Inspiring initiatives that have been taken up for the benefit of communities and individuals, showing that a lot can be accomplished through a sincere effort in the right direction: the concepts are novel and challenge conventional thinking bringing in a fresh perspective urging one to explore new areas with the intention to successfully change for the better.
Examples are of a , community based exercise for an environment hub, students taking charge of their energy use, a rating for better habitat design and citizen’s coming forward to evaluate public services.
Description:PRAAKRUTEE was conceived as a participatory process towards building eco-sensitive building design. In this four day Charity event, teams of young aspiring architects from seven architectural colleges from Pune, faculty and environmentalists developed an eco-sensitive design for a community Environmental Hub in an urban local park in Pune. The participant teams were exposed to numerous learning and discussion sessions focusing on sustainability principles, eco housing criteria, resource management practices etc. Senior architects and environmental experts who are experimenting with alternative materials, solar passive architecture and energy conserving techniques in construction interacted with the participants in this event. An initiative of the Environment Management Centre, the success of the program has only inspired a repeat performance of the same in every city aspiring to sustainable living.
Description:A novel concept – the report card on the efficiency of the Public services of a city throws light on a social nuisance that’s frowned upon but tolerated citing reasons that are a step ahead of text book excuses. For the time, 1993, this concept was also quite radical, nothing like this had been tried before and it seemed ahead of its time and yet timely in its execution because of the slew of unsurprising facts the exercise revealed. Piloted in the Bangalore of the 90s, the project involved a simple survey that took into consideration well thought out posers for the citizens to use as a gauge of quality of response and assistance sought and received from the many everyday Public service departments. The results while not surprising are sound indicators of the lack of apathy in many cases and ignorance in some towards the fulfillment of the very services these agencies were created to provide!The author has very rightly raised a number of questions that need to be asked in the hope that the day may come when they no longer need asking. The report card does make a good tool for generating awareness and makes a good case for encouraging citizen interest and action in matters that matter most!
Description:There probably is a reason why a building is called a building even after completion and it may simply be because its impact on the surroundings and the environment never stop! Green Rating for Integrated Habitat Assessment or GRIHA by TERI shows how buildings can be built and can exist with minimum negative impact on the environment. The green building code and the rating system sets a limit on construction carving out a different path that uses sustainable use of resources as its guiding principle. “GRIHA is TERI’s green building design evaluation system to be used as a tool to design, operate, evaluate and maintain resource efficient “healthy” buildings. It can only bode well for the future if all buildings existing and new were to be rated by the GRIHA system bringing back the original purpose of human dwelling to shelter those within and without!
Reference: from http://www.teri.res.in/holicim_present/mili.pdf
Description:Give an engineer some machinery and you will have a solution for a problem you never thought existed! And so it was with the 1st year M.Tech students of the Department of Energy, Science and Engineering at IIT Bombay. Here is their energy audit of the IIT Bombay campus, in their words: “We have compiled a list of possible actions to conserve and efficiently utilize our scarce resources and identified their savings potential.” Even though this was part of a project, a glance through the document shows the amount of effort and thought that has gone into making it as thorough and reliable as possible. They have mentioned that an audit is a process and suggest that the transformation, if any is to be effected, doesn’t stop here! Implementation is their goal and we hope they’ve achieved it.More often than not the best ideas are born from a genuine desire to effect change and change for the better. Putting learning into practice strengthens knowledge and builds skill. For Ecocity Sangli-Miraj-Kupwad to become a reality, participation from its youth will ensure a success rate that will be enviably sustainable. If the students of Walchand College of Engineering are similarly inspired to audit their own sprawling campus, they would be taking responsibility for a future that will be undoubtedly more secure and deservedly theirs.