After 8 years living and working in the Kumaun Himalayas as the Executive Director of the Central Himalayan Rural Action Group (Chirag), Madhavan is currently a Consultant to the High Level Committee on status of Women in India - a committee set up by the Government of India. The High Level Committee in a two year time frame is tasked with preparing a report for the Government on the status of women, reviewing all existing government programmes, schemes and laws that pertain to women and to submit recommendations on how to improve the status of women.
Madhavan has spent fifteen of the past two decades living and working in villages - promoting an integrated rural development approach - first in the desert in Rajasthan and more recently in the mountains of Uttarakhand.
Madhavan commenced his professional career in the desert districts of north-western Rajasthan with the Urmul Trust and its affiliates where he spent 7 years before relocating to Delhi. In Delhi, Madhavan worked on policy advocacy with ActionAid, consulted independently and spent a little over three years working on the issue of women and governance with The Hunger Project. After the desert and Delhi, the mountains presented a new challenge where Madhavan spent eight years. Now he's back in the city - trying to apply his experiences of the past two decades on a larger canvass.
Madhavan is one of theTrustees of The Action Northeast Trust (The ANT) (www.theant.org), an organization that works amidst largely tribal communities in Assam. Madhavan is one the founders and a member of the executive committee of No Pesticide Management Inititiate (www.zeropesticides.in)- a society created to promote the cultivation and consumption of safe foods and a promoter of Safe Harvest Private Limited a company set up to market safe foods.
Madhavan's interests include agriculture and rural livelihoods, education and community health, community based institutions, the not-for-profit sector and international politics in which Madhavan received his Masters from Jawaharlal Nehru University.
Madhavan writes a fortnightly column for The Mint called Fringe Benefits.
Integrated rural development; linking poor producers to markets; traditional weather-forecasting; symphonic versions of rock albums and Indian vegetarian food
410 million people depend on rain-fed agriculture in India. Rainfed agriculture continues to languish without adequate attention and investment. There are limits to irrigation. While we explore ways of making irrigation more efficient there is a desperate urgency to focus on rainfed agriculture. If we do not make rainfed agriculture more remunerative, we can neither address poverty in rural India nor can we stem the pace of urbanisation!
Ideas and applications that can transform rural poverty, traditional childrens toys, weather forecasts, sustainable agriculture, linking women producers to markets and deserts and mountains.
Being a mere fly on the wall! Washing dishes! Digging in the garden with no expectation of results!
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