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Answers for the curious one



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[Topics under debate]: GOOD GOVERNANCE
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[Moderator: Very Impressive. Vamsi & Rajeev, guys we are not here to
rank individual's contributions. We are all in our own way doing our
bit, lets focus on what can be done collectively and what needs to be
done. Lets let not digress onto who has done what. I call upon both of
you to appreciate the uniquness each of you brings to IPI and recognise
it and make the best of it. Thank You]

This is in response to Vamsi :

<< ..Could you please tell the forum what you have been doing my
friend?  Just curious.>>

In the late 70's while still at Design School in Ahmedabad, 3 of us
went deep into the "Silent Valley" one of the last tracts of virgin
Tropical forest to document and prepare a case for its preservation. A
huge dam was proposed in its midst. We netwroked with a couple of small
grassroots groups there in Kerala. We sent a copy of this to the
parliament through the father ( Mr Dandavate ) of one of our colleagues
at NID.

The Dam did get stopped. Our contributions might just have helped a
mite.

Since then I have contributed my skills as a graphic designer to
various NGO's engaged in work on environmental issues. Generally NGO's
have extremely low budgets & engaging a professional designer is
usually low priority. When I did an exhibition on water contamination
all over the country for the Centre for Science & Environment in Delhi,
it had tremendous feedback with people expressing willingness to get
involved. Some were very militant, ready to take the fight to the
politicians. Some did carry through their enthusiasm with CSE.

I edited, designed & produced a series of documents on Public Hearings
on Environment from most of the States in India. This formed the
Document that Dr Karan Singh carried to Rio for the Earth Summit as
part of the NGO contibution.

I decided to take the fight to local areas directly affecting us. I
have a constant battle with the Electricity, Telephone & Road
authorities. It means taking time off & making the effort to trace the
man in control and ask them why they aren't performing. And surprise !
surprise ! It works. The fact is that most people don't want to make
the effort to do anything but crib. A payoff is often seen as an easier
route. If this energy is channelised it could bear some fruit.
But I am glad that some of my friends have taken a cue. Local action is
as crucial as effort on effecting change at the macro level.

Right now I am in the midst of creting a community that can try & be an
efficient one. We have acquired land to form a community of 16
families. It would have eco-friendly practices, energy efficient, with
good connectivity ( hoping to put in cable based net access ) and so
on. I don't want to bore you details. But things can be done. It does
take a lot of dedicated effort.

By the way I did live in the US. I made a choice to be here.

Now you could tell me what else you have done apart from collecting
signatures ?

Rajeev


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