Monday, 12 December 2011

Ethnographic Research in Rural Pockets of Maharastra (Khandi & Nilshi)

About nilshi & khandi
Khandi and Nilshi are two villages located in Pune district. The villages are located in the Sahyadri Hills and are surrounded by the Andhra Lake. The villages are 80 kms from Pune. The vilages fall under the Mawal Tehsil. They share the same panchayat.


IIT Team
The team consisted of 11 students from Humanities department with background in economics, sociology, architecture and management, 3 students from Industrial Design Centre with experience in architecture, product design and interaction design, Prof. A. Ramanathan and Prof. D. Parthasarathy from Humanities and Social Sciences Department, Prof. Uday Athavankar and Prof. B. K. Chakravarthy from Industrial Design Centre and Prof. Shishi Kumar Jha from School of Management and professionals from Industrial Design Department. Prof. A. Ramanathan is a professor of economics in the department of Humanities and Social Sciences. His current areas of interest are managerial economics, monetary economics, applied econometrics and cost benifit analysis. Prof.  D. Parthasarathy is a professor of sociology in the department of Humanities and Social Sciences and his current areas of research interest are sociology of agriculture, sustainable development and ethnic conflicts. Prof. Uday Athavankar is Emeritus Professor at IDC, IIT Bombay. With his strong architectural background and long experience in industrial design and ethnographic research is one of the key leaders of the research group and for the project. Prof. B. K. Chakravarthy is the chair professor for the Affordable and Sustainable Habitat Project  being undertaken at IDC with ACC Ltd. The field trip was organized under his championship. Prof. Shishir Kumar Jha from Shailesh J. Mehta School of Management, IIT Bombay gave his valuable inputs on various manegerial aspects. His areas of research are theorizing and analyzing sustainable and democratic alternatives of globalization, digital economy, copyright & public domain in the digital economy, geo-political environment and international business, impact of globalization on Indian society, WTO and global political economy, Indian society and political economy of the Third World and international relations. 

ACC Team
A team from ACC consisting of Mr. Anuj Kumar Singh, (Manager, The Indian Concrete Journal), Mr. Shyam Narayan (Manager-Sustainable Development, ACC Ltd.) and Mr. Bipin Khale (Head-Commercial Training, ACC Ltd.) also visited the IIT team for a day and gave their valuable insights.

Thus a thorough study of the rural setup was conducted from a multi-disciplinary view point. The trip was sponsored from the joint project fund of ACC and IIT Bombay on Affordable and Sustainable Habitat.

Objective of the study
  • Baseline Study of the villages and household
    • Village demographics
    • Census of every household
    • Study of routine activities
      • Daily
      • Seasonal
      • Lifetime(Eg: Child Birth, Marriage, Funeral rites, etc)
  • Needs assessment
    • Socio-cultural 
    • Economic livelihoods/ Status 
    • Resources 
    • Affordability
    • Migration
    • Skills
    • Unforeseen events
    • Essential vs. desired needs
  • Village mapping
    • Spatial segregation
      • Land holdings 
      • Occupational pattern 
      • Caste based
    • Resource mapping 
    • Mapping of services
  • Design & planning
    • Village maps 
    • Weather
    • Space requirement and arrangement
    • Resources management
    • Local materials
    • Organic growth pattern of habitat

Study Method
Initially an overview of the two villages was made by visiting few households. The village sarpanch and gram sewak were also consulted to obtain deeper insight into the villages. The panchayat provided the team with census data, maps and information regarding various government schemes that are running in the villages. Thereafter a detailed census was obtained by visiting each house at Nilshi, the data was clustered and thereafter a detailed questionnaire was prepared for one-to-one interview as well as focussed group interviews. Observational research through videos and photographs was conducted to map the spatial arrangements of the living spaces and common spaces, both inside and outside the house.