Apr Jun 2010

Apr Jun 2010
Towards Ecological Sanity


Our theme for this issue of Bhoomi is ‘Towards Ecological Sanity’. We have, after all, been insane in numerous ways. Fossil fuels, industrialization, consumerism are some obvious examples that come to mind. If we scratch the surface some more, we realize that there are many compulsions we have acquired collectively, which have got the stamp of public and global approval.

I live in the village of Pastapur in the southern part of Medak District in Andhra Pradesh. The soils here are highly unfertile and at some places, as shallow as 8 inches. The annual rainfall is an average of about 600 mm; that too is uncertain in these years of climate change.

Why do we who spend time in rainforests “become enmeshed in our perceptions and thinking about them?”

In the fourth World Rainforest Report, Queensland zoologist Peter Dwyer noted that the New Guinea highlanders find the rainforest wildlife not only good to eat, but also “good to think”.

The GPI is a more accurate measure of a country’s progress since it takes into account the environmental costs of economic activity

In recent years, there has been a serious disconnect between the consumer and the farmer. By the time we finally consume food, not only has it travelled a lot from the plot to the plate, but it has also undergone so many modifications that what we finally get is a mere ‘product’.

The transition from software in Texas to growing food in Wayanad is teaching important lessons on Nature, life and happiness.

Today, more than ever before, education needs to be for the future, not only for the present or the past. Education also needs to focus on real life, rather than only on text books and exams.

How a small group of people can deal with the economic, ecological and social realities connected with building water consciousness in a community.

Life is best enjoyed when lived fully, when we participate wholeheartedly in it, when the inevitable passage of time is filled with daily doses of fun and joy; and life becomes enjoyable when relationships are rooted in trust and love, and when the income-generating work that we choose to engage in makes play look contrived in comparison.