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The salt of the earth (PLA 57)

Praful Patel

Journal article

The articles in Section 3 of PLA 57 are a collection of individual testimonies written by some of those who have taken part in immersions. This account was written after an Exposure and Dialogue Programme (EDP) with SEWA. It is a powerful testimony by the World Bank's Vice President in South Asia of the lessons he has learnt from his regular visits to a family of salt workers who live on the edge of the desert in Gujarat. The author writes of his profound respect for the family, and for the way in which his relationship with them has renewed his passion for his profession.

By their very nature these are highly personal and subjective accounts. The authors record what mattered to them at the time. The act of writing is part of the process of reflection, which is so central to every immersion. The tone of the pieces and the choice of language reflect the intensity of the experience. All of them illustrate the power of face-to-face dialogue and the potential of immersions to challenge deeply held beliefs.

Participatory Learning and Action (PLA, formerly PLA Notes) is the world's leading series on participatory learning and action approaches and methods. PLA publishes articles on participation aimed at practitioners, researchers, academics and activists. All articles are peer-reviewed by an international editorial board.

Guest editors: Izzy Birch, Raffaella Catani with Robert Chambers.

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