Culture can be a culprit and also a source of creating new opportunities for communities. The questions triggered by the cultural institute often initiate the innovation journey. The cultural institution for conservation of natural resources are vital for proving the long term sustainability context for inclusive development. The aesthetics embedded in painting, sculpting and architecture traditions fertilises the imagination. Individuals sometimes evolve cultural norms that receive wild acceptance from the community but sometimes these remain odd practices. The aesthetics of development can alienate the people if not blended with local traditions. The tensions between cultural traditions and contemporary consciousness provide space for innovations.
Mobile bird feeder
The tiny sparrow which is part of our lives and found around our homes feeds on very small insects, earthworms and other such micro-organisms. The sparrow has now almost vanished from our homes and is not seen around our houses like earlier. It comes under the category of birds which is slowly becoming extinct. This is our humble endeavour as part of the ‘Save Sparrow’ campaign. This is not something that can be achieved by efforts of a one person.
Its necessary that philanthropic institutions and individuals join hands to make the mobile bird feeder taking inspiration from the Sky Forest Youth Club of Keshod that has helped make the bird feeders. Youths who want to be part of the endeavour can contact Arjunbhai M. Paghdar on 99041 19954 and 94297 71505.
Dashrath Manjhi was ridiculed in 1959 when he started hewing a way through the Gahlaur Ghati hills of Bihar’s Gaya district, some 150 km from Patna. He carved 360 ft long, 30 ft wide road, which was 25 foot deep in places, through a mountain in the Gehlour hills working day and night for 22 years from 1960 to 1982. Dashrath Manjhi worked alone; his sole tools were his chisel, hammer and shovel. What was once a precarious passage just a foot wide is now an avenue that can accommodate cyclists and motorcyclists and is used by the people of nearly 60 villages. Hid feat has reduced the distance between the Atri and Wazirganj blocks of Gaya district from 50 km to just 10 km. Children from Manjhi’s own Gahlour and other nearby villages no longer have to walk eight kilometers one way to attend school – they can now study at a school just three kilometers away.
“ I knew I did not do it myself, neither would the government do it nor would the villagers have the will and determination.”
Baba Balbir Singh Seechewal
Baba Balbir Singh Seechewal
Cleaning Kaliben river : Baba Balbir Singh Seechewal Punjab
Punjab’s most famous eco-activist, spearheading an anti-river pollution campaign. He has resurrected the 110-miles long Kali Bein rivulet. When he started the water-cleaning project of Kali Bein in 2007, it was a challenging task. But, as people became aware of its importance, they joined in cleaning the rivulet which had become a dried-up drain and had been reduced to a garbage dump with its historic and religious significance long forgotten. People had illegally taken over the riverbed and it was difficult to free it from their clutches.
“Polluted water has become a major problem not only for India but also for the entire world. However polluted water can bring prosperity if we treat it and use it for irrigation. We have proved this in village Seechewal and other nearby villages. We have purified the polluted water and directed it to fields through water motors.
Baba Seechewal lays stress on understanding the importance of river water. “Water is water. Be it of the Punjab’s white Bein or Kali Bein, or be it of rivers like Satluj, Ganga, Yamuna and Godavari. Be it water in India or any other country – it is needed by everyone. We need water just like we need air to breathe. A wave has started from the Punjab’s Kali Bein rivulet and we want it to spread not only across India but also across the whole world. Environment is of prime concern these days. Efforts made at the Kali Bein have sent a message globally.”
Planting millions of trees, developing new models of financing and designing check dams
aswell as evolving new techniques of irrigating tree saplings in dry regions, are feats of this
extraordinary maverick. Premjibhai, gave up his busy urban life as a trader, to go back to his
roots. When he noticed these roots drying up and literally, he decided to develop new
devices for scattering seeds on road sides- about 45 billion seeds. All this was done from his
own pocket too. He started this work from his homeland Saurashtra and moved on to other
regions in the states of Gujarat, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan.
Premjibhai has also developed a technique for the plantation of trees in places facing water
scarcity or are drought prone such as Kutch, Bhuj and Saurashtra. He has made plastic pipes
each having two holes on opposite sides at the top. First a pit of around half a foot is made
and the pipe is put in it. The seedling is planted beside the pipe and the pit is covered with
soil. Then the pipe is filled with a mixture of sand, soil and gravel. A small stick or branch is
put through the two holes and the pipe is taken out. Now when water is poured on the
sand, it will directly reach the roots of the plant. By using this technique of plantation, there
is no loss of water at all. The rate of successful plantation can also be increased using this
- Building capacity at community level for protecting the intellectual property rights in genetic resources and associated knowledge systems and cultural expressions (Anil K. Gupta blog, May 04, 2019)
- Learning from a Healthy, happy and helpful culture : Goa ShodhYatra – II (Anil K. Gupta blog, Jun 04, 2016)
- Meet Eco Baba, the Man who cleaned a 160 km long River with Sheer Grit and Helpful volunteers (The Better India, April 9, 2016)
- The remarkable true story of an Indian man who spent 22 years chiselling his way through a mountain out of love for his dead wife becomes a Bollywood film (DailyMail, 21 August 2015)
- Towards a smart city : compassionate, creative and culturally alive (Anil K. Gupta blog, Jan 09, 2015)
- Traditional knowledge, genetic resources and cultural expressions, inter-governmental meeting feb 4-8, wipe, geneva (Anil K. Gupta blog, Feb 03, 2013)
- (With Karma Ura) Blending cultural values, indigenous technology and environment (Anil K. Gupta blog, July 25, 2012)
- Cultural entrepreneurship at grassroots level needed (Anil K. Gupta blog, July 19, 2012)
- Planting a billion trees : Premjibhai inspires and augments the mission of Dr Kalam (Anil K. Gupta blog, May 10, 2010)
- Meandering trails of Mizoram : an unexplored rich, warm and hospitable culture (Anil K. Gupta blog, Sep 06, 2009)