Insights

In their immersive journey of experiencing the grassroots, fellows share the challenges and discoveries made, and how it connects to a larger perspective to build insights

Yeh Bahut Mehenga Hai

"Why should I pay THAT MUCH when I can buy something exactly like it at _______ for half the price?!" (one may fill the blank with the name of any High Street shop)  More than a century ago, English artist and activist William Morris argued that "nothing should...

You Feel disgusted? You leave!

You Feel disgusted? You leave!

A long line of women, carrying their babies in slings across their chests, balancing eggs and channa on their heads, is a common sight as we travel in our jeep at Swasthya Swaraj from our head office in Bhawanipatna to the villages. Children are always tied close to...

Who Bears The Brunt Of Borrowing Money?

Who Bears The Brunt Of Borrowing Money?

A gender lens to understand credit in rural India Microcredit = Lending to women in groups I remember making sense of microfinance using this simple equation the first time I read about the concept of lending to the poor. Somehow, it did make a lot of sense and it...

Did Covid-19 ‘Other’ The ASHAs From Their Own?

Did Covid-19 ‘Other’ The ASHAs From Their Own?

ASHAs (Accredited Social Health Activists) have been instrumental in managing the pandemic across the country. They carried out several responsibilities in the past year - identifying people showing symptoms of Corona, linking them to quarantine facilities or ensuring...

One Strand At A Time [A Photo Story]

One Strand At A Time [A Photo Story]

Having spent a major part of my fellowship in Maheshwar, Madhya Pradesh, it was impossible to not showcase the art-form that makes the place so special - Maheshwari sarees. The sarees and fabrics are registered for Geographical Indication, a certification that the...

Bridging The Digital Gap In Rural India

Financial inclusion, in today's day and age is not what it was a decade or two ago, when having a bank account was the starting point. Today, 'digital' is a key piece in the puzzle of financial inclusion, specially for low income communities. India is set to have 820...

Resilience, As I Understood It

Resilience, As I Understood It

Resilience and perseverance - the two virtues almost always attributed to the poor. The glorification of their hardships and our awe for their ability to survive. Haven’t we started looking at them akin to cockroaches? They never die with a single stroke, it takes...

Education For Change

Education For Change

Imagine yourself as a child living in a small mud house in a green valley, with lush farms on rolling hills that extend until as far as you can see. Your family is engaged in agriculture, growing rice and corn. A good harvest ensures enough food for the next few...

Totes Amaze: How This NGO In Kutch Is Fighting Plastic With Plastic

Totes Amaze: How This NGO In Kutch Is Fighting Plastic With Plastic

Nine billion tons - that's the amount of plastic we have created since the large-scale production of synthetic materials began in the early 1950s. And why not, after all plastic is lightweight, flexible, relatively inexpensive, and durable, which also means that it...

Dialogue And Democracy: Understanding Theatre Of The Oppressed

Dialogue And Democracy: Understanding Theatre Of The Oppressed

Paulo Friere was a renowned Brazilian educator and philosopher. As a leading advocate of critical pedagogy that views teaching as a political act, indistinct from issues of social justice and democracy, predicated on fostering agency, empowering learners and...

What Being Restricted Taught Me About Empowerment

What Being Restricted Taught Me About Empowerment

As I work with Shram Sarathi in Gogunda block of Udaipur, Rajasthan, if I have to talk about the most epic ways of local commute, I'll tell you this... The field areas, though accessible through public transport, still require one to navigate a few kilometres on foot,...

Is Environment A Labour Issue?

Is Environment A Labour Issue?

Early last month, I watched Seaspiracy, Kip Anderson's second project to shed light upon a new dimension of the human-made environmental crisis. It's a documentary film that takes the viewer into the literal and metaphorical depths of the crisis unfolding at the seas,...

Failing And Moving From Making Agriculture Work For Rural Youth

Failing And Moving From Making Agriculture Work For Rural Youth

Born and brought up in Delhi, I had a fascination to get an exposure to the grassroots of India and see the rural realities in its raw form. To pursue this, I joined India Fellow, a social leadership program. As a part of that, I was placed with Shramik Bharti, an...

We Couldn’t Take Our Masks Off, We Couldn’t Drink Water

We Couldn’t Take Our Masks Off, We Couldn’t Drink Water

Picture from the archives of Setu Abhiyan - Urban team It is a cold December evening and the chilly wind is blowing the plastic shelter of the outside of the house, back and forth. Seated on the plastic rug fashioned from old 20kg cement bags, I make my notes under...