Saturday, 22 February 2014

Youth Cafe on Environment , and Shades of Nature

Shades of Nature is a book of 64 pages, which was released jointly by  Sri Abid Surti( Painter and Cartoonist,Mumbai) , Sri Ram Bhooj(Unesco, Delhi)  and me on February 22, 2014(Saturday) in the auditorium of Science City Centre , Lucknow.Edited by Dr. Shikha Tripathy , it is a book on environment , introducing the concept of Youth Environment Cafe, and demonstrating the effectiveness of this innovation  in creating social consciousness through youth ,on issues of importance , like environmental issue.The event was organized very professionally by the Director of Environment , Uttar Pradesh , Sri O. P. Verma and his team.The concept of Youth Cafe in  creating ideas and awareness on issues related to environment , is powerful as well as revolutionary , with immense potential and possibilities.
                 Shades of Nature is a goldmine of 320  ideas , generated by young Lucknow students on Ways to conserve environment in the city of Lucknow.It is innovative as well as highly do-able.The book has elegant content and style and makes you want to read it .It is aesthetic , with excellent designs , cartoons , and  error-free printing .It has used very effectively the art of cartoons to make the subject full of fun , energy and excitement.The book  inspires ,and reflects the purity of its purpose .The ideas contained in the book are replicable on a wider scale, by forging a partnership between the government and the civil society.It has the potential to create a movement for clean and green environment .
              Youth Cafe is a method , a process and a technique to generate and harvest ideas.It gives youth a platform to contribute ideas for better environment.It brings out unity , togetherness and leadership among the youth.The young boys and girls converse , discuss and enter into dialogue in small 15 groups of five to six students each.Each group sits around a small table and discusses  on one theme related to environment, making a total of 15 themes.Inter-group mobility is possible.Each group finally comes up with a list of ideas on environment.When all the ideas of all groups are collected , these are reflected and harvested , and then assessed by a team of experts on environment, in an unbiased manner .Shades of Nature records 320 such ideas generated by 82 students of 15 schools of Lucknow on August 19,2013.These 320 ideas were on water conservation , transport, encroachment , stray animals, noise pollution, municipal waste, e-waste, pollution control, energy conservation  and energy efficiency, bio-diversity , greening , recycling , reusing and reducing consumption.
                    I hope , this experiment of Youth Cafe on Environment is replicated in each town and city of  Uttar Pradesh , and in India.I am sure ,it will create a wealth of ideas and awareness on preserving our environment and ecology .It will make an impact on our culture , which tolerates pollution and polluters too easily .Youth Cafe and Shades of Nature give us hope and optimism .
                      I lke Abid Surti for his  sincerity ,his  ability to inspire  , his capacity to laugh and take life with fun and humour .He is a living example of a water- conservationist, apart from being a famous painter , writer and a cartoonist.He has fans like Shah Rukh Khan and many other  celebrities all over the world.He cautions us from spreading negativity and cynicism   .I like his following quote:"We must not get possessive with our ideas.People follow and promote ideas only if they own these ideas."