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Researcher Spotlight: Lavanya Gupta

Get to know the people involved in ARCH-India. From senior experts to early career researchers, learn about their careers, what makes them tick, and how they are collaborating. 

This month, we meet a geographer turned rural developer, Senior Research Fellow Lavanya Gupta. Interested in the topics of gender, environment and concepts of human geography, Lavanya is pursuing a doctoral degree from the Tata Institute of Social Sciences in Mumbai.

What are you working on right now?
I am currently brainstorming topics like booming tribal entrepreneurship in India, youth participation and cultural appreciation in the tribal community because of tribal enterprise. I’m also interested in ethnic mapping, tribal homestays, and sustainable ecotourism in India.
 
What’s the best part of your work?
The best part of being a researcher is to be given the opportunity to enjoy enriching experiences. Life can be a dull if we stop growing.

As a researcher, I get to travel, learn from people, understand their problems and work to create solutions.

Although sometimes it’s straining, the zeal to find something new and exchange ideas with culturally-rich communities keeps me going.

What does successful research collaboration look like to you?
Successful research collaboration is one where there is constant flow of knowledge and steady growth of participants involved. Recently, there has been a steady increase in collaborations in urban settings and through technology. But it would be delightful if we could also connect researchers from abroad to the villages in India. Australia has many successful rural and indigenous projects. India, which also has large rural and Indigenous populations, could learn from such projects, and help to build culture and livelihoods.  
 
What do you like to do in your spare time?
I am currently working with a feminist geography speciality group (subsidiary of American Association of Geographers). In my free time, I am generally reading, creating and promoting the wonderful work of feminist geographers on a dedicated Instagram page: @feministgeographies.

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