Sharing Session – 36
The Andaman & Nicobar Islands: an island journey
Speaker: Pankaj Sekhsaria
Date and Time: June 18, 2016, 0400 – 0600 PM
Venue: CWS Conference Hall, 12-13-438, Street No. 1,
Tarnaka, Secunderabad - 500017
Sharing session is one of the regular activities of Knowledge In Civil Society trust (KICS, www.kicsforum.net). These are organised around contemporary themes relevant to KICS work as an exercise of learning from each other. The objective is to deepen our shared understanding of the theme and to appreciate the key cross linkages, especially in the realm of Science, Technology & Society.
It is a little more than two decades since the speaker first visited the Andaman and Nicobar Islands and has had the great opportunity of travelling extensively in the islands, right from the north in Diglipur to the extreme south - to Indira Point on Great Nicobar Island.
Pankaj has had a number of incredible experiences as well - many exhilarating and humbling hours watching Green sea, leatherback and Olive ridley turtles nest on remote uninhabited islands; photographing the endemic Nicobari megapode build up its nesting mound; descending into deep dark caves to see nesting Edible nest swiftlets; swimming and snorkelling in the sparkling waters - researching and writing on this spectacular diversity and beauty and the threats and challenges it faces; seeing the devastation caused in the earthquake and tsunami of 2004 and getting involved in advocacy and litigation in the interests of the fragile ecology and the indigenous peoples of the islands.
This sharing session will be the story of two parallel journeys – one is of the geology, ecology and history of the islands; the other is Pankaj’s personal journey of travelling and discovering the islands, the most recent step of which was the writing of his debut novel, The Last Wave, a story that is deeply embedded in the ecology, people and history of the islands. The session will begin with a slide presentation on the A&N islands, include readings from the book itself and will be followed by a Q&A session.
Pankaj Sekhsaria is a member of the environmental action group, Kalpavriksh, where he works on issues of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands and also edits the bi-monthly newsletter, the Protected Area Update. He is a freelance journalist, photographer and author, most recently, of The Last Wave – an island novel, a story based in the Andaman Islands. He has authored/edited three other, non-fiction books, two of which are based in the A&N Islands.
He graduated as a mechanical engineer from the Pune University in 1993 and followed this with a Master’s Degree in Mass Communication from the Mass Communication Research Centre, Jamia Milia Islamia, New Delhi, in 1998. He has just finished his doctoral work in Science and Technology Studies (STS) from Maastricht University, Netherlands. Titled ‘Enculturing Innovation – Indian engagements with nanotechnology’, his thesis looks at the ideas and the practices of innovation within nano-science and technology laboratories in India and explores the societal and cultural influences on research and on innovation inside the laboratory.