If you asked me what I thought I’d be doing during my first week in India, I can assure you the answer would not have been participating in the 5K Majja run or ‘fun’ run of the TCS World 10K marathon. Throughout the years I have taken up running periodically, but am incredibly out of practice right now. Regardless of my physical capabilities, I was excited for the opportunity to help fundraise and run for a good cause!
Having just returned from the field, I wanted to share with you some of my experiences and a little bit about what I observed and learned through this trip.
My visit to Haliyal this past week was a truly incredible experience. Through my involvement in the participatory planning sessions with the learning facilitators, community kitchen workers, and field staff, I was able to gain valuable insights about the challenges involved in grassroots development projects.
On a visit to CherYsh project sites in the sugarcane-rich region of Haliyal, Uttara Kannada district, I saw the fire. Far afield it raged, billowing smoke into the villages – pristine, green, and clean.
Sugarcane trash was being burned.
It seemed a normal practice in the area. Farmers found it expensive to dispose off the cane trash in any other manner. It was ironic – not only were the expansive and clean environs of these villages being swept by swathes of smoke,
At the Shivaji Stadium in Haliyal, the enthusiasm was palpable. So were the colours, the aromas, the buzz of the Karavali communities who gathered to celebrate the annual Haliyal Utsav. A year-end tradition since the last five years, the Haliyal Utsav brings together villages from the coastal areas of Karnataka in a fun fair that showcases their vibrant communities. This year the women of CherYsh Community Kitchen were proud participants in the Haliyal Utsav. The women proved their mettle in bringing together a well packaged and labeled collection of spice mixes,