Water, environment and sanitation

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Interns' diaries: Shilpa Maiya

  • Name: Shilpa Maiya
  • Age: 24
  • Studying: M.Sc. Anthropology from University of Pune 
  • Case Study: Bio-intensive gardens as a strategy to improve quality of schools (Karnataka)
  • Institute: Institute for Social and Economic Change (ISEC), Bangalore

Bangalore, 26th June 2006
It seems such a long time since I left home. It’s almost 15 days now. It feels like it was a long time ago that I was unsure about what my topic was about and had these obscure notions about my topic. But now I am calm and composed and have a fair idea about my topic “Bio-intense gardens as a strategy to improve Quality of Schools”. But this is not a platform to dwell into the details of my topic. So I will keep it at bay for the time being.
An Anthropologist by profession, I believe I am still new to the field of Social Science simply because one can never know everything about this field. The unending horizon of this field is what makes it exciting. Although I have been to rural India a number of times and also to a tribal area once,  I believe one can never have enough experience of the ‘field’. Everything is in a state of constant change in the field especially with different people, different cultures, different mindsets and different ideologies. One thing that remains constant along my side is the techniques I learnt in my master’s course. And I believe it is up to my teammates and me to put them to good use.
When I left Pune for the internship, I was unsure of myself, scared since I thought I was naïve and an over protected cocoon. But I know one thing today, when you push a person in the water he learns to swim all by himself. And yes, I am learning to swim. I have realised that I am not all that bad. Once you are here and you know that you have a job to do, you do it. Else you never learn. And learning is the whole purpose of this quest. And like I told before you can never learn too much in this field. So here I am to learn and add on to my experience.
Well, since I am going into the ‘field’ very soon…. it reminds me of a saying – “Hide away the refrigerator. Here comes the Anthropologist.”  Well, I just hope this does not happen! 
Shilpa Maiya
UNICEF intern



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