The Dialogue process has shaken up some long and strongly held beliefs, which were based on the narrative created in our minds by the Modern (so called) English medium education system. Belief that our rural communities are naïve and need help; and belief that Science, Governments and Market forces will be able to solve problems of our rural communities.
Realizations about myself: I am a small part of the nature as all other humans, animal, plants as well as micro-organisms. My benefit lies in aligning my activities with rules and forces of nature. Minimizing wants will give me lasting peace of mind.
Somendra Pandey, Army Officer, Delhi
The Dialogue gave me a holistic view of Rural Community Systems. Coming from an urban lifestyle and background, the Dialogue challenged all the biases and conditionings that I came with.
Understanding of different stakeholders in the rural ecosystem, their roles, impact within the rural system as well as the larger economic system was my biggest takeaway. Discussions and realizations revolving around the hidden aspects of our country’s history and current economic systems gives one a complete holistic idea of the kind of world we live in. If you believe/identify yourself being a part of this system, this Dialogue is for you!
Personally the Dialogue helped me question my reaction/behavior towards certain situations; reaffirmation of some thoughts and a better idea of how I can add life to my years, in a truly meaningful way. It has made me more self-aware and conscious of my actions.
Swetha Manivannan, Social Entrepreneur, Bangalore
The Dialogue has been very thought provoking and challenging in terms of making me rethink my definitions of Self-Reliance, Development, and Social Inequalities etc. It got me back to the idea of meditation as a healing process while beginning to start off again. Also, my understanding of Rural-communities and the process of Development has been questioned with the money and currency aspect of the Dialogue. I see a greater need to study so as to go back to the basics of all these issues.
Jeewika Bhat, Social Activist, Bir, Himachal Pradesh
I learned that with reference to Development, the first question should be Why over How; because without the need, it might just end up being a destructive intrusion. Any decision, if taken, must be inclusive of all the community members’ choices and must be evaluated on the parameters of sustainability.
Shubhangi Aggrawal, NGO Professional, Patiala, Punjab
On rural communities:
On the Process of Development:
- Their levels of Self-Reliance even today
- Their levels of material development and how it links up to what had been happening in the economic systems
- Seeing the extent of ‘emptying out’ of villages
- The deeper impact of ‘Modern’ tools on village communities and consequent rapid disintegration of our well being
- A real possibility of how historical intent and decisions have led to the current systems of a gigantic income divide
- A vie on how well-intentioned but ill-informed actions can impact in ways we would never expect
- The limitations of a bottom up view, as in our daily lives, that conceals the structure/understanding a top-down view can provide
Preetika Suri, Corporate Professional, Gurgaon, Haryana
I have become very aware of the interplay between communities, Governments and Markets. I think we should be very responsible in our choice of products or service, which we have lost consciousness of.
I think the simulation were planned and conducted very well and really provoked thinking. I had an idea of development but no real sense of my association with it, even unconsciously.
Sanchita Das, PhD Student, ISB Hyderabad
The perception of Rural communities in terms of development has changed in my mind. The process of development that we promote for rural communities is not exactly helping them at first place, and has actually brought about a destruction of traditional livelihood and reduction in other factors such as sense of family and togetherness.
My understanding of being an integral member of this system has led to changes in certain ways of thinking and perception. Some of the assumptions that I had long believed in were challenged and questioned and will lead to adopt changes that will change my lifestyle in some fundamental ways. Like questioning my needs vs wants, ‘are the products I consume produced sustainably?’, to build deeper connects with my neighbors and the larger community, and to promote a certain degree of self-reliance in my lifestyle.
Tanveer Ahmed, Corporate Professional, Bangalore
I now have a different outlook for rural communities- to look at things from a systemic viewpoint, rather than mechanistic.
My learnings were more about where and how I want to lead my life, in terms of being self-reliant.
Raksha, Social Entrepreneur, Bangalore
The Dialogue was highly enriching and learning experience. As a participant, it gives us a chance to understand the complex web of the whole system. In the process, we ourselves challenge our own beliefs and perceptions.
Our Rural communities are still Self-Reliant but our Market System and Education are increasing their outer dependency as well as economic inequality.
Rohit Arya, Social Worker, Uttra Pradesh
Getting the right answers is not the ultimate goal but to ask the right questions to yourself is the path for your self-enlightenment. And this is exactly what the dialogue does.
Having worked in the development sector for quite some time, I had my fair share of questions and my self-proclaimed answers to them, but this dialogue made me question those answers while connecting to the community at the grassroots level.
This dialogue gave me a direction to find my Ikigai - my life's purpose in a way.
Riya Jain, NGO Professional, Patiala