On December 1, 2011, fifteen people from South Asia came together for the Centre for Science and Environment’s ‘The Bootcamp: Where Journalism meets Environment’. It was a diverse group - there were journalists, grassroots activists, NGO workers and even engineers - gathered to get a better understanding of environmental issues across the subcontinent and how different stakeholders were attempting to solve them.

After spending the first weeks listening to lectures by the finest minds speaking about environment and related issues from all angles, some were leftist ideologues while others favoured neo liberal ideas, we left for Jodhpur on December 5 to study resilience in the Thar Desert.

We visited dozens of villages to see how the locals are using the traditional water harvesting system, at times enhanced by the use of modern technology, to improve their livelihoods in a harsh environment where drought and crop failure is common.

For close to a week we woke up at 7am, in freezing cold, left to the desert after a quick meal and spent many hours walking in an alien landscape, enhancing our knowledge of water harvesting and how people struggle to make ends meet in this harsh environment. Initially we expected nothing but hopelessness, despair and alcoholism from the locals, that was the perception we had received from numerous media reports. However what we encountered from the residents of the Thar Desert was resilience and the ingenuity of the human mind in the face of adversity.

This web documentary comprising of articles, video and audio documentaries, is our attempt to recapture the impressions we retained from the Thar Desert, and our memories that we will cherish for a long time and practices that we would try to implement in our various capacities.

Rajil Menon
Former Down To Earth magazine correspondent, Mumbai, India,
E-mail: rajilmenon@gmail.com
Liva Shrestha
Reporter and copy desk
EWB Nepal Board
Kathmandu Nepal
E-mail: livashrestha@hotmail.com
Adithya Pradyumna
Copyeditor & Reporter
Policy Research Assistant at Centre for Public Health and Equity, Bangalore, India
E-mail: adithya.pradyumna@gmail.com
Rathindra Kuruwita
Copyeditor, Reporter & Photographer
Deputy News Editor, LAKBIMAnEWS
Colombo, Sri Lanka
E-mail: rathindra984@gmail.com
Sonia Bhaskar
Copyeditor & Reporter, VP Programming
NDTV, New Delhi, India
E-mail: soniab@ndtv.com
Shivangi Narayan
Copyeditor & Reporter, Pursuing MA Sociology
JNU, New Delhi, India
E-mail: shivangi.narayan@gmail.com
Anjali Mathai
Copyeditor & Reporter
The American University of Paris
(Global Communications), New Delhi, India
E-mail: anjali.mathai@gmail.com
Zahid Gishkori
Staff Correspondent, The Express Tribune, Publishing Partner of International Herald Tribune, Islamabad, Pakistan
E-mail: zahidgishkori@gmail.com
Dhruba Raj Sapkota
Radio Reporter
Radio Journalist, Kathmandu, Nepal,
E-mail: sapkotadrs@yahoo.com
Anil Sthapit
'GUTHI, Kathmandu, Nepal
E-mail: anils.sthapit@gmail.com
Sudharson Thapaliya
Director, video documentary
Reporter, Republica Daily, Kathmandu,
E-mail: sudharson.thapaliya@gmail.com
Swechhya Singh
Research & communication officer, CIUD, Kathmandu, Nepal
E-mail: swechhya.singh@gmail.com
Ifham Nizam
Journalist, The Island newspaper, Colombo
Sri Lanka
E-mail: ifhamnizam@yahoo.com
Ali Reja Osmani
Practicing advocate District Court Cachar Assam, India
E-mail: aro85in@yahoo.co.in
Yangchen C Rinzin
Coordinator and Reporter
Journalist with Kuensel Corporation Limited Thimphu, Bhutan
E-mail: ychoden@gmail.com

Special thanks

Aditya Batra

Sharmila Sinha

Mr. D.S.Bains

Rajendra Rawat Rajendra Rawat rawat@cseindia.org