THE 10th of DECEMBER IN OOTY:
This day when the world leaders were yet to come together and the Sherpas were working arguing furiously about who should take what responsibility for the historic contribution to greenhouse effect and global warming, the citizens and netizens who were energetically supporting the cause in the Nilgiris and across the world were in no doubt of the urgency and the action for adaptation and mitigation regarding the climate impact. The call for justice was heard loud and clear.
I had two different receptions, one a much more formal and traditional one at the “HTOP in the Gardens Auditorium” and the other at the “Place to BEE”. It would have been so much more if they had one reception but looking back it seems to me that perhaps it was important in many ways that two distinguishing key civics like NAWA and Keystone, representing two distinct generations of history, showcase each in the way they work.
At the NAWA ceremony what struck me was the representation of the audience. A significant number were from the indigenous community. In the Niligiris biosphere the numbers of the different and colourful Adivasi community is very small but the importance of this very differentiated community is so critical when we view it from the prism of Anthropology, society, e conomics, ecology and sustainability. Therefore, I felt warmed and assured. Like Keystone , NAWA also has extensive connections with students and the community and as such we had a visible , all-in-Uniform school kids, who kept following me and asked me for my contact details and even my autograph!
With the able moderation from my friend Vasanthi, the half moon circle of all the great and the good from Ooty were assembled on the Dias. As much as the people were felicitated, they were all somehow given a bit of time to share about what they do and what they felt about the walk.
What it conveyed to me is the amazing range of individuals and organizations that are working on topics ranging from livelihood to ecology and representing local to National State and non-state actors ( A parallel that exists in Pondy and Auroville too). The tapestry of this variety augurs well for the future work on fair trade but it will remain a great challenge to bring them all together in Oooty albeit, it will be relatively easier in Kotagiri.
The outstanding outcome was the declaration of 5 core intents by the meeting for supporting a sustainable Ooty.
At “Place to BEE”:
A much laid back ambience. We had Great food; attractive drumming; short and succinct sharing by me and Natesa and from Keystone. A good afternoon filled with many interactions, reflections and general unwinding which helped me to recover from the fatigue of the walk and share gratitudes and farewells.It was also good to see the NAWA team coming to the second event just like all Keystone friends participating in the first event.