A call for volunteerism

Dr Robin Abraham

 

I believe the world is in crisis and it is not because of the actions of some evil people but due to the silence of good people. There are four MEGA crisis that the world faces

 

  • The rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer. The rich are taking much more than their fair share. 
  • The world's resources like petroleum , coal, minerals, fisheries are depleting
  • The world's population is going much beyond its carrying capacity. Our earth is stretched beyond its limit by overpopulation and overconsumption
  • The environment is degraded by loss of diversity and pollution. 

The list is a broad brush about our planets basic predicaments. The question is how did we reach to this point. The answer is in ourselves. The public is apathetic and concerned only with the short term. Thinking long term is hard and and nobody wants to do it. A survey of human history shows a story replete with tragedies and pain, wherein once proud civilisations collapsed to dust. Iraq which was a highly bio-diverse forest was reduced to a desert due to human activity. 

 

The solution to the deepest and, seemingly the most intractable problems of the world, is volunteerism. If a small band of dedicated volunteers give a part of their time to organising and raising awareness and taking action, it would create real visible change in the world. Before undertaking volunteer activity it is always good to understand where the world stands  as of now. Some activists and volunteers around the world tend to try to understand the world in a deep way and do their own research.  The question that reels most would-be volunteers is what possible action can be taken that will make a difference. The feeling of powerless and inertia is real. Most revolutions start off with a promise of utopia and reality always turns out to be less than utopian. 

 

We want to embark on a series of volunteer action which we will publish in this website and would like to invite your comments and suggestions. The sort of action which we will take will be small and doable by part time volunteers. Please join our discussion forum in facebook called innovative action group. The underlying philosophy of the action planed hinges on the belief that one person cannot save the world, but has to be a team effort. Volunteer action must be geared to information sharing and trying to build a team, both of which is low cost activity.  

 

I believe that information which encourage a way which is closer to nature and which strengthens democracy is the only way forward for humanity. In India there are may innovations in various sectors like

 

1) Governance: In India there is a great movement on for raising awareness about Right to Information act. There are many efforts all over the world to make governments more accountable to the people.

2) Agriculture: Innovative agricultural methods like  Zero Budget farming are being tried all over the world. 

3) energy: Low cost (RS 1500/-)Biogas, steam engine driven machines, bullock driven water pumps etc are many of the innovations in energy that are being tried with varying success. 

4) Water: People are surviving arid climates using innovative rainwater harvesting techniques. 

5) Housing: Innovative mud houses and energy efficient buildings are being built around the world.

6) Health: Low cost nutritious diets (moringa leaves), cancer awareness, lifestyle diseases awareness, yoga, basic life support awareness among public, helping babies breathe programme etc are some of the innovations in the health sector.  

 

The activities planned would be to raise awareness in a group of villages about these innovations and possibly to be able to facilitate interaction with the the pioneers who are implementing these technologies in their lives.