Before coming to this Dialogue, I was quite convinced by my notion of development, that in the context of Indian Economy we really need to connect villages with urban centers along with building human and social capital. But this notion was really challenged throughout this Dialogue.
I was always amazed by the older ways of living of self-reliant communities, but now I understand these systems logically. By questioning the fundamentals of Development and understanding the purpose and the values on which it is based upon, I have understood different approaches in a better way.
This Dialogue has shifted my focus to understanding the development by focusing on objective reality rather than all the imaginary realities that we have created around us.
Sairaj Patil, B.Tech Student, IIT Bombay
I was aware of the destruction created by Governments and Markets, but could not imagine this third aspect of Self-reliance that could balance the entire structure. Something always felt wrong with the system, whose source I could trace in the Dialogue. I realized that a lot of subtle assumptions go unnoticed about Governments, Markets or Self-reliance.
There is definitely a bias to start with (in favor of Markets/Governments), even at the level of identifying problems. The Dialogue (as it envisioned) has helped to somehow bring me closer to neutrality. But most importantly, it has given me the idea of looking from outside and notice these biases for the rest of my life. I hope with the ability to see connected picture, I will at least not do something to make the life worse for people I care for in rural communities.
Anshu Kumari, MSc- Quantitative Economics, ISI Kolkata
This Dialogue helped me to broaden my scope while looking at things. I realized how narrow minded I was and never thought about Self-reliance. Being a person who spent all my life in urban areas, I could never understand what being self-reliant is.
Listening and discussing with people from various disciplines helped me immensely in this process. An important learning that I take with me after this Dialogue is: Understand what Rural Development actually is, before starting to work for the rural populace.
Thank you for providing such a learning opportunity.
Divya Gowri, M.Tech Student, IIT Bombay
The Dialogue was a mind-blowing experience that exposed to me the systems that control our society, and how we unknowingly participate in processes of which we ourselves are victims.
Ayush Jain, Graduate, Delhi University
This Dialogue has been one of the life-directing experiences for me. I got a very inclusive and integral perspective to look towards rural development. I was earlier involved in some rural development discussion and activities, but never before I had imagined self-reliance aspect. Understanding Development, by initially understanding Self-reliance, Markets and Governments interactions gave a new perspective. I am really grateful to be a part of this Dialogue as I had many misconceptions before that I can clearly see now. Without this Dialogue, I might have ended up doing something that might not actually help to achieve desired outcomes just because of incomplete understanding.
I believe that whatever I have learned through experience in this Dialogue will reflect in my actions. I got to know more about myself. This Dialogue has pumped enough courage and confidence that I will now not hesitate to have any uncommon direction of life.
Dnyanesh Borse, B.Tech Student, IIT Bombay
Through this Dialogue, I realized the importance of silence in one’s life. It helps you to introspect better and come up with things which one would not have acknowledged. The field visits and the simulations helped me to understand the rural people and their life and how it has changed over the years. It helped me question my understanding of development. It helped me understand the various systems and their roles in rural development. I understood how biased my thought process had been when I used to talk about Development.
This Dialogue helped me understand the concept of development from a comprehensive view and how by inculcating small habits/changes at individual level I can be a part of the change I wish to see.
Aakriti, BBA Student, BIT Mesra
I have realized how deeply conditioned I am by the surroundings. It is necessary to identify these conditionings which ultimately shape my thoughts and actions.
The simulations were really powerful. All the topics discussed were put in the right context- it was like putting together pieces of a puzzle to get the clear picture.
Shraddha Vekhande, M.Tech Student, IIT Bombay
The Dialogue changed my perception of Development (of any kind) and the definitions of the daily ideas we have for our lives.
The change is a need, but not in the infrastructure; the change is to be made in the mindsets/ understanding/ ideas of people (privileged or unprivileged).
That’s the only path to Development we have always failed to define.
Nikita Aggarwal, MA- Development Studies Student, IIT Mandi
It was not just a Dialogue but a life changing experience for me. The simulations during the Dialogue shook my thought process. The Dialogue helped me to understand Self-reliance along with its limitations. I realized that development of a community starts with development of self.
Vivek Shinde, M.Tech Student, IIT Bombay
I feel contended and I feel I somehow found answers for few of my questions and in this process I have learned a lot many things. I feel thankful not only for recognizing my capabilities but also for making me realize what I am good at.
Priya Kodukula, Law Student, Vizag