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Challenge of the Balance

Dec. 19, 2011-Jan. 6, 2012 , New Delhi
Challenge of the Balance
For this winter school 14 participants, came together to take the course. There were students of renewable energy; creative writing and Chinese literature; environment science to name some. Professionals from the field of water and sanitation, child health and nutrition, disaster management and a teacher teaching natural resource at the university participated in the course. It was a good mix of age and knowledge base of the students that aided in some very lively debate and discussion.

This year, the notable speakers were Neelima Khaitan -- Country Director, American India Foundation who spoke on Cooperatives: Stakeholders in rural development; Chandra Bhushan (Deputy Director General CSE) spoke on Climate politics: Southern responses. Kanchi Kohli (activist, writer, teacher and a member of Kalpvriksh) gave a lecture on environmental regulation, accountability, public consultation EIA: A case study in environment governance; Shankar Gopalakrishnan (Campaign for Survival and Dignity) spoke on conservation and conflicts; Prof Dr Minoti Chakravarty-Kaul, (Member, International Association for the Study of Commons) spoke on ‘Erosion of village commons: Sociological breakdown of 'the village' in India: Case studies. CSE’s experts on renewable energy and climate change, activists working with the urban grassroots and others came to speak to the participants.

The course culminated with the students documenting their travel and study. The magazine and a web documentary produced is the outcome of all the debate and deliberations that have happened in the past one month. This is also an exercise through which they learn to work as a team. They choose an editor, copy editors, reporters, photographers, web designers, and print designers amongst within the class and worked to produce a magazine and web pages. This year they named the magazine ‘Insight’.

The students saw a large number of films – Village Republic by CSE on how villages like Sukhomajri rejuvenated by managing rain water; Blood and iron by Paranjoy Guha Thakurta on unsustainable mining; Faecal Attraction produced by CSE; Counter Balance, a film produced by CHINTAN, to name a few.

Alice Hubbard: Understanding environment from a Southern perspective was a good learning

Natasha Ishrat Kabir: Made some very good friends. Also it has helped enlarge my understanding skills

Pallab Regmi: Field trip was very informative

Sarfaraz Banda: It is not always high end technology that is the answer to all environmental problems. A localised appropriate technology with adaptation strategies is. And that is what I learnt from this course.

Owasim Akram: I believe the knowledge we have gathered here will be replicated in our work not only in India but also in South Asia.

Pragya Krishna: The structure of the course was very good. Maybe we should also blog each day during the course.

Amruta D. Chaudhari: I am very happy with the course. Will surely come back to CSE to attend many other.

M Sarvanan: The programme is very new idea and I learnt a lot

Kamal Thapa: Sustainable tourism could have been one of the topics discussed as tourism is instrumental in alleviating poverty in my country (Nepal). If not managed well it can cause many environmental problems.

Om N. Katel: Yes India is a world in a way, therefore learning about India is definitely rewarding. In addition, India’s decision towards environmental management affects the other south Asian countries, so I think it is important to have a clear understanding. This course thus is the right fit.
  • Alice Hubbard
    MSc Renewable Energy; Graduate School of the Env, Centre for Alternative Tech /Univ of East London
    Amruta D. Chaudhari
    Environmentalist at Mayur Dye Chem Intermidiate LTD., Karakhadi, Baroda.
  • Kamal Thapa
    School of Environmental Science & Management (SchEMS); Kathmandu, Nepal
    Manoharan Saravanan,
    Department of Zoology, Bharathiar University, Coimbatore, India
  • Natasha Ishrat Kabir
    Pondicherry University, India
    Om N. Katel
    Lecturer, Faculty of Forestry, Royal University of Bhutan at College of Natural Resources, Thimpu, Bhutan.
  • Owasim Akram
    Evaluation and Dissemination (RED) Department; Plan Bangladesh
    Pallab Regmi
    School of Environmental Science & Management (SchEMS); Kathmandu, Nepal
  • Pragya Krishna
    Bryn Mawr College, USA Second Year BA (Political Science Major)
    Rabi Wenju
    Research Assistant: Institute for Social and Environment Transition- Kathmandu, Nepal
  • Rajkumar Nagarajah
    International Organization for Migration in Kenya as Project Manager/Head of sub office
    Sarfaraz Banda
    River Morphology & Research Circle, Bangladesh Water Development Board
  • Umesh Khanal
    Environmental Science & Management (SchEMS) School; Kathmandu, Nepal
    Upeksha Tuladhar
    Centre for Integrated Urban Development (CIUD); Kathmandu, Nepal