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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This is the first newsletter of this year and briefs you the events that happened for us the last month. A very happy new year to you and your friends and relatives. And soon you will be celebrating Makara Sankranthi /Pongal. We wish you peace and prosperity during the festive season.
This month we show you how the local cattle of Rameshwaram can be nurtured and the local bio-diversity turned into an asset by using the local traditions like feeding the cow. The Rameshwaram cow is a dwarf variety cow and is unique. The solution we provide in 'Green Rameshwaram' combines both the modernity and tradition and thus is holistic. We are sure you will enjoy this synthesis that VK-nardep is attempting to bring to the ancient island and modern municipality of Rameshwaram. This month also saw an enthusiastic participation in 'Green Rameshwaram' by college students from Kanyakumari district. Kanyakumari is also another important pilgrimage town and thus the uniting of human efforts from these two pilgrimage centers in creating green Rameshwaram is indeed a wonderful experience. As if by synchronicity we also found north Indian pilgrims joining in big numbers independently for the cleaning of the car streets of Rameshwaram. You can read about all that in this newsletter.
In the events section we have Jharkhand farmers learning the Azolla technology; traditional Siddha bone setting workshop and also biogas training programme, exposure visit of farmers. We have constructed 8 bio-methnation plants in the island of Rameshwaram. You will also read about the fourth brainstorming session on Green Rameshwaram held at the island with the district collector participating in it. You will also notice that UNICEF sponsored events are on the full swing in Ramseshwaram. In fact very interesting events and challenges are unfolding before us.
In our publications section we look at the real nature of unemployment that is created by the conventional economic progress. The eco-toons will convey to you new concepts like 'creative destruction' and 'discouraged work era'. In the wisdom section we bring you Subash Kak - famous physicist who talks about animal intelligence and J.C.Kumarappa the famous Gandhian economist on the value of permanence. Then we have an excerpt from the work of a neurobiologist who speaks about the need to keep science open and wonder filled. Let us see an excerpt from what J.C.Kumarappa says which we have reproduced in our newsletter: The more advanced in culture a person becomes,the less will he be guided by such short-sighted perishable standards of value. Such a basis, detached and independent of personal feelings, controlled by ideals which have their roots in the permanent order of things, are objective and so are true and reliable guides. An economy, based on such values, will be a prerequisite to the achievement of permanence. Surely the Gandhian economist was well ahead of his times.
Once again we wish you a happy new year and Makara Sankrathi and Ponal.You can download the entire newsletter here.
Warm regards from VK-nardep.
This month newsletter starts with the importance of coral reefs for fishing in the Rameshwaram island. If coral reefs disappear then fish populations are affected. If fish populations dwindle then fishing communities are affected. Fishing communities being an integral part of the socio-ecological fabric of the island the adverse impact on their livelihood shall disrupt the social fabric of the island. So conserving biodiversity of coral reefs is a very important obligation not only for the residents of Rameshwaram but also for the pilgrim-tourists who visit the island.
The newsletter also provides you the concluding part of the minutes of the third brain-storming session on Green Rameshwaram that was held at Rameshwaram island itself with public participation on October 11 2014.
The monsoons have arrived and this time Rameshwaram island has been made ready to collect more water than previous years. After decades the ruined, polluted and abandoned water bodies are now ready with a renovated beautiful new face to receive the water from the monsoons.
This month we show how beautifully the Arjuna Teertham is filled with the water of the monsoons. From the way the teertham was almost lost and now standing filled with water is a scene that is for every Indian to behold and be happy and proud. May this inspire us to preserve and renovate our abandoned water bodies which are a great national asset. Water is fast becoming a scarce resource. In such an emerging situation conserving every rain water counts. We are sure the future generations will look at these renovated water bodies with great gratitude and it is up to every one of us to preserve them and pass them on to posterity. Make sure you share this wonderful news with your near and dear ones and spread the message of water conservation.
In our happenings section we have Azolla and Green technologies training for the Jharkhand farmers; Bio-methanation plant training and South Indian seminar on Varma therapy with special reference to orthopedic problems. The seminar and workshop was inaugurated by Dr.Sivathanu Pillai who headed the Brahmos. Many traditional therapists as well as medical professionals attended the meet. It was a confluence of minds and hearts : exchanging ideas and conserving as well as documenting the traditional knowledge for updating and adapting to the changing situations. This is a very important endeavor that VK-nardep has been taking to preserve the ancient science of Siddha-Varma which is a very effective yet cost-effective system of indigenous medical knowledge.
