Sunday, June 6, 2010

Gandhian engineering-A Food for thought

There is a nice saying ..“Life was simpler when "APPLE" and "BLACKBERRY" were just fruits..!!!”. A nice world without the burdening list of “to-dos” and the pinch of schedule. Alas, but life has taken its course, and any man with a dream to fulfill, has to trade the racing path. So the fruits turn into gadgets and the life into a timetable. Everybody wants to claim his pie in this glorious economic growth and leave his mark in the industry.
Even amidst this smog of industrial revolution, there are some visionaries who dream of sustainable future. Working towards “ more from less” motto, and targeting the large mass at the bottom of the pyramid, they follow a mission called “Gandhian engineering”. An eminent scientist and a visionary leader, Dr. Raghunath Mashelkar, threw this idea at the entrepreneurs and he had a large cult following. The core of this initiative is “Science for Solution, Technology for Transformation, Innovation for Impact”. The idea revolves around highest quality of product / service at lowest price. Dr. Mashelkar also gives an immense importance to optimize production processes to reduce waste, promote reuse and recycle. This is the need of the hour.
He quotes very apt example for sustainable future, surprisingly coming from a boy in rural area. Boy says nearly 120 liters of water is consumed to produce one kilogram of vegetables and how it was not sustainable. That is where Gandhian Engineering will begin. The heart of it is sustainability.
Every process is dependent on the raw material, which by god’s grace is abundant at this hour. But stock of metals, oil n gas would soon deplete, and every core process and the digital world that depends on these inputs, will feel the shortage. In the state of abundance, the thrust to recycle and reduce waste takes a backseat. But We cannot go on just consuming. We need to reuse. Recycle.
Dr. Mashelkar quotes C K Prahlad, that our aspirations should always be higher than our resources. If you feel you are resource rich, the aspirations go down, you are on a downhill. So always use resource critically and wisely. The thought provokes the requirement of a “Green initiatives”.
The three major hurdles we see in such initiative, is one lack of awareness, two unavailability of an easy medium to recycle, and third less access to experts for optimizing our processes. We need to start a movement to reach the masses and motivate them to use renewable energy resources, utilize natural resources wisely. The entrepreneurs are already striving to create quality products for less cost, especially in health and consumer sectors to reach the bottom of pyramid in India. What we need to emphasize is to properly handle the end-of-life cycles for these products. The same also need to be propagated to corporate for responsible manufacturing and recycling.
Million dollar question. So how do we contribute in this greater cause. As a miniscule part of this society, do I have power to take on this big challenge? Why not….We are ideating one such movement through the web media, with our technical skills, for the urban masses to start with. We would try to address every possible avenue to work towards the Greener India. We wish to take this movement subsequently to reach every citizen of India and inculcate the habit of responsible usage and engineering. We will like to put in use our technical experience, in-house expertise. We also encourage other volunteers to help in this cause and contribute as per their competence.
As Dr. Mashelkar say, we live on earth on a lease of our lifetime. Some people do some good for humanity, some people do otherwise and some just don’t do anything, they consume and go away. We want to be of the first kind, and contribute towards our Nation.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

World Environment Day June 5th 2010

Today is World Environment Day. Last year I had launched my blog on this day. So A Greener You is 1 year old today. Its time to take stock of where we are.

Environment is our all encompassing natural surrounding. When people study the impact of human activity on the environment we refer to the five elements of the environment : Land, air, water, noise and the biological environment. Any substance introduced by human activity into these 5 environments in quantities that are harmful for humans are termed as pollutants. We humans have rendered our environment polluted to such an extent, that it is beyond the capability of nature of cleanse itself. Humans understand that well - so we devise terms such as mitigation - which means to undo the harm - which is like putting the paste back in the tube!

So when the sustainability movement started - it understood that we have to involve humans and economics to undo the damage on the environment. Environment does not stand alone but when human realise that it is in their favour to not pollute and not use more than required the environment stands to gain by embracing a sustainable lifestyle.

There are many blogs telling you what each one of us should to live greener -a blog of note is maddock douglas - Green innovation blog.
Leverages the human ingenuity to overcome all odds, using innovative minds to tide the wave.
While skeptics still abound wondering what this hulla bulla is all about, it takes gentle coaxing to so that people start to spare atleast a thought to our all encompassing natural environment. Once the thought takes root, we would coax further to turn it into action. Like domino effect the green movement has already taken the world by storm. Business who choose to ignore it will stand to face risk of regulation, litigation and brand value loss. Individuals who choose not to acknowledge or revere the environment will eventually be scorned by a growing section of society who have by choice embraced green lifestyles. It will be realised that we have no other way to live but to live holistic, closer to nature lives.

Do your bit for the environment. Live naturally...and don't tell me what can I do? If you can read and write you already know what you can do.
Remember ABC
Spread the awareness, feel that the earth belongs to you, and care as if it is your own child and do it everyday.
Happy Environment Day.