Priyanka Mohan arbetar med att utveckla ett mer hållbart jordbruk på den indiska landsbygden, bland annat genom att stötta de lokala biblioteken. 27 maj medverkar hon som talare under föreningens digitala konferens ”Hållbara samhällen och bibliotek – Live från Malmö”.
Priyanka Mohan är Strategic lead på M S Swaminathan Research Foundation (MSSRF) i Chennai, Indien. MSSRF arbetar med att öka tillämpningen av modern vetenskap och teknologi inom jordbruket för att förbättra livsvillkoren i indiska landsbygdssamhällen, bland annat med hjälp av folkbiblioteken.
What relationship do farmers in rural areas usually have to the public library?
– In India, there are rural public libraries, accessible to all community members. Mostly it is children and senior citizens, and sometimes farmers are seen to drop into the public library for daily news. This habit continues among many who still don’t have access to affordable technology.
Farmers who are managing their farming system rely on receiving agro-based information through media, their peers and/or local vendors. Librarians are yet to be seen as knowledge torch bearers and community change markers, and lack the capacities to deliver need based services bridging the digital, gender and knowledge divide.
Our focus is on delivering need based services to the local communities, who can then make informed decisions and stay connected to the world around them.
What has led you to work with these issues?
– I have been engaged in the space of social and environmental development for 15 years with a primary focus on understanding the crux to building resilient communities in changing climate.
One of the important aspects to development is empowering communities as ”the knot” to remain connected to change. In the recent past my association with empowering public librarians as competent community trailblazers allowed me to understand that synergies are possible in any sector – it is only an open mind that will begin to reflect and weave newer paths, creating newer ways for co-creating stronger and resilient communities.
What is, in your opinion, the main reason a public library can be an agent for change in society?
– Passionate librarians are the torch bearers for empowering and building stronger communities. A Public library is the neutral hub for communities to access, learn, share, play, co-create with changing dimensions and shifting perspectives.
Text: Matilda Andréasson Gurenius
Foto: Nandhu Kumar, Unsplash