In our publication section we bring out eco-cartoons for the ethical and ecological market products: it is not making people purchase more but purchase what is needed for life and good for environment. In our wisdom section we have an Italian philosopher discuss how there is unity behind the varying names and forms; an ethno-mathematician discusses how the mathematics has cultural underpinning and the temple geometry is a holistic way of using mathematics for sustainable living. We have C.Rajagopalachari the great Indian statesman making a statement that anticipates today's environmental crisis decades before they dawned on our conscience. He draws a parallel between fish in the ocean trying to change the nature of ocean water leading to their perishing; such would be the fate of humanity if it meddles with the environment in which it has evolved he says.
Greetings from Vivekananda Kendra.
The coral reefs of Rameshwaram are an important part of the sacred geography. They also have a great evolutionary history. They provide a great support for the Gulf of Mannar biodiversity. However today they are facing many threats mainly due to the pollution and global warming. We provide a glimpse into some interesting aspects of the Rameshwaram coral reefs. The coral reefs have been there for millions of years. There are many marine organisms which are dependent on these coral reefs. Home to many organisms the marine biodiversity is heavily dependent on the coral reefs and they had also protected the population from the 2004 Tsunami. Hence we need to protect them. This is an effort to make people aware of their importance and the need to conserve them.
We also have the message from the project chairman on Green Rameshwaram Mr. Ravi Sam in the third brain storming session that was held on Oct-11 at Rameshwaram. The district collector, the municipal chairman, forest officer, wildlife warden and many eminent citizens graced the event. Many suggestions were made and important decisions as well as new pathways have been designed to be followed for achieving Green Rameshwaram. Solar installation to removal of Prosopis juliflora have been discussed. Mr.Ravi Sam in his address also stated that he would speak to the authorities in the government about the project and the importance of recognizing Rameshwaram as as green heritage island. The issue of signages and beautification of the places were also discussed. You can find about all those discussions in the newsletter.
It is our misunderstanding and partial understanding of the nature of the world –fragmentation that has led the world to the brink. Our eco-toons bring this out. Also see the various happenings, training programmes that took place in our campus during this month. For example 200 Farmers visited Gramodaya Park and learnt different cost effective technologies including live model Rain water harvesting structure this month. In our wisdom section we have the physicist Menas Kafatos elaborates the importance of dialogue as essential for accepting positive change and uniting humanity beyond variations. Ecologist Madav Gadgil speaks about how traditional socities are characterized by a number of conditions conducive to the evolution of a "community of beings" world-view; Historian of science Robert Nadeau explains how the primary objective of the ecological economists is to enlarge the framework of the neoclassical economic paradigm to include scientifically valid measures of the environmental costs of economic activities.
Warm regards from VK-nardep.
This month we have exciting report on Dharmar Teertham. After identifying the Teertham area which was a plain sand dune and after the initial ceremonies, we started digging. And we discovered a huge beautiful traditional water body emerging as the sand dune got cleared. The centuries old structure made with lime mixture has a wonderful finishing touch and is mostly intact even after centuries of being buried under the sand dune. In the Green Rameshwaram project we have a host of works done by our team of workers at Rameshwaram. The Tamil month Aadi that overlaps the English months of July and August is filled with local festivals and pilgrimages. So people flock the island in thousands and we have been using this occasion to conduct mass outreach programmes. We have distributed literature on Green Rameshwaram and have also had scores of them visit the Green Rameshwaram exhibition that we have organized. We have also conducted the Green Rameshwaram awareness programmes in many schools, panchayat commons as well as university study centers. Green Health Camps have been conducted at the villages in the island through which people are sensitized to the green herbal traditions and resources available locally.
Use of local traditions for creating awareness about Green Rameshwaram and novel ways of social engineering have been discussed in the previous brain storming session about which also you can learn here. In our publication section we have brought out the definition of Ozone depletion. You can see how the Ozone hole is still a problem. We also have an eco-toon on how the natural processes are cyclical while the industrial processes are linear. In our 'happenings' section we have Dr.Kamalasaanan Pillai explaining some new agricultural technologies to the farmers along with Azolla technology. We also have some good press reports on 'Green construction' as well as 'Green Rameshwaram'.
In our wisdom section we have David Suzuki the famous ecologist explaining how sensitivity to hidden costs can make us reduce our consumption. Sri Aurobindo's passage explains how the awareness of the hidden Spirit will make us shed the mechanical view of nature and see it as an organic phenomenon imbibed with sacredness. We have a passage from Fritjof Capra that speaks about the hidden connection between the biological systems and social systems.
You can find it all here and Happy reading! A very happy independence day!
With best wishes