vknardep, medical traditions to metamorphosisThis month in our newsletter you can see how the local traditions can be revived for the protection of the bio-diversity and social coherence. What we have presented are excerpts from our publication, published as part of 'Green Rameshwaram' and the UNICEF WaSH initiative. They are also part of the panels in the awareness creation exhibition conducted at  various places in the island of Rameshwaram. In our 'Happenings'
    vknardep, medical traditions to metamorphosis we have Azolla workshop, workshops on indigenous Varma-Bone setting techniques, Bio-methanation plant training and awareness camps. In the ethnic medicine workshop a documentation CD of the Varma techniques was released. In Green Rameshwaram we have college students from Kanyakumari district coming and participating in the cleaning campaign. In the publication we have excerpt from Samagra Vikas which is about management of the urban waste through recycling of the organic matter. It is an excerpt from the article by Gary Gardner on recycling of organic wastes.

    Dear friends,

    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.

    Dear friend,

    This month newsletter brings you an excerpt from our newly published book on renewable energy. It shows graphically the renewable energy scenario and also the way we can tackle the energy problem through innovative and creative solutions.  Apart from the renewable energy statistics of the nation we also present in the excerpt decentralized energy solutions like Bio-methanation plant and also wind energy systems. In the 'Green Rameshwaram' project both are relevant. The book has been published as part of the 'Green Rameshwaram' project and sponsored by UNICEF's 'Water Sanitation and Hygiene (WaSH) initiative.  In fact 11 books have been published by VK-nardep under the WaSH initiative of UNICEF under the Green Rameshwaram project and our newsletter will introduce them all one by one.

    Meanwhile under the UNICEF initiative we have been conducting street plays to sensitize the public as well as the pilgrims about the need for 'Green Rameshwaram'.  Read about the local youths conducting street plays to take the message of green and clean Rameshwaram to the public. They are not professionals but they are fired with zeal and determination and are doing a wonderful job of disseminating the messages of tree planting to cleaning the beaches of Rameshwaram.

    As part of the 'Green Rameshwaram' project we have been able to bring smiles and light into the hamlets of Danushkodi with solar power installations. Sponsored by BrahMos Aerospace the project has not only lighted up the individual houses of the hamlet but also the community commons including the panchayat school and street lights in the area. The renewable energy installations is a short in the arm of the Green Rameshwaram project. Along with this we have also conducted a meeting of the special interest groups with the District Collector Sri.Nanthakumar IAS. The meeting was fruitful with a lot of suggestions and feed-back. A tribal products store has been opened at Rameshwaram at the Vivekananda Kendra premises. All these developments along with our work on sanitation can be read in this month newsletter.

    Dear friend,

    Local food culture and traditions have evolved over millenniums in tune with the local natural resources as well as the energy-nutrient needs of local communities. Culinary delights have also evolved to stimulate the taste buds differently. Diversity is the spice of life. Rameshwaram being a nodal point in the web of Gulf of  Mannar marine bio-diversity, it has its own unique and dynamic food traditions as well as soil fertility traditions. In this newsletter we examine two aspects of it: a sweet dish made from seaweed available locally and Goddess festivals which also connect with the germination of a variety of seeds of cereals and pulses.

    The 'Green Rameshwaram' project is progressing wonderfully. There have been cleaning campaign with participation from people of the other states, the local youths and students. There have been rallies and street plays to sensitize the locals as well as pilgrims to the theme of 'Green Rameshwaram'. There have been green health camps; public awareness programme on hygiene. There has been thus mass outreach programmes to take the message of Green Rameshwaram. We have also been installing bio-methanation plants which produce energy from bio-waste.

    In our monthly happening we have the Azolla camp, workshops on nutrient-rich bio-manure, bio-methanation plant workshops and also lecture on traditional medicine. There have been exposure visit of students and farmers to Gramodaya Park to study various green technologies. In our publication section we have eco-toons related to the educational system - the tradition system that was there before the colonial intervention and also the need for holistic education. In our wisdom section we have ecologists discussing how the food production,.distribution and consumption have to be sustainable and in tune with the conservation of the natural resources.


    All these you can read here.

    Dear friend,

    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.

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