This is probably the toughest testimonial I am writing as testimonials often set expectations and limit the scope based on users and readers experience. This workshop crossed all those boundaries for me and defining it in few words is practically impossible for me. Yet, I am trying.
"The Dialogue on Rural development" is not a dialogue which will serve you the answer on platter. This workshop rocks you to the core and makes you question yourself and your understanding of the world development. It was in this workshop that I realized how loosely I have used this word over and over again in my life without even understanding what lies in the core. This workshop helped me reshape my views about villages and myself. The journey which began in a small "Tara Hall" in Deer Park Institute doesn't end after those 6 days but actually starts after those. The amount of research and thought that Ashish has given while developing this workshop is amazing. Above all the patience and calmness he brings along with him stays with you for days after. These 6 days rocked me and pushed me towards my dream of Sustainable Development of Villages. This dialogue helped me understand why I had not been able to and what it takes actually to walk on this path. I would like to say this to anyone who is coming to the workshop "Be open to challenge yourself. Your Beliefs. Your Concepts. Your versions of Truth. Your Core. Be Ready to get Transformed into something new."
Rahul Garg, NGO Professional
- The more I go inward, the deeper and further I will go outward.
- When you design a plan for others it is different from the plan you design for yourself.
- The importance of being stable (sthir) so that I am not swayed by externalities. And I am able to understand without getting lost in emotional high, the opposing viewpoints.
- Unlearning. There is a lot of unlearning to happen. More than learning, unlearning.
- Self-reliance. The biggest shift was the perspective on Self Reliance.
- I realized how Self Reliance was systematically undermined for flourishing of markets.
- I deepened my theoretical understanding of 'Growing your own food', getting back to farming.
- A fresh and thought provoking perspective was, "How to involve governments and markets to promote self-reliance."
- The visits to the community to validate the simulations were super effective.
Aditya Minocha, Teach For India
- I learned that we need not have a patronizing attitude towards rural communities. They are vibrant.
- Farming is integral to rural development. It is seen to be hard, non-rewarding and non-aspirational.
- Self-reliance in rural communities has come down significantly, while material well-being and migration have increased. Migrants have no idea that urban life is crammed, inhuman and non-meaningful.
- The process of healing is far slower than the speed of causing damage.
- समझ को सहज बनाना ही हमारी जीवन यात्रा है।
Nitin Pangam, Managing Director, Maeflower Consulting Private Limited, Pune
This Dialogue was an eye operner for me. I had previously participated in few other similar kind of Dialogues but the practical experience I gained here is unique that converts knowledge into wisdom. I also realized that how someone’s learning in the dialogue compelely depends on the person’s willingness. The dialogue is doing a commendable job- redefines development, connects to our inner voice and gives hope that we can make the world beautiful where humans would be connected to each other as a family and in sync with nature.
Satyam Shrivastav, Explorer
I realised that as much as we try to interfere with the village communities, assuming that we are doing good for them, we worsen the situation, on the other hand, they are already moving towards westernised civilization. Now the question is what do we do to make change, awareness about the current situation is the most important thing to begin with, and I think, I gained a lot from the dialogue, for me it was important to understand this intertwined network of globalisation, economic situation etc.
I learned that we need to enhance sense of family, sense of interdependent communities, to practice self reliance, we need to appreciate and start using local, handmade and natural products , so as to help the makers sustain easily. Less dependency on the market and self reliant community will make a good balance in this complicated life.
Fatema Chappalwala, Udaan Learning Center, Kandbari, Palampur
मुझे इस डायलाग में आकर बहुत अच्छा लगा। बहुत कुछ सीखने को मिला, मैं एक गांव से हूं, तो मुझे बहुत जरूरत का सिखने को मिला जो शायद में कही और सीख समझ नही सकती थी , पूरी कार्यशाला में जो भी कार्य हुए , चाहे वो गांव जा कर बातचीत करना हो या फिर मुद्दों पर चर्चा करना हो , सब कुछ सिखने को था और मैं सब इकट्ठा करने में लगी थी | मेरे लिए बहुत नई थी इस तरह की चर्चा और जिस तरह से आपने और सब लोगो ने मुझे बहुत अच्छे और आसान शब्दों में समझाया , काफी कुछ सिखा जिसमे मैडिटेशन करना सिखा बहुत अच्छा लगता है , अब में घर पर भी कोशिश करती हूँ , और मेने गाव के बारे में सही और गलत को इतनी गहराईयों से जाना , इतिहास को बहुत आसानतरीके से समझा | पूरी कार्यशाला बहुत ही दिलचस्प थी |
Neha Bhatia, Udaan Learning Center, Kandbari, Palampur