VK-NARDEP is an integral project of Vivekananda Kendra Kanyakumari.
It was started in 1986 inspired by Indic vision of the seers:
Isavasyam idam Sarvam - All Existence is permeated by Divine
Swami Vivekananda's clarion call to uplift the downtrodden masses.
Inner sustainability is one of the core activities of VK-nardep that has received high accolades and recognition from various quarters. We regularly conduct motivation workshops,personality development workshops for various sections of the society including government agencies, Panchayat presidents, social workers, NGOs, self-help groups, students etc. With VK-nardep these workshops have their own uniqueness and effectiveness.
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The field experience in technology dissemination in the field of sustainable technology along with successful innovation of green-technologies for more than a quarter of a century has made VK-nardep an important institution for green technologies. The following modules are the best VK-nardep has to offer in the field of green construction technology, Water management, Sustainable Agriculture, Indigenous Health and Renewable Energy.
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A very Happy Deepavali Greetings to you and your dear ones.
This month newsletter we bring you two panels from Gramodaya Park that explain the importance of traditional water harvesting and water management systems which exist throughout South India. The Traditional water bodies (TWB) which we are renovating as part of the Green Rameshwaram projects are part of this larger systems. The principles behind these systems are explained in these panels. They should be understood to realize the context and importance of the renovation work that is being carried out by VK-nardep in Rameshwaram. It is both sacred and ecologically significant work. Today we have identified all the lost traditional water bodies in the island and have started renovating them. We have already successfully renovated 16 of these endangered water bodies.
In 'the happenings' section you can get a glimpse of our work in various fronts including sustainable agriculture, renewable energy and traditional medicine. We are happy to announce that we have conducted the national level seminar on Varma-Siddha therapy for joints and nerve problems. The function brought together more than 200 traditional Vaidyas and medical professionals and the event became an important step in conserving the traditional knowledge and disseminate it. Koodankulam Project Director Dr.Suresh and Kendra Vice-President Sri.Balakrishnanji graced the occasion. The regular training programmes on bio-methanation plant, extension activities in the form of study tour visits and construction of bio-methanation plants have been conducted.In Green Rameshwaram you can see the renovation works being carried out at the heritage building and also the phyto-treatment work through Vettiver and the newly discovered buried 'Parasuramar Teertham'.
In our publication section we introduce our 'manual for good hygienic practices' and a book on traditional medicines for daily use. Both are books published under the 'Green Rameshwaram' project with patronage from UNICEF. In our wisdom section we have Sri Aurobindo explain the importance of nature in evolution, the Japanese concept of equanimity of vision (banbutsu seidou) and we have a potter-Artist Rupert Spira explaining painter Paul Cézanne's saying that “A time is coming when a carrot, freshly observed, will trigger a revolution": "Cézanne meant that if we could see even a simple everyday object such as a carrot, as it truly is, our experience would be revolutionized."
Warm greetings from Vivekananda Kendra - nardep.
This month newsletter we bring you excerpts from our book on water harvesting with special reference to roof water harvesting in the urban areas. One of the aims of Green Rameshwaram is to make the ancient island again a water bowl that it once was. Though situated in a relatively arid district, the island has been made a repository of water harvesting structures. Today we are reviving these structures and it is also necessary that the residents also continue this legacy of traditional water harvesting by making their own homes a potential water harvesting structure. We hope the book will inspire people to achieve this target.
In our happenings section we have training programs on enriched bio-manure; camp on the documentation of Siddha medicine and also bio-methanation plant training workshops. In the 'Green Rameshwaram' project the search for the lost traditional water harvesting structures has been going on relentlessly. Equipped with survey maps and local oral traditions as well as ancient literature. The recently discovered Parasuramar Teertham is a classic example of the Traditional Water Body associated with a lot of pan-Indian cultural linkages – in the form of ‘Namakkatti’. This is a major achievement for the 'Green Rameshwaram' team and is a veritable story of investigation of lost and found. Learn more about this in our newsletter.
In the publication section we have excerpt from our energy book which also aims to make Rameshwaram an energy abundant /self-reliant island In the wisdom section we have a modern Sufi saint speak about Indian tradition of nature veneration. A spiritual ecologist speaks of the need to to participate with a greater awareness in the process of transformation and makes seed a metaphor for that. A Zen Buddhist speaks on the need to care for all life as 'even as a mother protects with her life her child, her only child' as we have this only planet.
So we wish you a happy Puja-festival time and you can download and read our newsletter here.
Very warm wishes from Vivekananda Kendra-nardep Due to some unavoidable technical problems we were not able to send the last month newsletter. We express our regrets for the delay. We are providing both the newsletters in this communication.
