Thursday, May 23, 2013

the Human aspect of Engineering

Sharing the last part of a newsletter from Round Table India (that writes on many Dalit / backward caste issues in India).
This, and the kind of stuff it concerns, is what was never taught to us through school and engineering college. We were told that we should go join the "core" engineering companies (like Tata Steel, Power, Jindal, Vedanta, Reliance refineries etc) and be part of India's "development".

All our schematic diagrams had these little boxes titled "waste" where all the byproducts of various engineering processes (typically far exceeding the actual products) would go. If anyone asked further, we were told that it is then "disposed". On further questioning, "it is properly disposed". While we had specializations in construction, fabrication, electricity, electronics, communications, logistics etc etc, they never made space for a degree in waste disposal. So they covered the Brahma and Vishnu parts very proudly, but the Mahesh part was left out.

None of our professors ever told us WHERE it is disposed, with what it is mingled, what consequences come off it.

In our efficiency / cost calculation formulas, we never included the costs incurred by the people who lived around the industry, or the cost of forever-lost livelihoods from the acquiring of fertile agricultural land or forests, or the wipeout of ecology at the place. None of these were ever factored into our calculations.

I look at TISS and at IIT in Mumbai. And I wonder why the hell was the human, social angle separated from engineering. Why was our education fragmented.

  • Dalit and Adivasi Women Warriors Question Caste and Gender Oppression

    Sujatha Surepally

    (Impressions from the first National Dalit and Adivasi Women's Congress held on February 15-16, 2013, at Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai)

    We live in nature! We die in Nature! It's our life, if you occupy our land where should we go and how do we live? Whose land is this?

    The hall is echoing with the furious voice of Dayamani Barla, veteran Adivasi activist from Jharkhand. She is trying to unite people against mining in Jharkhand, around 108 mining companies are waiting to destroy Adivasi life in the name of mining, first they come for coal, next they say power houses, it continues, we are pushed out and out further. How do we live without our land?

    Read More
  • Dalit Information And Education Trust: New Waves in Dalit Discourse

    Sujatha Surepally

    (The Annual meet of D.I.E.T was held on 5th May, 2012, in Hyderabad. We thank Sujatha Surepally for sharing this report on the event)

    Dalit Information and Education Trust's (DIET) Annual meet was held on 5th May, 2012 at Hotel Grand plaza, Nampally, Hyderabad. It was a memorable event. Though it was titled as 'Book Reviews and Felicitations', there was much more to describe, feel proud about at the meet, and to celebrate our own people's contribution to dalit literature, criticism, rediscovering Ambedkar etc. A culmination of different views and perspectives, bundles of experiences, thoughts of different generations, the agonies and strategies of building movements for dignity. It presented a rare opportunity, and indeed was a marvelous day.

    Read More

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