As climate change and world conflicts continue to worsen, more refugees are created every day. Abeer Seikaly designed a foldable tent that collects and heats rainwater, converts sunlight into electricity, and has a heating and cooling system for refugees to have a home wherever they are. From Green Building Elements.
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!
Many of us have struggled for and with the poor for over four decades now. We have fought human rights abuses, land alienation, untouchability, feudalism and violence against women.
We have mostly won major victories and changed the lives of the poor with whom we had worked. But forty years down the line, most of us are faced with the stark fact that fighting poverty and fighting for the economic rights of our people is now virtually impossible, and moved beyond our control.
From easily identified local exploitative individuals, the forces causing poverty have moved to new, distant, complex structures way beyond the reach of communities. The blame is now conveniently laid on catch phrases such as market forces, globalisation, liberalization. But the question still remains as to how one deals with these faceless forces? Writes Stan Thekaekara
In this article, Naveen Vasudevan emphasizes the importance of making environmentalism purposeful and not simply an exotic trend. He urges the reader to look within our being and our hearts to make meaningful choices and decisions towards the environment.
The developed nations of USA and Europe have discreetly offloaded their supply chain manufacturing processes to developing countries like India. The finished products include Textiles, Leather and consumables like Bread and Burgers. Nakeeran, in a forceful essay, documents the depletion of water resources that is driving the exporting countries to starvation and collapse. Surface river bodies are polluted and ground water reserves are fast diminishing to near famine conditions. He makes a plea to put an end to virtual water trade by steering to local economic activity, reducing time, distance and becoming self-sufficient within a Geographical zone.
Until about forty years ago, innumerable varieties of millets were grown extensively in Antharsathe, a town in HD Kote taluk. Market forces, says Siddhartha, have now determined the cultivation of cash crops like Bt cotton and sugarcane. They are supplanting traditional farming practices, which had a repository of knowledge concerning soil regeneration, fertility, storing and exchange of seeds.
The public distribution system is now the institutionalized storage facility for wheat and rice. The seeds the government distributes for millets are considered by many farmers to be suspect.
In the context of climate change, thousands of farmers are bucking the trend and reverting to organic farming and cultivation of crops that are more in sync with local conditions.
The emphasis of this article is in renewing our female attributes of compassion, justice and truth. Acquisition, power and control, all male traits, have dominated our psyche and pushed the human race to the brink of self-destruction.
Radha Kunke says that our natural tendency to work cooperatively has been subsumed in the race for greed and aggrandizement. Remnants of these behaviours can still be observed in tribal societies. The author calls for a spiritual turnaround.
In the article, she gives classic examples like Google with its open source platforms, Gen Y striving to move out of stifling cubicle environments and grassroots-level initiatives where resources are utilized to renew and regenerate traditional modes of spirituality.
Siddhartha of Pipal Tree explains how globalization, in its wake, has brought a distorted distribution system with local retail outlets storing products that have crossed great distances and blurred transnational boundaries. The carbon footprint that it leaves behind is decreasing our ability to live as a human species.
Before globalization, unpolished rice and vegetables were grown locally without chemical fertilisers and genetic modification. Market fundamentalism and financial strength by multinational corporations are holding sway and destroying a whole way of live that was fundamental to the traditional ethos. A wholesome way of life is gradually being annihilated by mega-agribusiness.
Sanjay Khatau’s passionate commitment is for the tribal people who, facing the brunt of climate change, find themselves disoriented from their traditional moorings.
Tribals are experiencing erratic rainfall, longer summer months, and shorter winters. Their traditional cropping patterns, which included cultivation of millets, harmonized with the seasons. They are now being thrown out of gear by soil erosion, multiple sowings and gradual destruction of soil fertility.
The public distribution system offering low prices for rice has paved the way for complacency. Indigenous farmers now lease their land for cash crops. The young people migrate to cities for better prospects. The hope is that they would in the course of time return to look after the land.