Bjelkeman's travel notes

Travels with the cloud in my pocket.

Ecological sanitation

First we visited the office of the organisation Utthan, who works with Arghyam. With people from Utthan we went to a small village (more like a hamlet) outside of Ahmedabad (about 3 hours drive). There we saw some examples of ecological sanitation facilities installed and I filmed a 30 minute conversation with the woman in the house, when Nelson Royale from Arghyam talked to her and a project officer from Utthan about their installation. Very interesting and insightful.

Filed under: Arghyam, Development aid, India, WASH technology, Water and gender

Gender workshop

The Friday was largely taken up by a very interesting gender and water issues workshop, organised by Abigail Brown, from Oregon State University, who is working on her master thesis in gender issues. The workshop leader rightly pointed out that something like this should really be held over a couple of days, but this time there was only time for half a day.

The workshop started with getting to know the participants and then we went through excersises which highlight gender issues. For example, you look at a number of statements and decide if these are statements about gender or statements about sex and biology. Often quite lively discussions ensued, which were probably the best part of the workshop. All participants had quite strong views on the issue and it was interesting to also investigate how these issues are different between the north and the south, as well as other cultural differences. Overall a very good workshop, albeit shorter than one would ideally like it to be.

On reflection, Arghyam may be one of the more gender equal organisations which I have worked with.

Filed under: Development aid, India, Water and gender