8th August 2011: Elephants

Centre for Social Research, India
08.08.2011
Report no.4

Summary

Last week I spent less time at the office because of CSR human rights workshops going on at the local University, a fun CSR team building day, relentless stormy weather and my first trip outside of the city. As I watched the sleepy slums, skyscrapers, lush green countryside and workers tending their crops whizz by from inside the train to Jaipur on Saturday morning it struck me that I had finally fallen for Delhi.

Work Overview

After posting the second part of the blog series on the Delhi SlutWalk online, I was handed a new mini-research task on ‘strategies for the prevention of crime against women’ which I’ll be focusing on over the next couple of weeks.
On Tuesday I went along to Jawaharlal Nehru Uni to listen to a speaker at the CSR Human Rights Defenders training workshop. The presentation was in Hindi, so I didn’t understand – but could tell that Dr. Kumar was very passionate about human rights from his body language, facial expressions and tone of voice! It’s amazing how much of what someone is saying you can make sense of regardless of a language barrier. 
On Wednesday CSR held a team building day for the whole office. It was a really nice way to get to know everyone better. We all took part in interactive exercises (e.g. each drawing an image that represents how we feel about our position in the org), and problem solving, where we were split into teams, plus there was a lot of dancing and food! 

Key Issues

We have a chipmunk living in our bathroom… Other than that, no issues!

Plans for the Coming Week

This week I’m working on new content for the CSR website, as well as my usual social media tasks. I’ll also be preparing a presentation on prevention measures for crimes against women with one of the other interns.

Other
I have three friends from Scotland visiting, and an Indian friend from Bangalore is leaving Delhi at the weekend so we’re all going out for a meal tomorrow night to say goodbyes. On Friday we’re hosting a party on our roof terrace for all the young CSR staff and their friends so tonight I’m going shopping for lanterns and fairy lights for that!

Travel

My first trip outside of the city was fantastic – Jaipur is an incredible place. Touristy, but also warm, welcoming and very pretty. I saw my very first elephant on Sunday… which is something I’ve been waiting to see since I was a little girl. Natalie and I were sitting in the back of a rickshaw passing the Water Palace in the middle of the Man Sagar Lake, on our way to Amer, when a huge elephant came trundling down the road towards us. Followed by 6 more!! Quite a few of the photos in this report are from my travels to the Amber Fort in Amer, not far from Jaipur city. It’s a truly breathtaking fortress – I loved the mixture of Hindu and Mughal design and the thought that thousands of years ago Rajput Maharajas and their families would have been living and entertaining guests in the spaces I was walking through.

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