We arrived in Delhi on February 11th after a long trip from Florianopolis—43 hours of travel with two overnight flights! We spent 3 very busy days in Delhi meeting with representatives from the Right to Food Campaign, the Campaign for Dalit rights (Dalits were once referred to as the “untouchables”), the National Rural Employment Guarantee, and a campaign from the Centre for Policy Research concerned with government accountability. And, as you see above, we took a day to visit the Taj Mahal. On Friday, February 15th, we arrived in Hyderabad, where we are living on the campus of the University of Hyderabad (see below), one of the leading central, or state funded universities in India.
I began with smiling faces in front of the Taj Mahal. To be true to our experience here on the ground, and out of respect for the concerns of our curriculum, I’m also including an image of the difficult and arresting poverty we have seen every day since we arrived. For all of us, it has been intense and difficult and confusing and unsettling.
We will continue to sponsor course related excursions. Last weekend we visited a rural village (Burgula), next weekend we will tour the Old City, one of the historic Muslim neighborhoods of Hyderabad. We will continue our course work and a series of guest lectures or visits with local activists, entrepreneurs, and academics. In the image below, Dr. Narasimha Reddy, emeritus professor and former dean of the School of Social Sciences at the University of Hyderabad, is presenting a lecture on “The Agrarian Crisis in India.”