- The first big realization is about self-reliance and its importance, how the existence of Governments and Markets can really squeeze communities and potentially exploit them. I think before this I did not really think about ‘Self-reliance’ as a system, like Governments or Markets.
- The nature of currency, I realized it is not an objective tool of transaction, but rather a man-made system with serious consequences. The currency based simulation was very powerful for me and the consequences of interest based currency were new learning for me.
- The power of meditation, not just as a tool for spiritual growth, but also for the development of objectivity that can help us in academic or intellectual attempts to understand the world. My previous study of economics and society has been completely devoid of this meditation aspect.
Rahul Patel, NGO Professional, Ahmedabad
I came to realize the concept of self-reliant communities and how far we have come from them. The dialogue experience immersed me into the inner machinery of the world we have created today and how it works. The field visits to local communities broke my perceptions about them. I woild take back the approach of questioning my assumptions and perceptions while forming the answer/solution to any problem. I was also introduced to meditation formally, which made me focus my energies more meaningfully and realize the restlessness within. I feel that this dialogue has given me a new direction of rural development which I can connect with my work.
Siddharth Sudhakar, Corporate Professional, Mumbai
Development can mean different things in different contexts. The dialogue has helped me to systematically breakdown typical parameters that lead to development, in turn gain a deeper, more holistic understanding of where we should be headed to as a society.
Peer learning was another wonderful part of the journey. The Dialogue is a good place to figure out how a skewed definition of progress could lead to more destruction than development. I would definitely recommend this dialogue to anybody who wants to know more about development, even before plugging into the sector.
Nupur Patil, Corporate Professional, Mumbai
My realizations during the Dialogue were:
Many-a-times, needs of the rural communities are being judged from the outside world without much dialogue with the community members. Our assumption of the happiness of a community through materialist needs or development projects may not be true. We need to re-evaluate our thought process with respect to the development goals of the villagers.
The conditionings/education with which we have been brought up are very far from the actual situation, and we have been so trapped with our things that we are unable to see the whole picture clearly.
Swapnil Kesarwani, NGO Professional
Development doesn’t mean to make life dependent on money and luxury. Development means to make life interdependent on each other’s skill in exchange of each other’s skill. Development means to be least dependent on factors which are not in your control. For now, you can say that ‘money’ is that factor which every being uses but cannot control its features.
Rithwik Singh, NGO Professional, Mumbai
After spending six years in development space, I was wondering if what I have been doing is creating net positive or net negative change. I have been constantly questioning my ideas of development, reading a lot and talking to people to get some clarity and perspective. I am very grateful to the Dialogue for enabling this learning for me. Few learnings that I have had are:
- Idea of self-reliance as the fundamental of development
- Better understanding of limits and effects of Markets and Governments
- Ability to zoom in and zoom out to find my place in the context
Ankit Chhabra, NGO Professional, Delhi
Through this Dialogue I have realized that we have been raised in a world which is material and manipulated/exploited ans we are so ingrained that it is difficult to come out of it, but not impossible.
After this workshop I am taking back a lot of learnings and it all starts from working on self.
Tanvi Butalia, Teach For India, Pune
Having studied Rural Development during my post-graduation, I had come here with previous understanding, but this six day dialogue changed my life. It will help me to lead my life the way I want to.
Pravin, NGO Professional, Maharashtra
Traditions, values and life patterns are more valuable than money, power and affiliations.
Venkatesh B, Architect
I realized that Indian villages were self-reliant from a very long time till the arrival of modern industrial ways. At present, our minds are being conditioned towards negatives of self-reliance through our education system. After attending this dialogue, I have got a different perspective on Rural Development. It seems that self-reliance is the best way of rural development and dependency over Governments and Markets should be decreased. But I am still reflecting upon whether the villagers also want their development to happen in the same way.
Mohit Verma, Social Entrepreneur, Lucknow
- Self-reliance and its advantages
- How to be happy and contented in life
- Necessity for understanding every aspect of today’s commercial world
Mohhammad Azharuddin, Architect
I realized that life is not just about money and material possessions. After visiting rural communities and meeting people during the dialogue, I realized how people can live simple yet happy and hopeful life.
There is a lot to change in the system and I hope people like me take up the issues and work towards them.
Saloni Desai, Corporate Professional, Mumbai