In the Field
Series 2

In the Field is a podcast hosted by Radhika Viswanathan and Samyuktha Varma.

In the Field is back with its second series! We’re chasing politicians, bureaucrats, NGO people and academics to find out how we’re solving our oldest and newest problems, and as always finding out where the citizen’s role lies in the models, solutions, and plans for India’s development.

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In the Field is supported by Rohini Nilekani Philanthropies. Thank you also to all our listeners who supported us to help make this series.
In the Field is produced under a
Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivates 4.0 International license.


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Episodes

EPISODE 1 - "WE WERE PEOPLE WHO WERE DEFINED BY THESE ACHIEVEMENTS IN SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT.”

Development work is full of models. And a famous one originated in Kerala - it was so famous it defined the state’s identity in so many ways; it was credited for producing a literate, educated population, for empowering women and an engaged, active public. But this is a stubborn old story, and one we’ll attempt to update. In this episode we trace back the history of Kerala’s development, find out how it got its world renowned reputation, and why it’s a land of mesmerizing contradictions.

BONUS EPISODE: EDUCATION AS A RIGHT IN INDIA

Education has always been an important building block of independent India, the grand leveller in an unequal society. After decades of hard work by organisations, civil society, and the state, the Right to Education Act came into force in 2009. We take a look at a revolutionary clause in the act, which articulates our schooling system’s societal responsibility to ensure that our classrooms are diverse, and that no barrier, economic, social or geographic, holds a child back from achieving their potential. Imagine a school where Eklavya and Arjuna can study alongside each other. In this bonus episode, which is brought to you by Indus Action, we look at the spirit behind and the challenges of implementing Article 12(1)c of the Right to Information Act. 

EPISODE 2 - “THE HARDSHIP TAKES A TOLL, YOU KNOW.”

Worklife in India has many elements to it, and we see the whole gamut of experiences in India from workers working with little or no welfare to more privileged workers, and increasingly all of us are working more and for longer. How do we get to a point where we can experience the best possible version of worklife, where the worker has more power in deciding how to distribute time, rather than becoming a part of a system where work happens all the time?

EPISODE 3 - “FISHING IS A HUNTER’S JOB.”

In this special two-parter we’re talking about sustainability and consumption. And we’re starting with a story about fish, to understand how the twin forces, climate change and our ravaging consumption, are depleting the oceans. This is a story about a system of production that is in desperate need of rescue. At the heart of it are the fish themselves, but also the fisherworkers, a group that seems just as endangered.

EPISODE 4 - “THE FIVE YEAR OLD WILL SAY OK, LET’S STOP EATING SEAFOOD.”

In part two of our two-parter on sustainability, climate change and consumption, we’re exploring our relationship to the things we love - Like fish, coffee, travelling. Going beyond the label, how are organisations in the sector contending with issues such as livelihoods of small scale producers, value chains and their inclusion in global markets, environmental and biodiversity sustainability, and most importantly the changing power structures needed in the marriage between producers and consumers. Basically, what does it take to make the marriage work?

EPISODE 5 - “YOU GET SCALE AND PACE AT THE PRICE OF BUILDING DECISION MAKING STRUCTURES AND TRUST.”

The past decade has seen a proliferation of movements all over the world. Fighting for everything from racial equality, to end authoritarianism and corruption, for struggling farmers, for climate action, for net neutrality and to end sexual harassment. At the very heart of societal change very often, lies the NGO, that works alongside these movements, with the government, for the citizens, and thanks to funders. It’s these NGOs, that engage with the state, help deliver services, or make people more aware and empowered. But the NGO is constantly evolving , and more people take to the street to protest, where does this leave the NGOs? And when we talk about civil society, are we leaving anyone out?