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Agenda for Survival

June 1, 2010-June 30, 2010 , New Delhi
Agenda for Survival
The final 29 were selected based on their performance in the essay, their curriculum vitae, followed by a telephonic interview.

Kamla Chowdhry Fellowships
Students were awarded the Kamla Chowdhry Fellowships to partly subsidize the stay cost of 25 students who attended the course from outside Delhi. The field visit cost of all the students were met by the fellowship.

The students represented a good mix – both academically and gender. There were 19 girls and ten boys who attended the course. Students came from Ujjain, Pune, Tuticorin, Thanjavur, Chennai, Dhanbad, Allahabad, Katra (Jammu and Kashmir), Goa, Alwar, Ahmedabad, Jamshedpur and Patna. They were academically and professionally from diverse backgrounds too. Some were college-going students (both graduate and undergraduate). While some were preparing for M.Phil some others are engaged in preparation for entrance examination to be the future decision makers of this country. The eclectic mix encouraged healthy discussions and fostered peer-led learning.

External faculty
The course faculty was drawn from CSE research and programme teams. In addition, eminent academics, activists and policy makers were invited to speak to and closely interact with the course participants. Eminent external faculty included academics, social activists, journalists, senior government officials. To name some Himanshu Thakkar (Centre for Water Policy) spoke about the havoc that all the dams in Himalayas are causing, Souparna Lahiri (activist and filmmaker), spoke on why people are resisting takeover of their land and the consequences it will have on food security of this country, Shoma Chaudhury (Managing Editor Tehelka) discussed the issue of Maoist movement, Saurabh Yadav (Energy Specialist South Asia Sustainable Development Unit The World Bank) delved upon the energy situation in this country and spoke about the green buildings and why it is important for India to invest in such building. Dr Rajeshwari Raina (Centre for Policy Research) spoke about why India despite producing such a large amount of food grains is still lagging in nutritional security of its people, Sandeep Gandhi (TRIPP) talked about buses not cars is what the country needs. Dr Rohan DSouza (Centre for Studies in Science Policy School of Social Sciences JNU) discussed the ecological history of this region, while Kanchi Kohli (Kalpavriksh) and Monali Zeya Hazra (USAID) spoke on sustainable industrialisation

As part of their assignment, students produced, entirely on their own, a 24-page magazine. Titled Eighty / Twenty

The feedback received clearly showed that the students found the magazine assignment rewarding; it taught them not just the journalistic skills of research, reporting and writing, but it allowed them to work as a cohesive group – writing shared stories, editing and even designing the magazine.

The overall course feedback gives us reason to make Agenda for Survival an annual event. While some felt the field trip was the course highlight, others found the magazine assignment built their confidence as writers. Most felt that the course allowed them to explore new perspectives and build new skills, gave them clarity on the issues dealt. Some thought it would help them in their academic pursuits. And others felt the certificate course was a golden star in their curriculum vitae. The tutorial presentations and the discussions later were beneficial for internalizing the learnings. For most this was their first exposure to rural life. And most felt it changed their perception about rural India – about migration, displacement and other issues.

AAGC has been doing this course for the consecutive three years and it has been a huge success. Throughout the years we get queries about this course.

The past students of Agenda for Survival have worked with us as reporters for Down to Earth and Gobar Times, researchers with various units, as film editor with the film making unit of CSE. They write to us seeking academic advice.

Students have all kept in touch with us through Facebook groups. See Agenda for Survival 2010 facebook group click here

Feedback:
Avikal Somvanshi: Who wouldn’t want to share good experiences? Who wouldn’t want to explore? Who wouldn’t want to help change the world? One big adventure. All this started with a month long earthquake called Agenda for Survival in summer of 2010, shaken the “corporate” out of my world.

Akshay Kanthi: Gave me a new dimension to the way to look at environment. I now look through a different lens. My best experience so far.

Sai Aditya Pradeep: The course has pushed me from my comfortable horizons and has made me think and introspect

Anubhuti Sharma: Earlier I thought environment studies is different from sociology, political science etc. The course made me think that environment is for the people and society at large.

B. Lakshmi: Connect between environment and sociology was never there in my education. But it was established here

Participants
  • Komalpreet Kaur
    Delhi University
    Mr Akshay Kanthi
    National Institute of Technology
  • Mr Anjor Bhaskar
    Mr Ankur Kumar
    Environmental Engineering
  • Mr Avikal Somvanshi
    Mr C. Joel Kumar
  • Mr Pankaj Bhadana
    Mr Pulkit Prakash
    Chanakya National Law University
  • Mr Sai Aditya Pradeep
    Mr Vivekanand
  • Mr.Ritodhi Chakraborty
    Unmesh Samiti Jamshedpur
    Ms Aldrina Fernandes
  • Ms Anubhuti Sharma
    University of Delhi
    Ms B. Lakshmi
    Delhi University
  • Ms Chiteisri Devi
    ILS Law College
    Ms Deepika Chauhan
  • Ms Denise Pereira
    University of Pune
    Ms Gabriella Marie D’Cruz
  • Ms Mansi Thakral
    University New Delhi
    Ms Meenal Tatpati
    University of Pune
  • Ms Nandini Upadhyay
    Ms Nidhi Adhlakha
    Asian College of Journalism
  • Ms Pallavi Parihar
    Ms Preeta Chaudhuri
    Delhi University
  • Ms Ragini Lall
    Srishti School of Art, Design & Technology
    Ms Richa Joshi
    Department of Architecture Baroda
  • Ms Serena Thangjam
    University of Manchester
    Ms Srushti Pandya
  • Ms Swastina Bhardwa
    Ms Swati Birthare