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, 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.

 Please register for this session by contacting us (email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. , phone: +91-87905 35613).



Solar Powered Feeders
 an attractive alternative for agriculture pumpsets in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana

 (a KICS Sharing Session, #35)

 Facilitators: Sreekumar N, M Thimma Reddy, BN Prabhakar
Date and Time: February 06, 2015 / 04.00 PM – 06.00 PM
Venue: Conference Hall, Centre for World Solidarity (CWS),
12-13-438, Street No.1, Tarnaka, Secunderabad - 500 017

 Multi-dimensional crisis in agriculture is a matter of concern for all. Irrigation based on electric pumpsets is one of the dimensions of this crisis. For the last few decades, this area is caught in a downward spiral, with many unhappy actors further aggravating the crisis. Farmers get free electricity in AP and Telangana states, but are not happy with the poor quality of supply and service. Distribution companies are not happy since the tariff is low and connections are dispersed over a large area. State governments bear the high subsidy burden for providing power supply to agriculture. There have been discussions on how to overcome this crisis, mostly on how to address the ‘problems’ of the distribution company. Very few pro-farmer alternatives have been suggested, and there has been little headway in addressing the crisis.

Sharing Session # 34

Hasiru Dala:
Creating dignity and wealth out of waste

Speaker: Nalini Shekar
Date and Time: November 21, 2015 03.30 – 05.30 PM
Venue: Conference Hall, Centre for World Solidarity (CWS), Street No.1, Tarnaka, Secunderabad - 500 017

Nalini Shekar is a social activist. Her passion is to work with the unorganized sector of labour that constitutes 90% of Indian labour. She has also worked extensively on the issue of violence against women. Her main focus now is on inclusion of waste pickers in the Solid Waste Management process of Urban Local Body.

She co-founded Hasiru Dala (meaning ‘Green Force’ in Kannada) by organizing waste pickers in the streets of Bengaluru into a cohesive group of waste-management professionals.

Sharing Session – 33
The Personal is Political:
A continuing struggle for gender equality

Speaker: Dr. V Rukmini Rao
Date and Time: March 20, 2015, 1600 – 1800 hrs
Venue: CWS Conference Hall,
12-13-438, Street No. 1, Tarnaka, Secunderabad - 500017

Having experienced gender discrimination and vulnerability through her personal experiences Dr. V. Rukmini Rao decided to work with vulnerable women in 1975, starting her work in form of a research project to study the situation of women workers in public sector companies. Informally, at the same time, she also started working with women activist-friends in Delhi, to bring justice to families whose daughters were burnt to death for dowry. Since then her journey has intersected with several issues and raised many questions and challenges. How can ordinary citizens influence government? How can we impact the law making process?


Sharing Session – 32:    Cultures of Innovation in Handloom Weaving 

Video of Presentation: Innovation & Tradition: A Tale of Two Cities by Annapurna Mamidipudi

Annapurna Mamidipudi is doing her PhD at  Maastricht University, the Netherlands. Her research project conceptualizes handloom weaving as a sustainable socio-technology, as an equitable economic activity, and as embedded knowledge for sustainable societies. Annapurna is  trained as an engineer in Manipal, India. She is one of the founders of Dastkar Andhra, an NGO which supports craft and handloom livelihoods through intervening in technology, marketing, design and policy.