ACKnowl-EJ case studies underway in India, led by Kalpavriksh

KV & UEA team with weaver family, Adhoi, Kachchh, Feb 17 @ Ashish Kothari_web

Kalpavriksh and University of East Anglia members with weaver family, Adhoi, Kachchh (India). Photo: Ashish Kothari.

Members of the ACKnowl-EJ network have begun a series of case studies which aim to deepen understanding on how transformations towards sustainability are enacted in specific locations.

Researchers from Kalpavriksh, part of the ACKnowl-EJ network funded through the Transformations to Sustainability programme, are leading three case studies based in India. Kalpavriksh is a non-profit organization working on environmental and social issues, based in Delhi and Pune, India.

Well-being worldviews of the Madia Gonds in central India (Case study 1)

The objective of the first case study is to understand the views of Madia Gonds on development and well-being. Madia Gonds is an ancient indigenous or tribal community in central India. A research team from Kalpavriksh made a first visit to the study site in the Gadhchiroli district of Maharashtra state in early January 2017. The research team participated in the annual pilgrimage with the community members of the region and spoke to the elders about the proposed research. The elders were interested in the study, and were themselves reflecting on some of the issues to be covered. Local civil society actors were also interested. A second visit to the village is planned for April, when the research team will meet with the Gram Sabhas (village assemblies) of the relevant settlements to discuss the research objectives in more detail, and to confirm the study team members from the community.

Alternatives transformation amongst craftspeople in Kachchh, western India (Case study 2)

This study, in the region of Kachchh (Gujarat state) in western India, aims to understand the ongoing transformation taking place in the lives of craftspeople and the communities in which they live, as an outcome of initiatives by local civil society organizations.

Preliminary discussions for initiating the case study took place at the end of February and early March 2017, involving Kalpavriksh and potential local partner organizations Khamir, Sahajeevan and Satvik, as well as members of artisan communities. The meeting was followed by field visits to different crafting communities to better understand their situation and the surroundings. Following the preliminary discussions and field trips, the research team decided to look at weaving as a sectoral focus, and the Vadha community (a marginalized community known as woodcutters, forest dwellers and lacquer craft makers) as a people. The study will use the lens of the 5 spheres elaborated in the Alternatives Transformation Framework, which was developed by Kalpavriksh as part of the ACKnowl-EJ project.

Well-being worldview of an indigenous or pastoral community (Case study 3)  

A third case study is being considered and will be decided by early April; local security issues mean that the feasibility of a previously planned case study is being re-evaluated.