Kulbhushan Upmanyu demands for a complete shift in the way the development is perceived by the policy makers in the Himalayan region and professes a unique policy for development for the Himalayan region which is based upon local forest and farm resources, animal husbandry, cottage industry and provides a respectable means of livelihood for the ordinary people of the hills without having to resort to the pain of migration to industrial areas.
Sandhya Gupta is the Director of Sambhaavnaa - Institute of Public Policy & Politics near Palampur in Himachal. Before heading the institute, she was working as a technologist in a semiconductor manufacturing company for several years. She has a PhD in Semiconductor Physics from Iowa State University, IA, USA. Her involvement with the community and the desire to serve led her to another Masters in Public Affair from Humphrey Institute, University of Minnesota, MN, USA.
As a Rotarian, she and her husband have been involved with the issues of clean water, health and education in marginalized communities in Himachal and Bihar. She works with the local village community of Kandbari and surrounding area near Palampur, to making learning a joyful experience. Together with her husband, she has opened a children's library in the local village school and is in the process of opening several more libraries in the area. She has led projects to provide remote Dalit villages of Bihar with clean water and primary health care. She currently leads a project to provide education to Dalit girls in these villages. She lives in a village near Palampur and loves to cook, bird-watch and dance with her 9yr old daughter!
Bernadette a hacktivist, from Germany, who is serving as policy associate at the Centre for Internet and Society, Bangalore. She talks about, how can one apply his/her own way to protect their expressions in the offline environment to the online world and their activities there? Why is someone interested in this data, what is it worth? What choice do we have? Everyone has to define privacy for oneself.
Didi studies traditional aesthetics and vernacular traditions and is actively involved in working out their practical adaptations for contemporary sustainability. As an architect, Didi blends the traditional mud, wood and stone style with modern aesthetics and scientific knowledge.
During the past three decades Didi has been training young artisans inculcating ecological values, and reviving local skills in the course of building solar cookers, over fifteen homes, the Nishtha community clinic, a craft market, a residential resort, the Dharmalaya center for compassionate living, and Sambhaavnaa, an institute for public policy, to the designs that embody her evolving ethical, ecological and aesthetic values.