Published by Yatin Thakur on 01 Mar 2012 at 11:33 am
The third WiserLocal in Delhi took place on February 15th at Moonlighting, Delhi. This time, we wanted to do things a bit differently. Instead of usual discussions around a planned topic, we decided to show “The Story of Stuff” documentary by Annie Leonard.
This was our first gathering attracting 30 participants coming from different backgrounds, countries and cultures–voicing themselves as one. For the first time we did not need a formal facilitator to initiate dialogue.
In the film, Annie Leonard highlights the issue of excess and unnecessary consumption in capitalist led economies, particularly in the U.S. As our group discussed, excess consumption largely affects waste management. As India is not a capitalist economy, most of us found this story held less relevance in our country. However, domestic industrialization and capitalism are quickly playing a bigger role in Indian development.
Due to rising living standards with the middle class, which makes up about 40 to 45 percent of India’s 1.2 billion people, consumption levels have gone up tremendously. As a result, there is much heavier exploitation of our natural resources and limited infrastructure.
Several participants sparked rather interesting conversations. Some felt that depletion of natural resources is not because of capitalism. Although technology and machines have become a critical part of our lifestyle and it is practically impossible to control them, they believe, we need to think about joining the movement and doing our part to save the planet.
A larger question that came out of one of the participants was the “concern on global population.”
Can we resolve this issue in some way to protect the world from the nightmare of a natural disaster?
We need to realize it, act on it and work on it together as a common voice.
In the end, India may not have as overwhelming a problem of consumption, but our participants recognized the need to act together as a global community. It was inspiring to see such a positive response from across the country. We are happy to announce the launch of WiserLocal in four new cities across India in the upcoming two months. These locations include: Bangalore, Mumbai, Pune and Kolkata. Stay tuned with updates on our WiserLocal happenings and social initiatives in India at the homepage.
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