Understanding Life and Education in an Urban ‘Ghetto’ : Shafiq Memorial and Bara Hindu Rao, Delhi
This paper examines the running of an ‘(extra)ordinary’ school in a Delhi locality by sociologically situating it in its dense neighbourhood to revisit the category, ‘ghetto’. It traces processes of stigmatisation and stereotyping, relates these to the desperate but resilient efforts of residents to stand on their own two feet and probes the vexed relationship between the school, the locality and the children. The attempt is to grasp the impact of the sociology of the ‘ghetto’ on the children’s education, their mobility, and their ‘standing’ as emerging adults. This is achieved by showing the interconnections between the ebb and flow of employment, market-swings, the socio-economic and cultural structures of impoverishment, intercommunity conflicts, stereotyping and violence and the resultant reconfiguration of residences on sectarian lines. In so doing, the paper describes, analyses, even questions the production and reproduction of the new urban.