Sunday, 12 February 2012


At the end of four intense weeks of looking beyond jargon, I realize now that I have come full circle. I am a little more informed and a little more conscious, but the levels of requirement for these have also increased two-fold.

At the beginning of this class, I was fascinated by jugaad. Now, not only does it fascinate me, it also gives me a real complex about my thinking process, given that I have a tough time taking things apart and putting it back together differently.

I would like to exemplify what the last four weeks looked like with a viral-on-Facebook approach.

     Expectation: Food. How hard can that be? We should break down transportation too, so we can ride the bus to school.

     Reality: No matter how much you try, everything has it's own problems and loopholes.

Another thing I realized is that I don't have any real idea how to even approach a problem. After a lot of trial and error, I think we finally managed to get most of the steps done, even if not chronologically.

Thunk in India represented by Suren, was a refreshing perspective on sustainability, where it was based less on preaching to people to cut down on their consumption and was a more realistic approach with how their waste could be reused. On some level, we tried to accommodate that in our approach to our food crisis.

In a lot of ways, our project was something were we got the ball rolling and it took on a life of its own. The Jhoota Hi Sahi campaign was supposed to be for awareness and slightly for intervention, but we managed to create a new, slightly more efficient model out of it. It also pushed people to be more conscious, to the point where I was sought out at dinner so I could see how someone had (almost) licked his plate clean.

Aayushi and I roamed around the cafeteria, feeling a little like monitors to that space, and many people were not as laid back as they would have been if we weren't taking rounds, but all in all, it made people think about their food, and that's really all we could ask for.


              I came into this course with very little real knowledge about what sustainable development or the term jugaad meant. The first line said to us was that it would no longer be the 3R’s but the 4R’s. Refuse, reduce, reuse and recycle.  This immediately got me thinking, Rather than trying to solve our problems from the surface level, wouldn’t it be so much better if we dwelled deeper into what its root cause is and solve that
             While working on our individual assignments I will admit that I didn’t feel attached to the problem as much as I should have. But while researching it I saw myself feeling more and more frustrated and angry with the massive amounts of waste food and the low quality food served.  Mr. Ravi told us about how a small little observation or change could have a bigger effect than imagined. Someone once observed that people eat more or waste more food due to the big plate sizes. Hence we should reduce the plate size. This could help us in unimaginable ways.

              The problems are always complicated looking at it from different perspectives and anticipating its future consequence as well as drawing inspiration from its history is essential. A solution can never be full proof if these steps aren’t taken.

               The one thing that I remember distinctly from Mr. Rustams talk was , toward the end of his discussion he mentioned how a German magazine advertized that the readers burn the book after reading rather than recycle it. Cause excessive recycling was bringing down the value of virgin timber which leads to increase in felling of trees. This draws our attention to the issue of how everything needs to be nurtured like a kid. Constant evaluation is required and decisions need to be made.

               The talk given by Suren was rather refreshing. He introduced a new concept to us, ‘Upcycling.’ It only means to increase the value of something without treating it in ways that would harm the environment. This leads me to the term often used by us during this course ‘True jugaad spirit.’ We didn’t fully understand it but after this course I would define it as, Jugaad spirit is the tool that will pave the path for us towards a bright future. It means that we need to be conscious of our decisions at all times and implement a sustainable attitude at every level.


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