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Walking

Walking to discover innovation at the grassroots. The Shodh Yatra, organised by the Honey Bee Network, is a journey of discovery and exploration; in one week, walkers (farmers, scientists and researchers) travel hundreds of kilometres across rural India to unearth, share and disseminate sustainable solutions to local issues including conservation, organic farming and bio-diversity as well as health and nutrition. Image courtesy of Alice Smeets.

During the day, walkers pass through farming land – usually accompanied by local farmers and labourers who discuss and reflect on their farming practices. In the evening, walkers stay in villages and hold meetings with local residents to discuss activities of the Honey Bee Network and to share insights and knowledge of innovations from other parts of India. It is an opportunity for walkers and villagers to share and reflect on innovative practice. There are also prizes. There are bio-diversity competitions, recipe competitions and a felicitation ceremony for creative villagers.

Walking makes problems visible and at the same time prompts ideas. In the words of Werner Herzog, ‘The world reveals itself to those who travel on foot’. Techniques include the Situationists’ ‘derive’, or more contemporary methods such as those used by Stalker Lab in Rome, which has brought to light the situation of the Roma. In India, the Shodh Yatra, organised by the HoneyBee Network is one of the best examples of the power of walking. In one week, walkers (farmers, scientists and researchers) travel hundreds of kilometres across rural India to unearth, share and disseminate sustainable solutions to local issues including conservation, organic farming and bio-diversity as well as health and nutrition. During the day, walkers pass through farming land – usually accompanied by local farmers and labourers who discuss and reflect on their farming practices. In the evening, walkers stay in villages and hold meetings with local residents to discuss activities of the Honey Bee Network and to share insights and knowledge of innovations from other parts of India. It is an opportunity for walkers and villagers to share and reflect on innovative practice. There are also prizes. There are bio-diversity competitions, recipe competitions and a felicitation ceremony for creative villagers.