Anja's Journey

 

At the prototyping base camp in Gopam. Relaxing before each group head off to their villages to begin the “discover and empathise” phase of the human centered design process.

 

Welcome parade for the Tiger Team in the village of Amrapur, located in the Jasdan region of Gujarat. Hundreds of people turn out to give us a warm welcome into their community.

 

The children of Amrapur gather at the local school to give us an official welcome into the community. So many excited faces! For many, this is the first time that they have seen a foreigner.

 

A group photo with some of the village’s children during our first walk and exploration of the community. It is not long before we have a whole throng of people following us around.

 

Team Tiger visiting one of the village’s many wells. Water from the wells is used mainly for agriculture, the primary source of livelihood within the community. Water levels are low, with the village suffering from low levels of rainfall over the past few years.

 

Walking through the fields.

 

Visiting one of Amrapur’s many farms. The farm grows many different types of fruits and vegetables. Many of us are amazed at how advanced the farm is, in both its practices and the technology used.

With a women’s self-help group in a village close to Amrapur. This self-help group consists of 12 women, who collect money that is later lent out to people in need of cash at an extremely low interest rate. Their main focus is to provide money to families who want to send their daughters to schools so that they can receive a good education.

We visit Rajesh, a local man who suffers from cerebral palsy. We speak to Rajesh and his family and about what it is like to live in the village with a disability. We are amazed by the amount of support that Rajesh receives from both his family and the general community, as they strive to give him a normal and happy life.

 

We visit a women’s group within the village who participate in a value addition program. This group creates ghee, a type of clarified butter, from the milk of cows that their families own.

 

The manual churning device the women use to blend the milk, the primary step in the creation of ghee.

They then sell the ghee in the cities for a price higher than that which they would receive for the milk used to create the ghee. They also create juice from prickly pears, which they also sell. The women divide the money made, and use it for their own purposes. This provides them with some independence from their husbands.

 

Chatting to the daughters of some of the women involved in the value addition program. The girls are a bit shy, but eventually open up and had plenty to share. Our translator for the day, Gorang, definitely helps!

 

Handling a snake at the Animal Conservation facility in the National Park. We decide to take a visit to the National Park to clear our heads and take a bit of a break. The snakes are a pleasant surprise, and definitely get the adrenaline pumping!

 

Watching the sunset from the highest point in the National Park. After the excitement of the snakes, we settle down to watch one of the most beautiful sunsets many of us had ever seen. It is definitely an unforgettable moment.

Chatting to Rita, from the Centre for Environmental Education in Jasdan. Rita has a wealth of knowledge, and is able to provide us with valuable information on the community and possible design focus areas. Rita is involved in many programs within Amrapur, in particular organising the women’s self-help groups and value addition programs. She is truly amazing!