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Showing posts from August, 2012

Soaking in the Sunshine @ Surajpur

18th August 2012: All bags were packed and I was suddenly traveling to a district whose name i had only heard a couple of days back - the Surajpur district in North Chattisgarh!
After our two day state orientation in Raipur, we were asked to report to our districts by 21st August (Monday being a holiday for Eid). But, having no place to stay in Raipur, we decided to leave for our districts on Saturday itself.With the other five in our group having departed to their districts in South Chattisgarh by busses, i took my train to Surajpur with great uncertainty of what i was about to discover.
The train route to Surajpur is mesmerising - and no less so than the Rayagada - Koraput Route or even the Konkan route sans the tunnels. Bright green paddy fields with dark green trees dotting the landscape meet the eyes for as far as they can wander. And you immediately fall in love with the place that invites you to its fold with such a view early in the morning.
I landed in Surajpur on  Sunday mor…

PMRDF - The Journey so far!

Its been a month since a new journey, called the Prime Minister's Rural Development Fellowship Scheme began in TISS, Mumbai and time is one thing that I have completely lost track of since then! You probably start forgetting the concept of time itself if you have a fixed schedule from 9 AM to 8 PM across 7 days of the week. The training began on 10th July, 2012 when 44 curious minds got together to understand what challenges lie ahead of them in bringing 'development' to the 78 Left Wing Extremist (LWE) districts across central India.
The first few lectures were completely about development theories and paradigms that really made me think if there was anything going right about the Indian state. Given a chance, I think, a lot of professors in TISS would take up arms themselves to throw out the State and bring in a Revolution. Thankfully, things calmed down over the next few weeks which were more about different government schemes functioning in IAP districts, Research Met…