1985 Recipient, Application of Science & Technology for Rural Development Award
A large percentage of these ostensibly highly qualified people neither have the interest nor the inclination to work in the rural areas and their presence is destructively counter-productive. It is more than a question of overskill; it is a question of attitudes which isolates them from the rural poor. Yet we post them by the thousands in villages expecting wonders from this man or woman who looks down on the poor and considers him inferior, illiterate and backward.
I am neither a scientist by qualification nor a technologist by training but a disseminator of information by experience. I like to think the rural people have trained me enough to be able to decide for them what may be good for them and what will be harmful, what may generate income without adverse effects and offer them choices of technology in simple understandable language. The choice is theirs - the users, the ultimate beneficiaries. My job is to put all the pros and cons in front of them and let them take the decision. It is to play the role of a facilitator, of a catalyst, of a midwife not a middleman. In the final analysis that is the role of voluntary agencies.
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