Serving the underserved
Continued from November 9
Fourth asset we wish to discuss is intellectual and creative asset.
The focused communities lack the facilities to develop the ‘living human
treasures’. They certainly do not have any contacts with universities or
research institutes and they are not encouraged to engage in any
research and development activity. One can again argue that in a country
where R & D is not considered as a priority why should one discuss this
aspect here when the under-served communities are only expected to be
blue-collar workers. Yet, if we are to bring these people in to the main
stream and make them responsible citizens, it is necessary to absorb
them into the intellectual and creative realms.
There are people capable of becoming tomorrow’s intellectuals,
artists, artisans, scientists, or musicians etc living in these
communities. In developing the living conditions of the under-served, it
is essential to facilitate the blooming of their intellectual and
creative strengths. One can also argue that if the city could always
import such human treasures. True! Yet having its own sons and daughters
as such artisans or intellectuals would be an asset for the city. Our
proposition is not to build universities or research institutions right
next to their living abode but to encourage them to get involved in such
activities. City of Colombo, on the other hand, shall have more of such
facilities. In the case of the creative people, they will also need a
market and awareness enlarged among the other citizens to value their
creativity. It is true that most of the under-served communities do not
have a proper way to spend their leisure.
They are spending time in front of televisions or see cheap cinema or
just hang around. If there has been a facility to educate them through
certain art forms, the strengthening of this cluster could have been
easier. Thus nurturing creativity and providing easy access to
intellectual development could be highly useful.
It is also possible to provide space to perform or to display their
work or accommodate the production of their creative work. It may be
difficult to absorb cultural or intellectual elites to these areas or to
build up something across the globe at the initial stages. However it is
worthy of facilitating such exchanges to further diversify the city and
strengthen its assets that would one day pay dividends.
To be continued