In the regional training of South Asian Water (SAWA) Fellows on “Interdisciplinary Research Concepts & Methodologies” held in Kandy, Sri Lanka we had 7 days of intensive yet a very amusing training period. Coming from an Engineering background myself, it was my first sweeping exposure to Interdisciplinary concepts- an introduction to how interdisciplinary paradigm is defined, how it shapes the solution of the problems addressing issues as diverse as socio-economic, technological, gender and development and integrating all of them within the broader spectrum of the modern days sustainable development. The distinguished resource persons were perhaps the premier from their respective fields of knowledge and it was a life- changing experience to be trained by them. The field visit to Mahaweli Irrigation system in Dambulla was an eye opener for us as it was an ideal system of irrigation project, the model of which could be replicated in our country as well. Last but not the least, the multi-cultural knowledge and friendship sharing was the most amazing involvement we have had from the training.
Water sector has always been my area of interest and the fellowship has provided me with the financial support and opportunity to explore beyond the technical research and conduct a much broader social, technical and economic research. It has provided me with an opportunity to intern at SaciWATERs. As an outcome of my fellowship, I was able to publish all the chapters of my thesis as paper publications in national and international conferences and journals. These publications and receiving a fellowship together with the international experience gained though the internship at SaciWATERs paved my way to win a full scholarship (International Macquarie Research Excellence Scholarship/ iMQRES) to pursue my PhD in Environmental Science (Department of Environmental Science/ Faculty of Science and Engineering) at Macquarie University, NSW Australia
I am currently working as an Associate Project Engineer with National Agro Foundation, a Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) that works on watershed development programs. The organization initially had taken up works at the local, and now they have expanded their works to the other parts of India. This was made possible because of the way the program has been implemented in an integrated way, with inputs given by me from the knowledge and training acquired by me from the SAWA fellowship