Welcome to my blog! Over the next few weeks, I will be writing about life as an Advocacy Project Peace Fellow with the Chintan Environmental Research and Action Group in New Delhi, India. I will mostly explore issues that make Chintan’s work so pertinent and meaningful, but I will also throw in my general impressions of New Delhi and the occasional embarrassing anticdote. I can’t guarantee that I will be interesting, but I will have fun trying!
In case you haven’t heard me going on about Chintan, here is a brief overview. Chintan was founded in 1999 to empower individuals who earn a living off of waste. These people comprise the informal waste management sector of Delhi that is essential for the city’s day-to-day function, however they face adversity because of discrimination and poverty. Chintan seeks to legitimize their role in society and reduce this adversity by promoting their human rights, waste efficiency, and overall environmental sustainability.
This fellowship would not have become a reality without the overwhelmingly positive responses I received over the past few weeks. Thus, this first blog post is dedicated to everyone who supported me through this process, please know how grateful I am. I can’t believe I was able to reach my fund raising goal, find a place to live, and make countless contacts in the span of weeks solely based on the knowledge and generosity of family, friends, and a few special strangers. This kindness has not been taken lightly and I would love it if you all would stay in touch – check back here for more blog entries, videos, and photos! I will work my hardest to not only have a positive fellowship experience, but also to do good while I am here.
The issues central to this fellowship are new to me so please feel free to comment, share your insight, ask questions, or start a dialogue so we can embark on this journey together. If this issue is also new to you, these resources may be helpful, Chintan’s website and blogs from previous fellows Ted Mathys, Jacqui Kotyok, Paul Colombini and Mackenzie Berg.
I will be leaving for India in 24 hours and I couldn’t be more excited. Not much more to say now – just finalizing everything, pre-departure jitters, and remembering to do one task at a time. Will post back soon!
Posted By Clara Kollm
Posted Jun 2nd, 2011