Creating Stories of Development – A Practice

Rural marginalized communities often remain unheard and have little access to information that they can use to overcome their socio-economic disadvantages. On the other hand, the entire business community looks at them as emerging markets. Many indigenous practices are identified as the source of technological innovation. The challenge therefore is not only to seek out and empathetically understand the issues with an ethnographic approach but also to construct a human story. The ability to extract and present are the key skills, which can be strengthened mostly through practice. As a step in the direction, KSRM conducts a one day field exercise on Rural Reporting under its course on Managerial Analysis and Communication. The first year students visit rural households/CBOs in smaller groups, understand their experiences with respect to life and livelihoods, and prepare a story for the stakeholders.

In the series, 34 MBA-RM students of the 2014-16 batch visited Pariapatapur village in Kakarudrapur GP of Khurda district on 29th August 2014. They met with the Cluster federations, SHGs, Producer groups, and selected households, and covered stories around Power of collective action, Access to Govt schemes, Economic empowerment through SHGs etc. The exercise received overwhelming support from the local communities particularly women. The students came back with a sense of satisfaction from this extended laboratory.