As India marks its 77th Independence Day, the editorial by Dr Ashok Khosla discusses the aspirations of the country’s citizens and what “a better life for all” encompasses. He argues that it can be achieved, provided relationships among the different social sectors, structures and systems become less vertical and more horizontal.
In this Blog, Soumen Maity recounts the adverse effects climate change is posing on earth and its inhabitants. From unprecedented heat waves to land degradation, humans are facing a plethora of problems. In this dismissal scenario, there seem to be some rays of hope. He talks about the work being done by Development Alternatives and other organisations to create a green and sustainable future.
The author of the blog, Kanika Verma, highlights the United Nations' resolution on promoting the social and solidarity economy for sustainable development. She emphasizes India's existing institutional structures and their potential to address poverty through economic and social empowerment. She suggests that embracing the social economy framework and engaging with the informal sector can drive India's transition to an inclusive and equitable future.
In this Blog, Dr Ashok Khosla looks back on the circumstances under which Development Alternatives was formed. He also elaborates on how the organisation is different from other Civil Society Organisations and the way it has been able to create thoughtful active leaders capable of reorienting and creating the development pathways needed for a better future. Women's close association with sustainable livelihoods, especially among the underprivileged sections of society, is well known.
Plastics have become an indispensable part of human lives and transformed everyday life. The present per capita consumption is over 21 million tonne in India. Rapid urbanisation and population growth are bound to increase their usage further in the years to come.
Can you do any media report today without factoring in climate change? Unlikely. Are you covering a fashion show? Talk to the designers and they will tell you about the problems of getting good cloth; first because cotton and silk productions have been hit by climate change and second because higher temperature means threads keep tearing on the loom more often. Covering foreign affairs? You cannot get away from the squabbles over legal and illegal migration and visas, all worsened because more and more people are finding it impossible to earn their livelihoods from agriculture – a direct impact of climate change. Covering a Test match? The international cricket season has shortened in tandem with the shortening winter. Covering the budget? Look at the amount that has gone into renewable energy. Covering a fight between two groups in a village? Chances are high that the fight is over water or crops, both hit by climate change. Doing a feature on folk songs? Find a contemporary folk song that does not talk of climate change impacts, though it is very likely that the phrase climate change will not be used. Report on high blood pressure? You will find the worst cases are along the coast, among people who cannot afford bottled water and have to drink water that is increasingly becoming saline due to rising sea levels, another impact of climate change.
Recognising the challenge of jobless growth and the need to fulfill the aspirations of over 12 million annual entrants into the work force in India, Mr Shrashtant Patara, CEO, Development Alternatives (DA) in this editorial highlights that there is a need to change our approach to job creation at scale. He stresses that we must invest much more intensively in using locally led micro movements of inclusive entrepreneurship.
Women’s close association with sustainable livelihoods, especially among the underprivileged sections of society, is well known. Climate change will (unarguably) affect the ability of vulnerable communities to provide for their everyday needs and existence. Women in ecologically critical locations are acutely aware of the threat that climate change poses to livelihood security in their immediate environment even though they may be unable to articulate the same in sophisticated language.