Dr.APJ Abdul Kalam's sudden demise has left us all in grief. VK-nardep also shares the anguish of the nation and vows to keep working for the vision of Dr.Kalam. One of his last wishes has been the realization of Green Rameshwaram which he himself inaugurated. 'Green Rameshwaram' project provided the rightful memorial service to Dr.Kalam by involving themselves in brining solar light based electricity to the coastal hamlet on the day of Dr.Kalam's funeral. You can read the vision of Dr.Kalam and how we are striving to make it come true. Also interesting is the dream of Green Rameshwaram which the children have brought out through their paintings. So what we are doing at Green Rameshwaram is that we are making as reality the vision of Dr.Kalam and the dream of the children. You will also get a glimpse of the work we are doing including how energy independence is being brought to the island of Rameshwaram through green Rameshwaram.This newsletter is Kalam-centric and you will get a glimpse of his vision and our mission of making his vision a reality for his very island:
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That brings us to this month newsletter. We bring to your attention the result of an annual survey by National Geographic magazine whose 'Greendex' study of the consumer behaviour worldwide consistently finds Indians to be the people with the most eco-friendly behaviour. Then we bring you a case study of a village where the energy independence is achieved through solar power. Then you will get an idea of what our own volunteers are doing. They are brining smiles and solar power into the huts of the coastal villages and they are organizing students to take the message of 'Green Rameshwaram' to each and every resident of Rameshwaram. We are planning the composting of the 'nirmalya'; traditional pond premises are getting cleaned; The nandavanams or the traditional gardens associated with temples in Rameshwaram are also getting cleaned; the locals and other organizations are also getting involved. Particularly the students are getting involved. In the wisdom section we have an eco-feminist speak on the living planet. We have Mother (Pondicherry) speak on becoming one with the tree consciousness and we also have His Holiness Dalai Lama on the need to develop eco-awareness. In the publication section we have Mahatma Gandhi on the process of development.
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This month newsletter we give you a bird's eye view of the endangered shells of the Gulf of Mannar area - of which Rameswaram is a part. This is in continuation with our green Rameswaram series on bio-diversity of the region. Apart from the shells or the molluscan species the coral reef also play a very crucial role in the safeguarding of the marine fish populations. It has been documented that in this biodiversity hot-spot fishes belonging to 27 families and 50 species live. This is from our book on bio-diversity published in association with UNICEF under 'Green Rameshwaram' project.
We are happy to inform you that as a part of Green Rameshwaram project we are renovating a prominent heritage building 'Mahabeer Dharmashala' near Rameshwaram railway station District Administration has kindly given us the permission to renovate the building. So we had a small limited public function and commencement ceremony on 5th of June (Friday), as the day being world environment day. It is a beautiful heritage building and local oral traditions have it that Holy Mother Sarada Devi stayed there during her visit to Rameshwaram.Under 'Green Rameswaram' initiatives the Kunthakkaal Vivekananda memorial which was the place where Swami Vivekananda first landed has been made into a completely energy self-reliant building with solar panels and a smart grid system. The technology has been provided by Basil technologies.
In the publication section we provide eco-toons from our publication 'Samagra Vikas'. The eco-toons deal with holistic health. In the wisdom section we provide Dharampal - the famous Gandhian historian giving a view of Indic social system with emphasis on the interconnectedness in Indian communities. We have Swami Sahajananda - a famous social reformer and Vedantin on the need to inculcate in our educational system a systematic knowledge of local medical knowledge and thus make our public health system holistic and cost-effective. Then we have Makarand R.Paranjape on what is Indic view of ecology and nature. You can download them all and read them here:
This month newsletter brings you another excerpt from our book on the biodiversity of Rameshwaram - Gulf of Mannar region. Here we present the different turtles as well as the biodiversity inherent in the corals of the region. The Gulf of Mannar region provides a very interesting heterogeneous group of flora and fauna. From this region about 3600 species have been identified. Of this, 186 species are commercially exploited, 116 are vulnerable and 7 are considered as endangered. In the case of fishes of the 2200 fish species distributed in Indian waters, 441 species have so far been recorded in Gulf of Mannar. Gulf of Mannar is one of the best regions in the Indian region in fish biodiversity richness.
In our happenings section we bring you a variety of news on such varied activities like construction of bio-methanation plants to Azolla training to ethnic medicine documentation workshops, world Siddha camp etc. We also bring you 'Green Rameshwaram' project news where the renovated traditional water bodies are showing a great sign of recovery with lotus blooms. We have also been conduction bio-methanation plant technology awareness programmes for the household women so that the technology will really go to the people who need them.
In our publishing section we bring out eco-toons and facts which point out how food which essentially provides nourishment to body, mind and soul has now become a corporate commodity to be marketed. The eco-toon and excerpt are from our publication 'Samagra Vikas'. In our wisdom section we have a biological anthropologist discuss 'Eco-Ethics' asking us to 'think of the factory- farm cow who has her calves taken away after a few weeks or months, over and over again; about the orca taken from his or her pod in the sea and brought to captivity to perform for us' and we have the writing of Sri Aurobindo which points out that 'all is in all and it is out of the complete involution that the complete evolution progressively appears' . Then we have Kapila Vatsyayan speaking of the 'need to re-learn lessons from those very societies and cultures of the human species where this consciousness was ingrained as a primary article of faith'.