In the Field
In the Field is a new podcast show hosted by Radhika Viswanathan and Samyuktha Varma.
In each episode, we delve into an issue India is trying hard to overcome. We hear from the researchers, academics, entrepreneurs, bureaucrats, activists and development practitioners shaping its solution and find out how we can all be a part of it.
Credits: Associate Producer Priya Desai, Sound by Third Eye Studio and Music by Hollis Coats
Series 1 was released in October 2017.
If you’ve ever wondered how the hard work of making a difference happens and wanted to know what you can do, this is the show for you.
EPISODE 1 - "IF YOU EAT EGG, YOUR CHILD WILL BE BALD"
In India, the high rate of stunting amongst children is alarming. With no easy policy solutions, a glut of expert views, and a collective anxiety about its high occurrence, we tried to wrap our heads around the problem to find out what we ought to be doing about it.
EPISODE 2 - "WHY DO YOU HAVE TO TELL US ALL THIS? CAN'T I JUST GOOGLE?"
Do you remember the first time you were out in nature? Or the first time you saw a wild animal? Do you remember how it made you feel?
EPISODE 3 - "WHAT DIFFERENCE DO YOU MAKE?"
The word “development” implies progress - a forward, positive progression of processes, standards of living, and human behaviours. The crux of most development work is to affect change in some form, for the better, for those less fortunate. In this episode of In the Field, we attempt to look at change and what it means in the context of development work in India.
EPISODE 4 - "THESE ARE NOT CONSIDERED TO BE 'GOOD JOBS'"
In this episode of In the Field, we take a closer look at the informal economy in India - the workers that hold up our cities. These are the millions of street vendors, drivers, dhobis, vegetable sellers, domestic workers, electricians, construction workers and wastepickers that are very much a part of the urban landscape, but also an integral part of our lives. Informal workers are usually self-employed, work from home or make their living from contractual work.
NEW YEAR WISHES - "YOU'VE GOT TO FLOAT ALL YOUR BOATS"
This mini-episode, we revisit some of the conversations we've had over the course of the year. Every episode gives us the chance to meet some of the most committed people in the field and we've truly learnt a lot. There are many very interesting conversations that don't make it to the final cut of the show, and here, we bring to you two of them.
EPISODE 5 - "HOW WOULD YOU MAKE SOMETHING PARTICIPATORY, WHEN YOU ARE WORKING AT THAT SCALE?"
In a thriving, vibrant, and diverse democracy like India, what does it mean to participate? We tend to see participation in a democracy as an act that happens every five years, but there are many spaces for a more continuous and enduring engagement.
EPISODE 6 - "WHAT YOU THINK IS A POSITION OF KNOWLEDGE, [IS] JUST PRIVILEGE AND NOTHING ELSE"
The Indian environmental movement has had a long and fascinating history. While young India’s charismatic leaders were instrumental in instituting laws to protect nature and wildlife, powerful social movements fought to bring to light the important connection between development, the environment, and vulnerable people.
EPISODE 7 - "BUT YOU ALREADY THINK WHAT THEY CAN DO AT BEST IS MAYBE MAKE PAPAD"
A recent preoccupation within the development sector is falling female workforce participation in India. More pronounced in rural India than in urban India, it is nevertheless a concern given that our country has made significant strides in education and economic growth as a whole.
EPISODE 8 - "AND SO WHAT WE EAT ON OUR PLATES STARTS TO DETERMINE THE FATE OF THE SOIL OF OUR LAND"
Do we know where our food comes from? Does it come from down the road, or from a continent away? And do we really care? It’s all the same to us. Agriculture, especially food production is a topic deeply rooted in development. It’s too important to not pay attention to but it’s hard to know where to begin understanding it.
EPISODE 9 - "YOU'RE NOT REALLY CONDEMNING THE WHOLE SYSTEM, YOU'RE PINPOINTING WHERE THE PROBLEM IS"
In development work, there are some spaces that need big ideas and radical new thinking, and there are others that require a different form of engagement - a slower, more steady, enabling presence. In these spaces, it’s about fixing something by actually just getting it to work - but that’s no small task.
EPISODE 10 - "THERE IS HISTORY IN ALL OUR ASPIRATIONS"
The youth are a prized population, for they represent the much talked about demographic dividend and so countries are supposed to nurture and help them develop. However, most approaches are instrumentalist, and see young people as mediums for prosperity.