There is an urgent need to create mechanisms to empower widows in Yavatmal and Vidarbha, and give them the support they need to pick up the pieces of their lives and move forward. However, such initiatives are rare. One of the few such projects for the welfare of the helpless women is run by Watershed Organisation Trust (WOTR) and its sister organization Sampada Trust.
‘I did my graduation in Electronics in 2001 but somehow I felt that it was not what I wanted to pursue as a career. As I was exploring other options, one of my friends introduced me to Anthropology. It attracted me as it is more connected to human beings and the society we live in. After completing my Master degree in Anthropology in 2003, I worked with Pune and Mumbai based institutions. The work gave me plenty of opportunities to travel and meet new people but I felt I wasn’t growing as a researcher and so wanted a change. I joined WOTR in 2007 and have now completed 10 years. During these years, I got the opportunity to do research on diverse thematic areas like health, agriculture, natural resources management and climate resilience. I am currently engaged in a study that examines the differential vulnerabilities of the rural communities towards increasing heat stress. Apart from doing research myself, I also coordinate the various research activities at WOTR. Being a researcher has given me many opportunities to interact with rural communities. These interactions help to break the preconceived notions that we may generally have and to understand the ground realities as they are. Having an Anthropology background helps to understand any issue in its totality rather than in isolation. Research work undertaken in WOTR always has an interdisciplinary approach; this has helped me inculcate this thinking in my work. I think my long-term vision would be to keep learning and contribute in whatever small way I can, to the cause of combating climate change.’