A peaceful warrior in search of Chi

Innovator: Sangeetha Shriram Vocation: Activist and organic food trader Location: Thiruvannamalai, Tamil Nadu She is a writer, activist, entrepreneur, educationist, facilitator, gardener, singer and artist. She is also a mother. But she likes to call herself a traveller. A traveller who is constantly learning from her experiences and looking for answers to the questions that emerge from her journey; thereby walking on a path which may not have any clear destination but has a number of milestones, one after another. The person I am talking about is my latest parinda, Sangeetha Sriram I call her a Peaceful Warrior. Having spent half her life in Chennai, Sangeetha is now on a…

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Education is incomplete without travel

Innovator: Biju Bhaskar Vocation: Natural builder and architect Location: Perumbakam, Tamil Nadu   “Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one’s lifetime.” – Mark Twain Education, indeed, has an integral role to play in the journey of a person from childhood to youth-hood to adulthood. And to achieve this education, it is important to gain new experiences. However, these experiences cannot be gained while sitting within the boundaries of four walls. I have always believed that “travel…

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Make the world your classroom

Innovator: Snehal Trivedi Vocation: Permaculturist Location: Auroville When Snehal Trivedi, a graphic designer by profession, got the chance to spend two years in the UK, he soon found himself tired of the western culture and the fast-paced city life. So he returned to India and decided to settle down in a small village near Auroville in Puducherry. That was the start of a new chapter in life for Snehal. In 2007, he bought a one-acre land near Auroville to build a house entirely of naturally available resources. He also wanted to use the land for farming and to improve the quality of soil. Born in a village in Saurashtra region,…

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Selfless education for true development

Innovator: Meenakshi Umesh Vocation: Alternate educationist Location: Dharmapuri, Tamil Nadu Today, a major part of the world is reeling under the consequences of climate change that have been caused by mankind over the years. The degrading quality of water, soil erosion, floods, rising temperatures, unexpected changes in the pattern of rainfall, loss of biodiversity and rising water levels in the sea are some of the disastrous challenges that are hanging over our heads and mocking us. While a large population of the world contributes to pollution, it affects those the most whose livelihood depends on nature. These are people who consider nature their god. Farmers, fishermen and potters, among others,…

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For a bright and colourful future

Innovator: Sammilan Shetty Vocation: Butterfly conservationist Location: Mangalore, Karnataka For centuries, butterflies have charmed humans. The beautiful and varied colours of a butterfly are like a reflection of the beautiful nature that is around us. While children like to chase butterflies, poets like to write about their enamouring beauty. Their migration cycle is still a mystery for many researchers and scientists. For nature lovers, butterflies are the basis of life; butterflies are those natural beings that contribute immensely to the environment. Butterflies are grateful to nature, and probably it’s time that we, too, should be grateful for the existence of the colourful beings, and make efforts to protect them from becoming…

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For the art of storytelling

Innovator: Priya Mukthukumar Vocation: Storyteller Location: Bengaluru, Karnataka From time immemorial, man has had a unique relationship with stories. If we turn the pages of history, our ancestors used the medium of cave drawings to leave behind stories for us. On one hand, this art of storytelling gave impetus to gradual development in the world, on the other, man developed and innovated the method of storytelling. Therefore, one can say that the development of humans and the art of storytelling are complementary to each other. One cannot evolve without the evolution of the other. Overtime stories or the method of storytelling changed, we saw some changes in our lives as…

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Conserving folklore for the protection of our planet

Innovator: Shanti Nayak Vocation: Folklore conservationist Location: Honavar, Karnataka Just as wild organic food and natural resources are depleting or becoming extinct, so are our cultural practices. With every passing year, less and less people are practicing traditional activities. If you look back at our history, our ancestors used to use the resources while keeping in mind the ecology. While they used the resources, they made sure it did not harm the environment around them. And they used their traditional knowledge for this purpose. For thousands of years, our ancestors stored this knowledge in their hearts like a treasure. However, in the last 150 years, on account of the industrial…

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Transforming lives by transforming practices

Innovator: Raghava Vocation: Natural farmer Location: Davangere, Karnataka “Natural systems have a remarkable tendency to renew and transform in continuous cycles. As farmers, we get to work along with these cycles and leave nature to flourish on its own. It will slow down or speed up, according to its own needs,” says Raghava. Natural farming is based on human-intervention-and-interference-free agricultural practices. It is a process which tries to heal the destruction caused by human knowledge and human activities. When Raghava was a young man, some incidents changed the course of his life. Ahead of him was a deserted road on which he walked alone to eventually land in nature’s lap.…

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A naturally healthy bond

Innovator: Varsha Samuel Rajkumar Vocation: Organic gardener Location: Dharwad, Karnataka Most of us, at some point of time in life, have felt a strong desire to get out of the house and spend time amid nature. This desire need not always involve travel but it could be to sit in our balcony and stare at the sky or lie down on the grass in the park or take an early morning stroll. But I wonder what is it that makes us feel calm and at peace when we’re close to nature? Does proximity to nature distances us from negative thoughts? What is the reason that we find ourselves happy when…

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Finding cash in trash

Innovator: Parag Mody Vocation: Organic waste management Location: Margao, Goa Like my last two stories about Sulochana Pendekar and Jill Ferguson, my latest parinda too brought me close to a major environment problem of waste caused by the modern-day society. While our last two parindey are trying to create more awareness around this problem of waste and its mismanagement, Parag Mody is working on turning waste into something that is useful for the planet and something that becomes a source of livelihood for people. According to a report, India dumped 47 million tonne of organic waste in 2011, and every year, it contributes 11.3 per cent to this pile of…

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