
LYN started with its prime focus on ‘Meeting your Neighbourhood and discussing about the various problems that they are dealing. Along with LYN team the Mayur Heritage Walk made residents aware about the history of their neighbourhood as a group of people went around sharing their experiences and memories with their area. This is a great way of encouraging a sense of togetherness and enhanced communication among the neighbours. Apart from it they have collaborated with lot of NGO’s for garbage segregation, elderly care, women issues etc.
Such an effective model of communicative development results in shared responsibility and mutual benefit among the community members. This is just what the busy metropolitan cities need today where the life is so busy and stressful leaving no time for people to interact with their neighbours.The target area being her neighbourhood, Shivani came across many people, who were going through family issues, mental disorders, and serious depression. This resulted in starting Happiness meetings of the “Club House” with an aim of spending some quality time together with their neighbours and discuss on various personal issues, family issues, community issues.
These Clubhouse meetings involved yoga sessions, pranayam, and laughter, poetry, singing and sharing happiness by being a part of each other’s lives.
She says, “We are trying to inculcate a sense of togetherness and collective action within the members. Who expose people to become a family of neighbours. Community feelings of belonging to a place ia what we usually tend to overlook in our busy routine. The regular clubhouse yoga sessions, laughter sessions, happiness workshops encouraged the people going through depression to feel comfortable in interacting to feel at ease about their issues, to become a happier soul.”
When asked about funds, she said that funds were never a problem because members of LYN and club house are so dedicated towards realising its goal that they pool in the money from their savings and this is how they managed the activities conducted until now.
Holding a Mphilin Women Studies and a PHD in social work, she believes such a model of community development is also helpful for women, as it boosts up their confidence to speak up and discuss about things with people. Shivani and her team’s positive approach were convincing enough to surpass all the challenges that came across their way.
This initiative strongly influenced a homemaker to start her own yoga training session for women which further made her feel independent and empowered. It has also resulted in various small start-ups, started by people who got inspired from LYN discussions and workshops.
Shivani Bharadwaj’s initiative is an inspiration for all of us and every locality in urban cities should conduct weekly or monthly happiness meetings in order to end isolation and loneliness, which is plaguing our lives. Such initiatives need our time and support.
Find them on Facebook: Love Your Neighbourhood Mayur Vihar