KEF’s presentation at Development and Social Justice seminar organised by IGNOU

Urmi Patil, Gandhi Fellow along with Program Leader Krishna Poddar of Team Bageshwar, Uttarakhand represented Kaivalya Education Foundation (KEF) and participated in a seminar organised by IGNOU held at New Delhi on 16th February 2018. They presented a research titled ‘Re-examining the Idea of ‘Development in the Pindar Valley: Matters of Inclusion and Exclusion. ‘Together they presented it in the Seminar ‘Development and Social Justice’.
This paper explores the development perspectives of the communities residing in Hilly regions of India by taking Pindar Valley as the sample space through both qualitative and quantitative approaches. It further aims to study the nature of the relationship of the communities with natural resources and its evolution. The paper was received very well by the audience and enabled them to have an exposure regarding the dynamics of development in last mile areas. More importantly, through the paper, Pindar Valley got the representation that it deserves.

Click to view the research paper on Pindar Valley developed by Urmi & Krishna.

urmi patil gandhi fellow uttarakhand batch 9
Urmi Patil, Gandhi Fellow from Batch 9, Uttarakhand.


“Through Gandhi Fellowship I got the opportunity to learn and indulge in Participatory Rural Appraisal exercises like Social Mapping and Resource Mapping to have a comprehensive understanding on the current status of developmental activities and generate Need Analysis.” – Urmi Patil

As a Gandhi Fellow, I have worked in the Pindar valley since the last 18 months with Government Primary Schools across eight villages.The Pindar Valley is located in the Kapkot Block of Bageshwar District. During my time in the valley, I had the opportunity to gain first-hand experience of the life in the valley. I have had focused group as well as one on one interaction with various people in the valley coming from different Socio-Economic backgrounds. My fieldwork taught me that there was a gap between the planned and existing developmental activities and the demand of the communities.

krishna poddar kef program leader uttarakhand
Krishna Poddar, KEF Program Leader, Uttarakhand.


“I am grateful to the support received from Kaivalya Education Foundation. I not only got a first-hand experience to work with fellows in Pindar Valley but also to put my skills into action. We’re glad we got this opportunity to share our experiences from this program in IGNOU.” – Krishna Poddar

While I was on the field as a Program Leader, keeping my fellow’s research interests in mind I informed her about a seminar which was calling for papers. We felt that there was a need to once again look into the idea of development in the Pindar Valley in a manner that would cover the perceptions of a larger population. Using primary data that we had collected across 8 Gram Sabhas over the past two years coupled with a new sample survey conducted on 57 respondents through a schedule that we conducted in valley, we were able to have a holistic understanding of the ‘Idea of Development’ of the residents of the valley coming from different age-groups and Socio-Economic backgrounds. Using statistics from the online portals of the Government of Uttarakhand, the micro findings of the valley were correlated with the macro picture of the state, especially with respect to agriculture.

We believe that the gap identified between the two would create a base for further developmental activities in the region with an aim of reversing the flow of development from the periphery to the core.

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