Monday, July 12, 2010


Although it was more than obvious during the lorry blessing and brickmaking ceremony a few weeks back, the ongoing team work and overall sense of community present amongst LAFTI, its staff, and all of its beneficiaries was clearly noticeable today.

When I went outside this morning to participate in the process of making bricks using the fly-ash machine, I was immediately taken aback by the amount of trust and expectation each person in this working line was actually placing on one another. From the first two people who drive a large truck a hundred kilometers to pick up the fly-ash powder itself, to the people who mix it together with the needed ingredients to make it brickworthy, to the people who monitor the brick-making machine to notice and service any possible malfunctions, to the people who place the mixture in the cement molds on a constant and precisely timed basis, to the people who pull each brick out of the rotating mold rack and place each brick on a rolling dolly, to those who push that dolly from the machine to the field and back, stacking each brick perfectly on top of one another. The best part is that even though the procedures mentioned are quite detailed and individually timed, this group of Dalits, those people whom were never even allowed to hammer in a nail to a board in the wall because of their non-existent social status in Indian society, make the process of building houses using this particular machine look next to automatic.

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