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From Shamianas to Self-employment

The Pulari self-help group in Kerala  Kerala is doing tasks that have mainly been men’s forte – they are engaged in building shamianas for events and celebrations across Edakidam district. When this group of 18 came together 3 years ago, they were undecided about the vocation but aimed at doing something different.  There are plenty of…

Farmer-Producer Organizations – a Way Forward

Coimbatore’s Velliangiri Uzhavan Producer Company Limited, a farmer-producer organisation involving over 500 farmers, sent its first consignment in September, reports The Hindu. In May 2013, 500 farmers in Thondamuthur block formed the Velliangiri Uzhavan Producer Company Ltd. with the support of Isha Foundation. The company has been working to increase agricultural productivity and through collectivized…

Celebrating the Life and Learnings of Gandhiji

With Gandhi Jayanti approaching, many institutions in the country are busy planning events to commemorate the day. But there are some exceptionally inspiring organizations and people who continue to celebrate and keep Gandhi’s legacy and ideals alive. Kerala Gandhi Smarak Nidhi (KGSN) started functioning in 1951 as the state unit of All-India Gandhi Memorial Trust…

A World Reknowned Scholar With a Passion for Education

Some call her style inaccessible, some accuse her of favoring style over substance, but according to Judith Butler, leading feminism and queer theorist and also a professor at University of California, Berkeley, Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak’s “critical interrogation of the political status quo in its global dimensions has reached tens of thousands of activists and scholars.”

Coimbatore Reframes the Urban Waste Management Problem

You could be living in any city in India – waste is a problem almost without exception. Litter dots public spaces, and often landfills and waste dumps come perilously close to living spaces, creating serious health hazards. In an enlightening article from earlier this year, the Chairperson of the Indian Council for Research on International Economic…

Hyderabad’s Urban Transit Planning – A Great Example

Hyderabad recently set in motion a massive redevelopment and construction plan to engineer a whole new transit system for the city. Unlike conventional metro-rail systems, Hyderabad has extended the idea to include “room for cycling and other non-motorised transport, pedestrian facilities, green areas and public spaces with an eye for aesthetics.” In the inaugural speech…

Knowledge Sharing Through Films Made by Villagers

Rikin Gandhi, one of the 5 BBC Digital Indians, has found a simple yet unique model of knowledge sharing through digital films made by the villagers, bypassing the literacy divide. His NGO, DigitalGreen, teaches villagers how to make videos and distributes battery-operated pico projectors to show the videos. Villagers shoot and show short videos of problems, solutions and…