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January 02, 2011




Page: 38/38

Home > 2011 Issues > January 02, 2011

Rambhau Mhalgi Prabodhini’s National Convention of Voluntary Organisations
A search for eco-friendly growth

By Pramod Kumar

"Though there is a talk about restrained consumption in some of the western countries today, it is insufficient. We must leave the habit of ‘use and throw’. Contrary to it, our Indian thinking talks about maximum use of the things so that there is no misuse of the resources. The people today need to adopt the life pattern of maximum use."
-Dr Bajranglal Gupt

"We call the rivers as mothers. But what is their condition today? The growing pollution from industrial units has turned them into drains. Need of the hour is that water conservation should be kept away from party politics. The activists associated with different voluntary organisations should educate the people about the need of water conservation."
-Rajendra Singh

"IT is time we should have an integrated view and a balanced approach towards the vexed issue of environment. Environment protection need not be construed as anti-development and it is wrong to assume that all developmental projects are anti-environment. The innovations and technological advancement can also help us greatly to protect the ecology," said BJP president Shri Nitin Gadkari. He was inaugurating the third National Convention of Voluntary Organisations organised by Rambhau Mhalgi Prabodhini in New Delhi on December 21.

Named as ‘Prakriti-2010’ and organised on the theme of ‘Environment for Development’, the convention was held at Vishwa Yuvak Kendra. Around 200 delegates, mostly representing voluntary organisations active in ecological field, participated in the two-day convention. Since 2008, the Prabodhini has been organising such conventions, mainly at its Bhayander-Mumbai campus. This was the third such convention organised primarily to provide a platform to voluntary organisations for exchange of ideas, sharing of experiences, etc.

Addressing the delegates Shri Gadkari stressed the need for shedding extremist approach and pre-conceived notions. He cited several examples with regard to organic farming, solar energy and the benefits of environment-friendly tourism with the involvement of forest dwelling communities. He said since politics is also a medium of serving the society, the BJP has imparted training to over 15,000 workers in social service and they are going to start some concrete service projects. He also stressed the need to promote the use of bio-fuel to arrest the growing pollution. About the rural development, he said Nanaji Deshmukh created a model of rural development that has produced miraculous results.

Noted water-conservation activist Shri Rajendra Singh expressed concern over the growing mentality of commercialisation of water. He said the greater reverence that we have been extending to water since time immemorial is seen nowhere today. Over 70 per cent of the people in India today want that water should not be sold as a commodity in the market and it should be free for all. "We call the rivers as mothers but what is their condition today? The growing pollution from industrial units has turned them into drains. Need of the hour is that water conservation should be kept away from party politics," he said calling upon the activists associated with different voluntary organisations to educate the people about the need of water conservation.

Along with Shri Rajendra Singh, two other dignitaries Shri Anil Madhav Dave, MP, who is also known for his efforts to protect the Narmada eco-system, and Goan environmentalist Shri Claude Alavres were felicitated at the convention.

Later, delivering a keynote address on the central theme of the convention, Shri Anil Madhav Dave stressed the need for using Good Governance as a plank for ensuring environment-friendly development. Sustainability, alone determines the quality of development and hence the idea of development is inherent to the concept of environment protection, Shri Dave said.

Shri Claude Alavres, who also shared his views at the session, stressed the need for greater awareness about mindless consumption and the heavy cost that the society has to pay for it. He said there have been many global conferences on this issue but they failed to deliver any fruitful result as the western countries are not ready to change their bad habit of mindless consumption.

In the afternoon session, two case studies were presented on Navi Mumbai Airport and Jiye Yamuna Movement in Delhi by Dr Sanjay Deshmukh and Manoj Mishra respectively. Later, presentations were made on two distinct but vexed subjects viz cow-science and the hazards of genetically modified seeds. Shri Sunil Mansinghka of Go Vigyan Anusandhan Kendra, Nagpur, spoke about several very successful experiments on cow.

On second day, noted economist Dr Bajranglal Gupt, addressed the delegates on lifestyle related issues. He said the imbalance we see in the world is due to the degradation in our lifestyle. He said most of our activities have become contradictory to the nature. He stressed the need to immediately change consumption habit. He said sustainable development cannot be achieved without sustainable consumption. "Though there is a talk about restrained consumption in some of the western countries today, it is insufficient. We must leave the habit of ‘use and throw’. Contrary to it, our Indian thinking talks about maximum use of the things so that there is no misuse of the resources," he said calling upon the people to adopt the life pattern of maximum use.

Presiding over the morning session, noted agricultural scientist Dr MS Swaminathan said sustainable development cannot be segregated from environment protection. He said we need environment-friendly lifestyle and it must reflect in our daily conduct and thinking. He stressed the need to use biogas on large-scale and suggested that the fund being used for Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme should be used to promote it. Appreciating the activities of the Rambhau Mhalgi Prabodhini, he said there is a need to organise such discussion at the grass roots level in rural areas.

In yet another session, legal expert Shri Ritwik Dutta dealt with some emerging legal issues. Noted Supreme Court advocate Shri Bhupender Yadav presided over the session. Earlier, in a brief special session, Prof. Narendra Mehrotra and artisan-welfare activist Shri Basant addressed the delegates. At the concluding session, while Shri Neelesh Kulkarni presented a report of the proceedings, Dr Jitender Bajaj gave concluding remarks. Prabodhini’s Shri Ravindra Sathe, Shri Milind Arolkar and Dr Vinay Sahasrabuddhe conducted the proceedings. Prof Raj Kumar Bhatia was the Chairman of the Reception Committee, specially constituted for the convention while Dr Rakesh Mishra was the joint secretary.







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