SRK Knowledge Foundation (SRKKF) hosted the 3rd lecture of its ‘Wisdom Series’ on Saturday,1st Sept. 2018 at Science Centre, Surat. Shri Govind Dholakia, Founding Chairman, SRK Knowledge Foundation welcomed the Guest Speaker Shri Kartikeya Sarabhai, an eminent environmentalist and Director of Centre for Environment Education (CEE), Ahmedabad, along with Shri M. Thennarasan, IAS, Hon. Commissioner, Surat Municipal Corporation as the honorable Chief Guest.

Shri Kartikeya Sarabhai talked about ‘Towards Sustainable Cities’. The main thrust of the discourse was to find the ways to make the cities and the environment sustainable. Shri Sarabhai began the talk by drawing attention to the alarming unwelcoming truth that India by the year 2022, will be the most populous country in the world. In every 14 months, an entire ‘Australia’ is added to India. However,India; being the youngest nation in the world has got a tremendous opportunity to move towards making cities and the environment sustainable.

Talking about the trend of growth in the Indian cities due to the rapid rate of urbanization, which is around 32%, the need for expansion of cities is increasing. The situation was supported by current facts and figures. “We need 1.5 ‘Earths’ to live as per our population statistics, and if this continues then by the year 2050, we will need 2.5 ‘Earths’,” said Shri Kartikeya Sarabhai.

Further, referring to the Ecological footprints, Shri Sarabhai quoted obsolesce of many traditional sustainable practices. He put forward the 17 Sustainable Development Goals introduced by the UN in 2015, which have 169 targets waiting to be achieved by 2030. He also talked about the need to shift from the ‘Use & Throw’ culture to ‘Repair’ culture.

Shri Sarabhai urged the audience to have a positive attitude towards the maximum use of public transportation and minimizing the usage of plastic bags and polythene. He persuaded the students of the colleges across Surat to join this mission of sustainability under SDG Handprint Lab by concluding, “India is the fastest growing economically developing country in the world. We have this opportunity for next 15 years.” He coined a new phrase of ‘Handprint’, an action towards sustainability to overcome the ‘Carbon Footprint’.

The audience consisting of the architects, professors, social activists and intellectuals of Surat had an active interaction with Shri Sarabhai on the subject. He expressed his consent about the key principles for sustainability, which includes Shared facilities, Renewable, Greenery, Indigenous plants and the mantra of Reduce, Reuse and Recycle mentioned by Shri M. Thennarasan, IAS, Hon. Commissioner, Surat Municipal Corporation, who updated about the progress and development of Surat City in various areas such as transportation, pollution control, recycling of water, maximum use of renewable sources of energy and few other areas towards making the city sustainable. Presence of Shri Thennarasan encouraged the civic community to collaborate in various sustainable initiatives of Surat Municipal Corporation.

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