Crossing Borders Intern interviewed by newspaper in India

Perry Watson, a Crossing Borders intern currently working with the Society for Participatory Research in India, was interviewed earlier this week by The Hitavada, an English language paper in India. 

Canadian intern lauds SBM implementation as social campaign in Chhattisgarh

The Hitavada – Cityline Raipur Edition
Staff Reporter
November 30, 2015

A Canadian intern visiting Chhattigarh to understand the implementation of Swaccha Bharat Mission (SBM) is rural scenario is impressed, to say the least, at how the issue has been taken up as a campaign invoking social and religious contexts as well to make it successful. Perry Watson, who has been visiting rural parts of Chhattisgarh over [the] past few days, has come to appreciate the complexity of programme implementation as the elected representatives and Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) have to interact and make the program a [sic] successful at many levels.

Talking to The Hitavada on the sidelines of a workshop on Swaccha Bharat Mission in Raipur, Watson, who is pursuing [a] graduate course in political science, said that he has many countries to choose from to do his internship but opted to come to India based on [a] presentation from [the] Centre for Asia-Pacific Initiatives at the University of Victoria, Canada. He also appreciated that Swaccha Bharat Mission (SBM) does identify the need to be sensitive towards the gender aspect. He said that the program cannot succeed without involving women in [a] real sense.

An enthusiast of decentralized planning and implementation, Watson was awestruck at the attempts to empower Panchayats to not only implement the development programs but also plan them according to their own suitability.

As an interesting observation from his field visits including Dharsivan and Abhanpur, Watson mentioned that people in Chhattisgarh tend to be more attentive to ‘experts’ coming in from [the] major cities of India or abroad. He said that this need not be the case, as local problems need local solutions.

Rampant burning of garbage at many places did, however, leave Watson perturbed, who opined that municipal corporations should adopt proper means to dispose off [sic] the garbage collected rom across the city.