introducing the area
We are currently working on the India collection of testimonies and they will be available on this site by mid 2003. You can currently look at testimonies from the following countries: Kenya, Poland, Ethiopia, Nepal, Peru and Lesotho.
Our partner the Himalaya Trust (HT) have accumulated a collection of interviews rich in detail on environmental change and knowledge, gender, changing cultures, and experience of development interventions. It includes some powerful testimonies with women activists, and with scheduled tribes.
The Himalaya Trust are completing a series of three Hindi booklets based on their testimony collection and also plan to produce a series of radio programmes. The first of these booklets has been translated into English and will later be available in PDF format from this site.
"People are resorting to education more, as there will be development only through education. But instead of any development taking place, once they are educated they run away from here. Then what development can take place? Those who get educated go away from here. They have built houses in Delhi or Dehra Dun after leaving our Garhwal. Then how will the development of this place occur? Many don't like this place anymore, but those who have intelligence are coming up because they have money. And our people are running down for money!"
Vimla, female, 52 years, president of local women's organisation and farmer
"In earlier times men used to remain at home so the burden did not fall entirely on women. Both men and women took on household chores, agriculture, cattle rearing and many other odd jobs in the family. But these days the men from the hills go to the plains and cities in search of a livelihood. Hence women have to bear the entire burden. They go out early in the morning in search of firewood as well as look after the children. They have to travel long distances to fetch water. In addition to the household duties they also have to take on social responsibilities. There are many functions and festivals where they play a greater role."
Vilhjay, male, 41 years, farmer and founder of 'Save the Traditional Seeds' movement
"Does the Government of today want the development of people in the hills? Or does it want the development of people outside based on what they can get from the hills?"
Jagat, male, 44 years, farmer and self-taught forester