India

Dependents' Day by: Benjammin Zimmerman

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In the past two weeks I have been lucky enough to join my boss for meetings with representatives of both UNICEF and the World Bank. I am sure many of you are aware of these organizations due to their global presence. The media seems to be pretty polarized in their opinions regarding the results of interventions sanctioned by large International actors like the WB, so I was pretty excited to get a small dose of both of the entities to see what I could gather about what they have to offer.

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“Sex & Sewing" by Joel Pidutti

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The other day I visited a recent acquaintance who happens to be a prostitute. It wasn't the first time I've seen her, and she isn't the first one I've met with. But it's not what you think. We had chai, and she offered me lunch: tough thick flat bread, raw onions, & spicy dal (lentils). This was all topped off with a few hearty mouthfuls of local water. Due to social decorum, I accepted. The water was scooped from a moldy clay basin chalk full of happy-go-lucky oportunistic bacterium, unwitingly traveling to a feeding paradise, aka my insides. I'd soon be in hell.

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“Hum Honge Kaamyaab” (“We Shall Overcome”) – Combating Child Marriage in Rajasthan by Alex Guiterman

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I have in my head a lasting memory of the sound of 40 adolescent Indian girls singing “Hum hange kaamyaab” (“We shall overcome”). Though I didn’t know what the words meant until I asked, the tune was familiar – it was the same tune that became popular as a protest song during the US civil rights movement, one that every American knows. This memory was formed a few weeks ago when I traveled to Udaipur to attend a 2-day conference focusing on rural girls’ self-empowerment hosted by my NGO, Vikalp Sansthan.


 

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Street Dogs and Special Offers by Gudmundur

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"Hi I am Sunidhi Chauhan and I invite you to enjoy my music. Just dial 51234600 toll free" I received this text message to my phone every day last week.I have to say I am honored that Sunidhi offers me personally to enjoy his music and when I knew it was toll free I didn‘t have to think twice – Now I have been listening (and more importantly: enjoying) his music for hours and hours every day… on the phone. I don‘t mind spending the rest of my student loans on the phone bill as long as it is something that makes me happy and his music does that for sure...



 

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First Impression Sambhali Trust by Ariel Wolpe

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Meeting the members of Sambhali Trust, you would never imagine that most are from the Dalit caste (known as untouchables) and considered a lesser female since birth. Every day I watch as this title is rejected by Sambhali’s women, overwritten in open notebooks filled with English and Hindi, replaced by beautiful embroidery of original design, and overshadowed by the fluid motions of dance and joyous laughter.

My internship at Sambhali Trust focuses on the Sheerni Micro Finance Project...



 

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Jodhpur and the Thar Desert by Suzanne Blair

Firstly the small town of Jodhpur. Right on the edge of the Thar Desert it is dry, parochial and very traditional. In summary charming. It is summer here, hence the high temperatures of 45 degrees. The south east monsoon is predicted to arrive in July. The underground aquifers which supply the water systems are being depleted rapidly and this along with a diminished and an increasingly unreliable monsoon make water an imperative problem in Rajasthan...

 

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Knowledge is Power by Christian Appleby

appleby2.pngIt was in the heart of the most densely populated desert in the world that I experienced the realities of poverty: women who were forced to support six children on incomes of less than 100 rupees (2 U.S. dollars) per day, perform manual labor in 48 degree heat, and watch their children grow up lacking adequate nourishment. Throughout my internship with FSD I spent six days traveling to Bhikam Kor, Thabukra, Jaji Val Bhatia, Bhawad, Kari, Sushagar, and Jodhpur. In these villages I conducted interviews for an analysis of Sambal Santhsan’s Women’s Rural Self Employment Program. Throughout my travels I gained critical insight into the true nature of development work.

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Progress and Churidars by Aleta Haflett

Haflett_stitching1.JPGI catch pieces of the conversation, basic words like “stitch” and “cloth,” and Jignesh, my translator, fills me in on the rest. “They say they can already make the simple pair, easily… now they are discussing the best way to make pleats, and if a drawstring or elastic waistband is best.” He then translated the most rewarding statement I have heard in my five months of work- “They say they can do it, definitely.”

 

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The Mine Labour Protection Campaign by Sara Bufkin

Bufkinphoto.jpgSince arriving in Jodhpur (has it been a month already?), I have come to appreciate the NGO that I work for, the Mine Labour Protection Campaign, for the wealth of experience and the wide variety of outreach and aid initiatives that it has brought to the impoverished, marginalized, and voiceless community of the Rajasthan’s mineworkers. At first, among all of the union formation and organization, awareness campaigns on occupational health and safety issues like asbestoses and silicosis, and the legal aid camps that MLPC runs in mining areas around the state, I felt a little lost. How could I—a white, nonHindi female with only one year of university under her belt—be of use to MLPC and create a project that would constructively impact the mineworkers and their families?

 

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woo1.jpgWomen's Empowerment in Jodhpur by Jacqueline Woo






The Violence Free Zone Campaign by Mary Dwyer

 

evansgroup.jpgExpectations by Cortney Evans






Alice 1.jpgFE$: Foundation for Ecological Security






small_Rajwa_women.jpgNourishing Potential in Rural Rajasthan, by Jessica Sinclair Taylor






small_SchuhrkeJ 2.JPGDrought, Discrimination and Progress, by Jeffrey Schuhrke






small_GregoryJ 1.JPGEscaping Poverty through Women’s Empowerment, by Jack Gregory






small_MotsingerH 1.jpgDay to Day with the Centre for Women's Studies, by Hanes Motsinger






small_RobbinsN 1.jpgIndia's Booming Economy... and Everyone Else, by Nina Robbins






small_HardenA 1.jpgDevelopment of the "Rainbow Game", by Ashley Harden






small_GoitiaC 1.jpgImplementation in India, by Cynthia Goitia






small_JonesM 1.jpgColor in the Graphs, by Morel Jones






small_LordC 1- caption.JPGAn Untouchable, Indestructible Army, by Casey Lord






small_BullonPattonD 1.JPGIncubating Microfinance Institutions in Southern Rajasthan, by Dave Bullon Patton






small_GresselM 2.JPGLessons in English, by Madeline Gressel