Akhilesh Chipli is a voice in the wilderness crying out for the forest dwellers, who for generations lived in harmony with nature and now have to contend with land mafias and ruthless middlemen trying to steal their land. Chipli explains the intentions of the Forest Rights Act (2006) and how it has gone wrong, giving forest land to people who would destroy it instead of protect it, with dire results.
Groundnut farming has the potential to generate income irrespective of weather conditions. The requirement is wisdom in adapting to changed circumstances, says Rama S. Arakalagudu in this article. Reverting to traditional methods of inter-cropping can bring in a wholesome ambiance where crops, birds, and insects live in a symbiotic relationship. This is a model for us to emulate, instead of quick fixes for ‘big bucks’ using chemical fertilizers, monocropping and aggressive marketing. This blinkered view has destroyed a whole generation. Dependent industries like oil extraction plants have all but collapsed in the Central Districts of Karnataka, throwing thousands out of gainful employment. The underlying theme of the writer is an appeal to go back to the rhythms of our forefathers or face the brunt of mass annihilation. Grim but True!
The unabated emissions of greenhouse gases have induced major changes in the atmosphere, resulting in unseasonable rainfalls, severe drought and rising sea levels. Scientific Studies have proven that the by 0.8 degrees Celsius rise in temperature have melted glaciers, submerged islands and threatened coastal nations. Arun Nedunchezhian articulates that Villupuram in North Eastern Tamil Nadu has borne the brunt of changing Monsoon and altering average temperature. He underlines the need for social justice for the farmer in this changing environment of people migration by waiving loans and offering subsidized rates for fertilizers.
This booklet on Global Warming in the Indian Context is based on conversations with many people from different states, chats with fellow-activists, public meetings and talks by others, activist reports and published books and scientific papers. It is mainly aimed at students, other young people in towns and cities, and activists.
Dr. Ganesh Hegde has made a case for Dairy Farming which is gripping in its analysis. With an investment of Rs. 1 lakh, 3 cows and subsidized machinery for cleaning cow sheds, cutting grass we can not only have good wholesome milk but market them and make a margin. The only criterion is one move to a hilly area, close to grass land, and opts for a mix of indigenous and mixed breeds. With the breaking up of joint families and with absorption of the youth by urban glitz Dairy Farming is now corporatized as an industry – into a mega enterprise – where the cows just eat and produce milk in large sheds. Leafy foliage, ambling cattle and lazing in the shade are all now sinking into the mists of time.
The situation of reedbeds seems irreversible, as the rivers are drying up. What is remaining is being dug and sucked up. The birds who roost and feed their young are ‘demented’ about the changed situation. Thatched homes with straw and reeds which were a common sight is now being rapidly replaced with Tin and Plastic. We probably need to answer the Latin expression Quo Vadis – Where are you going!! Writes Lingaraja Venkatesh. [Picture Above: A Streaked Weaver Bird working on building its nest.]
What and who gives humans the right to its ecosystem? Ancient and today’s tribal communities believe that their right to utilize resources in the ecosystem on which they depend is encompassed with a huge responsibility to protect and conserve it. In all situations right is a community (such as family, office, institution, association, organization, state or any other group), and therefore there is no such thing as private or individual right. This makes responsibility also beyond the self. The author Nirmal Selvamony provides interesting insights with examples, into rights and responsibilities towards our ecosystem.
The rampant municipal solid waste problem in India and its mismanagement is pointed out through a case study of the Bangalore Municipality. The author Kathyayini Chamaraj critically evaluates the pros and cons of the MSW Rules and particularly the aspects of segregation and collection.
Jyoti Sahi brings a different perspective to sustainability and the need for artists to express social and environmental aspects through their art. He talks about the ethical responsibility of artists and how they can use art to extend their sphere of influence.
This image shows worship of the Peepul Tree using garlands, thread that is tied round the tree, and snake stones at a wayside shrine. The image is meant to show the way in which a folk culture in India celebrates nature, showing how art as ritual sustains the sacred in the natural environment. This sketch by the author is based on the photograph that he took at the Nallur Amaroy Thopu (sacred grove) near Devanahalli in Karnataka.
A sustainable society does not fall from the sky nor does it just happen one fine morning. It has to be created through a long and arduous process. There are innumerable nuances and principles that are involved.
Where and how does one get these across to people? Where are the forums? I believe that the best place to begin this process of creation of such a society is in the classroom – with children. Here lies our future!