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XLRI organises 3rd Dr Verghese Kurien Memorial Oration on Sustainable Development

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Jamshedpur, Sept. 25: Dr.Ela Bhatt, eminent social activist and founder of SEWA (Self Employed Women’s Association) while delivering the oration on the topic ‘Living with Anubandh: A Way to Sustainability’ emphasised on the need for interconnection between the consumer and the local producers.

“As consumers, when we buy handmade goods, we are making clear statements with our money. We are saying that we support the poor village craftswoman and her empowerment; we value the rich cultural heritage of our country,” she noted.

XLRI organised the 3rd “Dr Verghese Kurien Memorial Oration on Sustainable Development”. The oration is organised by XLRI under the aegis of Fr Arrupe Center for Ecology and Sustainability (FACES) with the aim to provide a platform to listen to and learn from thought leaders, social entrepreneurs, development sector professionals and policy makers who have made a significant contribution to the idea of an empowered, prosperous and sustainable society.

Explaining what “Anubandh” stands for in her oration, Dr. Bhatt said, “Anubandh means to follow a connection. It is a worldview that encourages us to follow the links of mutual interconnectedness towards a sense of wholeness. We are all bound to each other and to the land. The world is sustained by the sum of all our correlated actions.

Growth in one area is dependent on growth in other areas. For example, one’s economic well being affects one’s mental and physical health, as it affects one’s social standing.”

She expressed her concern on how globalization has left a declining impact on local producers – “Globalization is exciting, but the excitement of the new and wondrous has dulled our awareness of what is happening under our nose, in our own back yard. Our concern for the local has been steadily declining. We believe that non-industrial modes of production too have a place in our economy. We are saying traditional crafts are not our past; they are also our future,” she said.

She said, “I suggest we begin by building an active relationship with the world around us. We do it in a way that the food we eat, the clothes we wear and the objects we surround ourselves with in our daily lives not only reflect our own values but also activate the values of our society. This is a two-way process”.

“Useful education must be relevant to daily life as well as to future life. Education must equip us to become aware of our role in the economy as producers and as consumers; of our role in society as peacemakers as well as agents of change; and of our rights and duties as responsible global citizens. I believe that if we can live with an awareness of Anubandh in our lives, as individuals, as family members, as members of a community, and as local and global citizens, our world is much more likely to be balanced, holistic, and peaceful. All it takes is awareness,” she said in her oration.

In his address, Fr. E Abraham, S. J. Director of XLRI said, “Dr.Verghese Kurien best known as the “Father of the White Revolution in India” is recognized globally as an extraordinary social entrepreneur who envisaged the ‘billion-litre idea’ or Operation Flood – the world’s biggest agricultural development program.

His remarkable life and achievements are an embodiment of his faith in the ability of the common man to exercise control over his destiny”.

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