Sarvodaya and its relevance to Sustainability
The Sarvodaya and Sustainability project is an effort of the eCoexist Foundation, to reflect on whether the principles of Sarvodaya, based in Indian philosophy and wisdom, may help us envision a more culturally appropriate approach to sustainability for Indian society.
This project has been funded by the Trusteeship Foundation, Mumbai.
While the modern environmental movement as led by the West, is rooted in the science of Climate Change, ancient Indian tradition, philosophy and culture had an integral approach the Nature and understood deeply humanity’s place in the ecosystem. This philosophy provided a wholistic view of Man as an expression of Nature and not separate from her. Mahatma Gandhi and Vinoba Bhave were active proponents of this philosophy and demonstrated in their own personal lifestyle and choices, a way in which our ecological footprints could be minimised and a sustainable society could emerge in the future.
The Sarvodaya movement has tremendous relevance to the quest for sustainability, offering solutions, thoughts and ideas that are way ahead of their time.
To launch the website as well as to initiate a series of talks and discussions on Sarvodaya an online event was conducted on 15 Aug 2021 Independence Day. The Zoom meeting was hosted by eCoexist and the speakers were
Neela Apte: Vinoba Janmasthan
Mona Doctor: Trusteeship
Manisha Sheth: Sarvodaya and Sustainability
Several trips were organised to invite urban volunteers to join the activities at the Vinoba Janmasthan as a way of creating engagement and raising awareness. Visit were made on the following dates :
To understand the work and vision of Acharya Vinoba Bhave study groups were formed online and his books were read together in English, Hindi and Marathi. Audio recordings of the books were also made by volunteers to make these books easily accessible to urban audiences
A website was created on WordPress for the Vinoba Janmasthan – a domain was bought for the same and the entire site was created from scratch by Manisha along with inputs from Neela Apte and Utpal.
The website was launched on the 15 Aug 2021 Independence Day and the first phase was in English. This was later translated into Marathi to make it a bilingual site which was launched on 26 Jan 2022. Translations into Marathi were facilitated by Vrunda Shete.
The birthplace of Sri Vinoba Bhave is a national heritage monument that deserves recognition and attention from the people of India. To ensure that this heritage site is conserved for the future generations an architectural documentation of the birthplace was undertaken by Arch.Khushru Irani and his team. This process involved a physical and photo documentation of the building and the creation of measured drawings.
To raise the awareness and interest in the urban citizens of Pune and Mumbai several visits to the Vinoba Janmasthan have been organised by eCoexist . One of these was a group of artists from Pune who came to sketch the monument and ashram campus. These sketches of this historical structure can be further used to raise awareness.