SRK Knowledge Foundation hosted the 3rd lecture of the ‘Wisdom Series’ on Saturday, 1st September 2018, at Science Centre, Surat. Shri Govind Dholakia – Chairman, SRK Knowledge Foundation welcomed the Guest Speaker, Shri Kartikeya Sarabhai, an eminent environmentalist and Director of the Centre for Environment Education (CEE), Ahmedabad, along with Shri M. Thennarasan, IAS, Honourable Commissioner, Surat Municipal Corporation, as the Chief Guest.
Shri Kartikeya Sarabhai talked about ‘Towards Sustainable Cities.’ The main thrust of the discourse was to find 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 urbanisation, which is around 32%, the need for expansion of cities is increasing. Current facts and figures supported the situation. “We need one & half ‘Earth’ to live as per our population statistics, and if this continues then by the year 2050, we will need two & half ‘Earth’,” said Shri Kartikeya Sarabhai.
Further, referring to the Ecological footprints, Shri Sarabhai quoted obsolesce of many traditional sustainable practices. He put forward the seventeen 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 minimised plastic bags and polythene usage. He persuaded the students of the colleges across Surat to join this sustainability mission under SDG Handprint Lab by concluding, “India is the fastest-growing economically developing country in the world. We have this opportunity for the 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 critical 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, Honourable 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. Shri Thennarasan encouraged the civic community to collaborate in various sustainable initiatives of Surat Municipal Corporation.