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Rachana Sarkari

This programme opens a door to gain in-depth knowledge and experience with an international and interdisciplinary focus on water management

South Asia
India South Asia

What made you decide to study this particular programme?
Establishing sustainable community development and a healthier community life was my dream career goal. I am a self-motivated person and work with poor and marginalised communities with self-imposed assignments.

After my graduation, I started working at a grass-root level organization as a program executive and subsequently rose to higher posts. My dedication to my work was recognized in 2006, when I was awarded an IFP scholarship for social justice leadership. My first masters in ‘Development studies and Gender’ from the University of Leeds, United Kingdom in the year 2008 gave me a deeper insight into understanding of global issues and international relations and broadened my academic horizon. At the same time however I believe that the introduction of new technologies and innovations helps development professionals to bring change in the mind-set of the community by increasing the benefits and lowering the barriers.

During my work I promoted various community organizations and built their capacities to deal with the situation. I also identified the effect of floods and droughts -specifically on women and designed interventions to minimize the sufferings of women during and after these natural disasters. But later felt that community level initiatives are not enough to make real difference. As India continues to undergo dramatic shifts caused by a growing economy and population, competing demands for this limited resource coming from households, industry, and agriculture have wide-ranging implications for the country’s future.

UNESCO-IHE is the largest international graduate water education facility in the world and this particular MSc course appealed to me because it will increase my knowledge and skills to achieve my personal and professional goals. My urge to explore alternative development options, technological interventions and research in development will help me in bringing a sustainable change in the communities.

So far what have been the highlights of your study? 
I wanted to delve into the technology and policy issues around water/waste water management by studying urban water management practices in multiple urban cities in India. This particular Tailor-made MSc in Water Management appealed to my mind because it gives me an opportunity to compile my study profile and thesis work. I tailored my course exactly to increase my knowledge and skills to achieve my personal and professional goals

What is it like to live in Delft? Do you like the atmosphere? 
Everything is an amazing experience. Delft is a beautiful city and it is a fulfilling experience so far. Monumental houses, beautiful canals and bikes are everywhere. I first came here for a short course in Solid Waste Management in 2013 and it is like a dream come true now, to come back and pursue my masters in Water Management at UNESCO-IHE.

I strongly feel that the concept, design and approach of the programme are different from other institutions that I came across so far. Students from different countries who live together like a family and share knowledge and vibrant ideas after classroom hours or during group work also makes it unique. We feel like we have stepped in to another world and there is a lot of course work and pressure on us but thanks to Social Cultural officers at UNESCO-IHE and the way they organise everything during the entire 18 months’ we feel at home.

Do you know what you will be doing afterwards? 
Water conservation and management is a prime and challenging concern in India and I strongly feel that this programme opens a door to gain in-depth knowledge and experience with an international and interdisciplinary focus on water management.

Apart from that I am able to learn from various research assignments along with fieldwork and application of research methods and techniques that help me to address the challenges we have been facing since ages. I would also be able to contribute a position paper on the lacunae in the policies and implementation gaps in the programmes, schemes, incentives meant for development and improved water management in my country.

Would you recommend UNESCO-IHE to prospective students?
Exhausting water resources is a serious threat to our survival. We need to be mature enough to think of water in an integrated manner. There is a lot of discussion about global warming, green house effects, melting of snow and pollution but so far not much has been done about the serious impact of the decreasing level of country’s groundwater resources. Scientists are of the opinion that if the underground resources are used excessively without any control soon, they will exhaust and will have a bad impact on our eco system and many parts of the world will become a desert soon. So proper water management, utilization of natural resources and creating awareness to the people to save water is the need of the hour. And for anybody interested in water security or water management, this is an excellent academic environment and a fantastic place to study. I would strongly recommend prospective students that this is the best and right place to come. The institute, over the years, has carved a niche for itself. It is really an incredibly inclusive experience when you come to UNESCO-IHE.

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