“As a festival, Maru Manthan will facilitate a space where desert communities, academics, civil society groups, policymakers and media gatekeepers will get together to share their experiences and celebrate their cultures."
Desert Resource Centre, Urmul Group, is organising Maru Manthan, the desert forum amidst the sand dunes of Bajju, Bikaner in Rajasthan.
The first of its kind forum for celebrating the uniqueness and emerging dynamics of hot and cold deserts around the world, the festival will be held on February 13 and February 14.
Anshul Ojha, founder-director of Desert Research Centre said, “As a festival, Maru Manthan will facilitate a space where desert communities, academics, civil society groups, policymakers and media gatekeepers will get together to share their experiences and celebrate their cultures."
"The festival, as a shared forum, will advance the dialogue on innovations and alternatives around life in the desert and its relationship to desert ecology," he added.
Deserts are unique in their fabric and being. Maru Manthan is a vision to celebrate this uniqueness and provide a glimpse of the complexities that life among the sand dunes.
“With panel sessions, craft exhibits and inauguration of a camel milk centre, this two-day event pays tribute to the rhythm of life in the deserts and among desert dwellers," Ojha further said.
"It is a homage to resilience, jubilations and innovations amidst living in a harsh environment with its challenges and scarcities”, he added.
“As a space co-created with the desert communities from Rajasthan and elsewhere, Maru Manthan aims to collectively work towards enhancing an information regime and debate to help public policy around social, cultural, economic and environmental aspects of life in the desert," he further said.
"The Maru Manthan festival hopes to act as a catalyst in a change-making process in which desert communities are actively involved in decisions about their lives and their futures” Ojha added.
The key panellists include Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) representative in India Tomio Shichiri, National Rainfed Area Authority (NRAA) Chief Executive Officer, Dr Ashok Dalwai.
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