Summer in India

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Thursday, July 06, 2006

may real atchi hun.

Translation: I'm real good. Understatement like whoa. So a million apologies/damnation until my 7th and last life on earth for not updating this properly (or tiksay). Let's start in the present and then I'll flashback to other moments. I'm firmly non-pro-linear. *grave-rolling Kerouac* Here's some brief decriptions of my projects with the Bharatiya Agro-Industries Foundation (claim to fame bovine artificial insemination; large plastic props proudly displayed in the office)
1) Impact Assessment on TATA-ICRISAT-ICAR-BAIF Project
The BAIF-ICEF Watershed Management Project (1997-2006) and other BAIF interventions in the Bundi district have already been assessed successfully and comprehensively. The Watershed Plus Project which was launched in 2002 as a joint initiative between International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT), and BAIF, however, requires further assessment of its social and economic effects for individual households and the community at large. The objectives of this project were to further improve the livelihoods of local households and the overall health of the community and natural resources. I would be conducting a survey of at least 30 households out of a potential sample size of 200 households. The main focus of the survey will be independent and community income generation techniques and initiatives launched by this watershed program; I will attempt to measure the extent and impact of those techniques and initiatives, household investment decisions, and the social implications of any economic gains. It is an attempt to track the trajectory of watershed intervention in terms of the ultimate social ramifications.
2) Findings and Recommendations on Kharif (Rainy) Season Projects in Bundi District
While living in Thana (90 km from Bundi, 15 km from project sites), I will also be able to go to the project sites in the field each day with the BAIF Bundi staff during their daily visits. I will observe various activities: local Self-Help Group meetings, silvipasture and other watershed management investment group meetings, micronutrient deficiency trials, weather, erosion, and water level measuring efforts, agroforestry and other agricultural technique demonstrations, vermicomposting, environmental club meetings of local school children, and day to day interactions with local BAIF staffers and village participants in BAIF projects. I will write a report on my findings and suggest any improvements as need arises.
Personal Objectives and the Proposed Projects
My main goals for this internship included doing something of use to the organization and learning more about how inextricable sustainability is to development. I am hopeful because of how much I’ve already learned by visiting the two project sites in Jahdol and Bundi. After visiting these sites and discussing the work done by BAIF over the last decade, I developed some more specific topics of interest: community action specific to tribal hamlets, women and gender roles in leadership positions and related to agriculture and natural resource conservation, government policies and the scope of their effect on rural development and sustainability, efficacy of BAIF in terms of linkage between rural, local, state, and national government and rural people, soil quality and fertility in Rajasthan specifically when water is the limiting factor to productivity, micronutrient deficiencies in semi-arid landscapes, and developing an overall sense of the steps and outlook necessary to addressing larger social and environmental issues.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Namaste from Udaipur!

Wow, so as soon as I get use to this whole public diary concept thing I'll fill these pages with my epistles to India and to all of you!