Celebrating the Rural Spirit – TEDxShekhavati 2011: Think Ahead

the rural spirit is free. the urban is not. the rural tongue says things that the urban tongue cannot.

– Quote from Masarat Daud-Jamadar’s blog

This quote caught my eyes the first time I read this and since then have been embedded in my mind. I keep telling people that I am a strong advocate of the free(as in freedom) culture and this is exactly what I mean when I say that. Maybe I am a rural spirit as well because of my small town roots connecting back to the villages. Or maybe there is some other connection here…

I heard about TEDxShekhavati last year in 2010 while I had just started working on the first assignment at this organisation. I was working (still am) in the Jawaja (Block) in the district of Ajmer, Rajasthan primarily helping women farmers.

Primarily there were two reasons this event attracted me: first, it was a TED event happening in Rajasthan and second, “it’s the first TEDx in Rajasthan and also first TEDx in India for a largely-illiterate audience”.

I mostly kept track of the event over Twitter and later the talks were released on YouTube as well. Since then I have been keeping track of Masarat’s work over twitter and have interacted with her until I finally met her in London during my visit last year. I was glad to know that TEDxShekhavati was planned for 2011 and I wanted to make sure I am attending this one 🙂
The best part being there would be two events on the same day, TEDxYouth@Shekhavati along with TEDxShekhavati! From what I hear from Masarat that so far everything is going as planned and there have been no major issues like last year (Do read this post on TED Blog).

A lot of people have offered support for the event and I thank them all as well as Masarat for making it happen this year again.

This year’s theme: Think Ahead

Date: 5th February 2011

Venue: Kishan Paathshaala, Fatehpur Shekhavati (Rajasthan, India) [Read: Story behind the venue]

Website: www.tedxshekhavati.com

Fortunately I will be attending the event and live blogging! (yes thats me in the picture).

I am going to be there witnessing the people and be inspired by their rural spirit at TEDxShekhavati 2011. You?