‘Agenda for Survival’, the program we have had for the past one month with the Centre for Science and Environment was enriching in many ways. AFS is a course designed to explore the science, politics, and economics of the environmental-development debate in the country. The endowment of the late Kamala Chowdhry who is also the founder-member of CSE supports the participation of students for select outstation students.
The course broadened our perspectives on various issues through eminent speakers who spoke on rural, urban and governance issues. The interactive case studies on current issues like POSCO that made us realise the environment-development issue and the need to find a sustainable path were the highlights of the course. The visits to the historic 16th Century Rajon ki Bauli step well, an eye-opening boat ride along the Yamuna river, and a week-long trip to the Kumaon hills of Uttarakhand were some of the few adventures and moments that will remain etched forever on our minds.
We are infused with enthusiasm, vigour and focus towards the ever so important task of protecting the environs we live in to make the lives of all living forms safe and sound. Our agenda towards livelihood or environment must be filled with multiple and positive actions. It is time to act and practise effective ways of living where solution building should be the main aim and area of thrust. The stories covered here are a testimony of simple yet significant attempts resulting in success stories. Kanika, Malaika and Pranietha interpret the impact of migration and education on women; Kush and Vivek bring forth fresh thoughts on the role of environmental education, while Nimit and Shobana explain aspects of water conservation in the villages and Raghu takes you on a historic journey of fading village architecture.The task before us is clear; a better tomorrow is possible only if we understand the mistakes of the past and stop abusing the present. During India’s development discourse, not everything has been ‘green’ from the beginning. It’s more of a compromise between development and the environment. Hence the name, ‘Green and Grey’