This resource looks at the causes of inequalities in rural India, including; the role of land ownership, subsistence farming, the caste system, climate, globalisation, lack of access to services and the plight of women. It explores the impacts of rural poverty as well as then providing positive case studies of management strategies used to address them, including; better health and education provision and micro-credit schemes for women.



“Along with Pumpkin's other India titles, this DVD provides great material relevant to many sections of GCSE, GCE and IB, making Southern India a fantastic region to have as a case study.” 

Dan Gibbons, 
Head of Geography, The Red Maids' School

This highly structured programme delivers five separate units that could form a sequence of lessons designed to unearth the real problems facing rural areas across southern India.

There is sufficient narrative and expert opinion in the opening chapter that deals with rural poverty to provide the basis for GCSE and AS Level geography courses that require an understanding of the causes of rural deprivation. Detailed coverage of potential food supply problems, development dilemmas and the problems associated with an emerging rural/urban development gap is presented through clear, easy to follow and up to date case studies. The teacher’s notes and suggested lesson plans go even further to encourage active learning and full student participation before embarking upon the following four chapters.

These unfold with an overview of the cycle of poverty that extends into real human circumstances by analysing case study material at the level of rural communities. Relating local conditions to issues of debt, population change, structures and traditional family attitudes and values makes for an authoritative explanation. Again the supporting lesson materials offer opportunities for individual, group and whole class involvement. Detailed teachers’ notes and fact sheets together with the entire transcript of the programme mean that individual points are easily accessible to all levels.

Case studies are used very effectively to demonstrate the links between levels of health, wealth and well-being in rural areas. Raising the concept of ‘orphaned elders’ adds a new dimension to the problems facing many rural areas in Low Income Countries and amplifies the severity of the economic changes taking place when countries like India experience rapid urbanisation. Demands placed upon natural resources, land ownership and access to water are all considered in a contemporary way. Real evidence of the role of NGOs and ‘bottom-up’ strategies illustrates how micro-credit and domestic politics can shape the future for thousands in Tamil Nadu.

Central to this programme is the role played by education and the way families have to confront their past and look to the future. A shift in attitudes to, and the role of, women is portrayed as central to change. The viewer is asked to question top-down approaches to development and accept that transferring western values is not always the right way to do things. These, and more thought provoking ideas are readily illustrated and the inclusion of selective interviews adds weight to the explanations.

Taken together the five chapters serve up a synoptic approach to geography by linking social, economic and environmental factors in a way that gets closer to the truth and avoids systematic learning. The activities have been designed to encourage active learning and aim to challenge the idea that there is ever one solution or answer to a problem. Students are taken through the case studies and asked to think for themselves and then justify their own interpretations and conclusions. Rural Challenges does what the title says – challenges pupils to see life from the angle of the rural poor as they strive to overcome the problems of the 21st century in southern India.

Russell Chapman, 
Head of Sixth Form, University College School, London

Pumpkin TV has produced a package of four high quality DVDs that explore a range of contemporary themes and issues arising from India's rapid 21st Century development.

Each of the DVDs considers this from a different perspective, as illustrated by the titles. These issues allow a range of broader geographical themes to be explored: women's rights, the benefits and problems of globalisation, the impact of climate change on LEDC populations and sustainable development in rural areas. This DVD package is primarily targeted at KS 4-5 students and satisfies all current GCSE and A-Level syllabi. The materials could be adapted for use with KS 3 in some scenarios. The programmes have been well researched, written and resourced and represent an up-to-date and engaging aid to learning and teaching about development. Each DVD provides access to a range of high-quality additional teaching resources including printable student worksheets/activities.

Each DVD utilises a case study approach. The chapters provide a clear and rational structure to follow, while allowing the teacher the necessary breaks to draw out detailed learning points.

These DVDs are a useful, up-to-date and adaptable resource that would be a helpful addition to many geography departments up and down the country.

Review in Teaching Geography, Autumn 2010

Suggested exam board specification links

Edexcel iGCSE Section D Global Issues 9 Development and Human Welfare

Postage and Packing

Shipping rates for DVDs are as follows. For other services please call +441179240250.

 No. of DVDs UK 1st class EU airmail ROW Standard airmail ROW Tracked airmail
1 £2.50 £5.00 £7.50 £15.00
2 £5.00 £8.00 £10.00 £20.00
3 £7.50 £12.00 £15.00 £25.00
4+ £10.00 £16.00 £20.00 £30.00


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