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Monday, 22 November 2010

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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

 

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