Grassroots innovations for survival
Gupta, Anil K.
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Although participation is much discussed, poor people rarely get the opportunity to develop their own agenda and vision or set terms for the involvement of outsiders. The entire participatory paradigm illustrates that people are participating in plans and programmes that we – outsiders – have designed. Not only is little opportunity for them to articulate their ideas, there is seldom an institutional space where their ingenuity and creativity in solving their problems can be recognised, respected and rewarded. Poor people must be inventive to survive. However, sometimes their coping strategies are inadequate and then they have serious difficulties in meeting their basic needs, educating their children and generating sustainable employment opportunities. Nevertheless, there are clear signs that within their local knowledge they have a tremendous potential for restoring the economic and ecological balance.
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