Meeting with Kulthi women regarding the project

The Clouds Set In

The Banjar mela was over and the people were returning to their homes to resume daily life. With garlic and barley ready in the fields, it was peak harvest season. This meant that the ladies were going to be busier than they already were. At the same time, the ‘rain gods’ decided to crowd the sky so bad that the internet was scared away.

We had been trying to arrange a meeting in Kulthi for two days without any success. Our contact point was acting differently. We didn’t know what was up. Somehow, we figured out where the problem lay. We bypassed the ‘contact point’ and got numbers of a few other women of the group. The meeting was arranged within minutes. It was to take place the very next day.

We met our ‘contact point’ before the meeting and realized that he had turned a new leaf (not one we liked though) He was still sweet enough to invite us to convene the meeting at his (under-construction) home stay near the village. It was good that we met him before going, we modified the agenda of the meeting accordingly. All six of us (interns) went up to Kulthi. The guys (Killian, Yohan and Pratham) wanted to visit Kulthi to do background research for their Energy Project. They have adopted the design thinking approach.

We reached there to find only four women. Out the three not present, one was sick, one away on some important work and one was not accounted for. We started the meeting nonetheless.

And we began the meet
And we began the meet

We started the meeting nonetheless. The agenda this time was to focus on structures and work culture in the group. We actually went on to produce paper caps as a mock activity for the same. With something close to a structure in place, they overshot the order of 14 paper caps and managed to make 24 in under 5 minutes!Busy making caps. Need to meet the order in time!

Busy making caps. Need to meet the order in time!

Keeping Priyesh engaged while his mommy makes caps
Keeping Priyesh engaged while his mommy makes caps. Damn the kid is naughty and unpredictable!
They made all these in under 5 minutes!
They made all these in under 5 minutes!

We then had a topa-sammelan, that is, continued the meeting with everyone sporting a cap.

Proud topa-sadsya after successful completion of the order
Proud topa-sadsya after successful completion of the order
Poonam the pensive Topa-sadasya during the meeting.
Poonam the pensive Topa-sadasya during the meeting.
The topa-sammelan
The topa-sammelan

Towards the end, yet another woman told us that she could not continue as she had a little kid to take care of. The others expressed their concerns about the dwindling numbers. We told them that we saw it as a boon. Afterall, the smaller the class size, the greater the attention/time per pupil (Teaching is literally everywhere).We concluded the meeting with the distribution of money from the first sale. The women promised to come down to Gushaini the next day.

After this we went to Indira didi’s beautiful house to study the ‘tandoor’ (stove) with Killian, Yohan and Pratham.

Studying the chulha with Killian and Yohan
Studying the chulha with Killian and Yohan

There we encountered Daniel – her grandson. Somehow, all the kids in this region are amazingly cute and active.

Tryphena and Daniel
Tryphena and Daniel
Outside Indira didi's house
Outside Indira didi’s house

Rain was just beginning to pour as we stepped foot in Gushaini.

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