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6/6/2013

I find myself fortunate for the opportunity to write the blog for today. Firstly because the topics covered today in class, at CSE are topics that interest me. Secondly, today is the day Delhi experienced its first rainfall after what seemed like a very long and hot summer.

Unfortunately, the day didn't start as smoothly as one would have hoped. Being absolutely lazy, the girls got up late and were late for class. Alas, Sharmilaji's rage was inevitable. She warned us to come early the next day. But the day picked up when Bharat Lal Seth, the deputy programme manager, water advocacy at CSE gave a presentation on the water resources and what we have done to them. He begun by talking about the distribution of water on the earth's surface and proceeded to talk about the water policy of India. It was interesting to know how CSE had influenced the government to change the Draft National Water policy of 2013. He also gave many examples of water related conservation efforts taken up by people across India. Nimboo paani!! So refreshing! We were given nimboo juice after the first presentation. Therefore we became really attentive after the first presentation. The second presentation was delivered by Latha Jishnu who is the senior editor for the Down to Earth magazine. She spoke to us about the food sovereignty of India. What I particularly liked about her talk was that there were no complicated statistics or economics involved in her presentation (I'm not an economics person). She was absolutely honest about the food related crisis in India, the causes and the solutions. She was very interactive and responded well to the questions asked.

Lunch time! I always look forward to this time of the day when at C.S.E. The canteen served delicious tandoori rotis with Dal, mixed vegetable curry and rice. There was salad and my personal favourite, raita. After the lunch, we all came back to the class groggy, ready to sleep. But the documentary of Mr. Paronjoy Guha Thakurta on the political economy of coal in India, drove all our sleep out the window. Brilliantly shot movie of the present conditions of the tribal who suffer in the hands of money hungry coal companies. One of the best examples was Singrauli district in Madhya Pradesh which was targeted for the same. His discussion was followed by many questions by the participants and Mr. Thakurta patiently answered all of them.

What next?! Yes, the rain. The news spread that it had begun to rain outside and like a swarm of bees, we left the classroom and buzzed out to watch the beauty. Delicious hot aloo tikkis with the cool breeze of the wind was comforting. We stood at the entrance of the building watching the beauty and after a while, when it had stopped raining, we packed our bags and headed back to the hotel.

It is unbelievable how in a matter of a week, the 23 of us have bonded so well. Coming from different parts of the country, with different backgrounds, different perceptions to life, we are growing here as a family. The afterhours of this course is only dedicated to fun and getting to know each other better. I am sure this course will provide a foundation to what will hopefully blossom into a beautiful friendship.

Hope you enjoyed reading my blog. I must go now as my CSE family has called me for the campaign discussion after which we will all assemble to play cards... Good night!

By - Sanjala Hari