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Kosmopolis Institute Publications Day 4: Grappling with the factors responsible for Human Development

Day 4: Grappling with the factors responsible for Human Development



It was the day four of the monsoon school in Bangalore. The class began on a note of confusion which gave a reason to laugh in the morning, some participants reached to a different location were the class was supposed to be held earlier but it got changed later.


We began the day with a presentation on Human Development and the capability approach by Prof. Caroline and Prof. Henk. We tried to understand the Capability approach through a multi disciplinary dimension with specific reference to Amartya Sen and Martha Nussbaum. After watching a documentary on human development report named “People First” we tried to understand the basis of human development were health, education and income became the most important factors in defining human development. We were constantly grappling between individual and collective – “I am therefore we are or we are therefore I am” was the center point of discussion, in my understanding both cannot survive without each other it’s like a triangle so in some cases it would begin with individual and in some cases the triangle could be upside down were it starts with a collective group and then narrows down to an individual.


We learned about the capabilities of a human being and how with different measures it can be enhanced, we had a good discussion on the factor of play that how it contributes in the enhancement of a human capability. There were many different and interesting view points were even addiction to digital play can have some serious repercussions on one’s health.


Ronald, the fourth participant from Uganda arrived who could not come at the beginning of the school as he met with an accident back home, but as he was destined to be a participant, so he reached Bangalore today and even shared his problem with us which was sad to hear. His experience raised questions like whom to trust actually. We are happy that despite of difficulties he is able to come for the summer school.


Post lunch we saw a documentary film on female circumcision in Mali, the movie was quite disturbing and stressful for me as I was not aware that still female genital mutilation is practiced. We had to analyse the movie on different variables of capability and human development approach. Vaneesha made a very good observation that the movie begun with the idea of purity and impurity but towards the end the female circumcision became a health issue.


Finally in the last session we had to form groups for the group work and the themes were broadly divided in to Sustainable Development, identity and Pluralism Effect. After some discussions finally we all are divided in three groups which are diverse in its formation as all the groups incorporate all the four nationalities and it represents pluralism.


The day ended on a relaxed note as there are no classes tomorrow and we will be having an extended weekend. Yippie !


Syed Mohd. Hasnain Rizvi is a student of M.Phil in International Studies from Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi.