...the core values that underpin sustainable development - interdependence, empathy, equity, personal responsibility, and intergenerational justice - are the only foundation upon which any viable vision of a better world can possibly be constructed.
~ Jonathan Porritt
Evolution is the only constant thing in the Universe. As evolution continues on our planet, the wheel of modernization has rolled speedily and taken people and countries in its fold. The faster it moves, the deeper are the cracks in the path by increasing disparity between the haves and have not’s, between the various genders, between races and societies, between man’s greed and survival of the planet.
Every small step by each one of us in the right direction in every role we play can change the world for the better.
Alleviation of poverty is not only the work of the Government alone, but each person, community, and organization can contribute.
When we ensure that food is not wasted in our homes, in the parties we host, in the canteens of our organization, we contribute to the eradication of hunger. When we inculcate the values of respecting the essentials like food, water, energy, and environment in our children, in our peers, in our colleagues, in our organizations, in our community, we contribute to saving food, water, energy, environment, and respecting every other human being.
Let us cook and serve only the amount that can be consumed. Whenever there’s a surplus amount cooked, let’s make the small effort of distributing it in the nearby slums, orphanages, or old age homes. Mind you! this works the same for our office canteens, the parties we host, or even the parties we attend. A small act of collecting or ensuring the collection of the leftover worthy of consuming and distributing those to the hungry and needy people is serving mankind. Similar acts can be replicated by communities and localities.
Each locality can get together and have focus group discussions to have small vegetable gardens in the neighborhood or each member can have a small vegetable garden in the backyard/ rooftops/balconies by collecting the peels of vegetables/fruits and using that as compost would be small steps in producing nutritious, chemical fertilizer free and organic vegetables/fruits for consumption. This would be a noble endeavor in helping our families and others to stay healthy and free from deadly diseases like cancer. Vegetable waste can also be donated to the parks, school gardens for use as compost.
The community and localities can get together to install water filters in streets, parks, or nearby slums or any local schools/Anganwadis/ primary health care centers of their localities to ensure clean and pure drinking water by anyone passing by or visiting those areas.
How can we have healthy babies without healthy mothers?
It is not only the subsidized food or free food items that are distributed to pregnant mothers in the deprived and rural areas that can help.
Regular education and awareness to the pregnant mothers by the ASHA workers, Anganwadi workers through discussion and visual pedagogy is necessary. Vaccination of each expecting mother and newborn must be mandatory and the families should be properly enlightened regarding vaccination so that they are proactive.
What can be a better way of education than experiential learning?
Let’s talk about our schools. It’s high time the education system, our schools, each teacher values and imparts learning for life. It is more than necessary to learn from the best systems. Japanese schools make it mandatory for kids to clean up the school first when they reach school and do exercise daily.
This inculcates a value for fitness and cleanliness in the kids. They internalize cleanliness and exercise/yoga as a part of their existence. It is rightly said ‘Cleanliness is next to Godliness. Involving children at homes and schools to plant trees, cater to the gardens, cleaning the classroom, imparting vocational skills, prepares children for life.
This can go a long way in nurturing the future generation mentally, physically and surging their future economic potential.
Every day thousands of tonnes of waste are collected from homes, offices, and streets in cities.
Only if every local authority can ensure a separate collection of biodegradable/non-biodegradable waste by spreading awareness through mass media, community workshops, pamphlets to the citizens, it can do wonder since from the source point the waste can be separately kept and delivered to the disposal point.
The local authority through community and corporate partnership can build and sustainably run a recycling plant, what a change it would be!
A moment to think about our residential complexes. It is quite conspicuous that water scarcity will be one of the major reasons for conflict, diseases, and death within the next 50 years. What are the measures that can be adopted to arrest such a dismal situation from occurring? Well, the answer is simple.
Conserve! Conserve! And conserve!
The same goes for checking pollution and using renewable energy sources. Every home and organization can contribute by optimizing solar and wind energy through accessibility to solar panels and windmills in open areas/fields.
The governments have to work at a meteoric speed, by spreading awareness, making and implementing stringent laws for corporate, residential complexes, offices, schools, educational institutions, hospitals, community buildings to invest in rainwater harvesting.
Even slums can be roped in by spreading education, folding in SHGs (Self Help Groups) in each slum with assured rewards and benefits, etc.
Mawlynnong at Meghalaya could not have achieved the title of being the cleanest village in Asia without conscientious, consistent, systematic, vigilant, and value-based efforts with complete participation from each household.
Here’s is the case that right here in India, in the beautiful state of clouds-Meghalaya, we have such a worth visiting village as a life an example to follow.
The scientists, teachers, engineers, researchers, manufacturers can dedicate their knowledge and time to innovate sustainable and smart equipment to help society reach the SDGs like cost-effective AI systems for traffic management, waste disposal, rainwater harvest, or energy conservation. All these can help our environment in a multirole manner.
Let's get together to ward off poverty, hunger, deprivation, environmental pollution, and lack of energy by contributing our bit for meeting each of the 17 SDGs of the UN by 2030.
A joint effort from each individual to Government and International bodies - We are on a mission to change with a vision for a more sustainable and equal world.
"Our biggest challenge in this new century is to take an idea that seems abstract - sustainable development - and turn it into a reality for all the world's people."
~ Kofi Annan