The fall semester at American University is fast approaching, and my time with the wastepickers of Delhi has come to an end, for now. I spent a total of three months working at the Chintan Environmental Research & Action group, May 25th – August 15th 2008. During that period I feel satisfied with having accomplished a lot for on-line advocacy on the behalf of Delhi’s wastepickers. The list of the projects I completed includes:
– Filming over 20 interviews with wastepickers from around Delhi and posting them on the Youtube.com sight I created: www.youtube.com/delhikabari
– Starting a Facebook.com group called “Support the Wastepickers” which now has over 250 members to date
– Maintaining this Advocacy Project Blog, which has now been quoted on a number of environmental and human rights websites, as well as other Blogs
– Writing a number of articles which I hope to get published upon my return to Washington, DC
– Assisting Chintan staff with technical issues and also by putting up job advertisements for them on www.DevNetJobsIndia.org
– Writing a 19-page Chintan Web Manual that gives detailed instructions for how to maintain the sites I created
– Arranging at last, this past week, for a group of wastepickers from Takia Kale Khan colony to come into the Chintan offices, where they were able to watch videos of themselves on the internet and learn how to use Youtube.com
Although I accomplished many things here, I feel that I have gained much more from the experience than I gave. Through my coworkers and the wastepickers I learned about subjects ranging from the intricacies of Indian dining to the complexities of urban waste management. Above all I gained a humbling appreciation for the challanges of life in developing countries and for the people who strive to make this world a better place.
Lastly, I’d like to send heartfelt thanks to all of you who have tuned in and all those who will in the future. Thank you for making this possible.
– Paul Colombini, August 2008
Posted By Paul Colombini
Posted Aug 13th, 2008