Rhea Sunil Shah, MLA I AP 2018

Summer 2017

Organization: ATREE, Bangalore, India

Sponsor: International Travel Community Service Fellowship

” I have finished a week and a half at the ATREE office now.  I’ve been working to better understand the office’s research, meeting all of the faculty and learning about the different projects that the organization is currently involved with. At the same time I am helping ATREE with the design for packaging of various non timber forest products that the NGO helps the tribes to package, market and distribute. I am designing jars and labels for honey, mango pickle, amla, soapnut and other forest products.

The Office itself is a wonderful space, surrounded by beautiful trees and a lovely courtyard. The following week will be spent in evolving my research questions to create a framework to approach the site and organize myself there. I also have to develop a plan on how I want to communicate with the indigenous people on site, whether I’d like them to answer questionnaires I prepare or some other method of collecting data.

My next two weeks will be spent on two sites, the Male Mahadeshwara Hills and the Biligiriranga Hills with the indigenous Soliga tribe in the midst of the forest. I will be with them through the honey and mango harvest. The sites are deep in the forest.

The office is going to organize a local intern from the community who will act as a translator on site.”

Lush courtyard outside of ATREE offices in Bangalore