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Looking for green solutions

delhi Updated: Jun 05, 2009 00:02 IST
Manoj Sharma

If you thought there is not much you can do as an individual to save the city’s environment, visit Yamunotsav.

Yamunotsav features a ‘climate solutions mela’, a first-of-its-kind exhibition to expose Delhites to simple solutions to
seemingly complicated environmental problems.

The event got under way to commemorate World Environment Day.

“There is a lot of indifference and apathy among people in the city about environmental issues,” said Vimlendu K Jha , director, Swechha, an NGO that has organised the event in partnership with American Center and Oxfam.

“The idea is to convince people there are small practical solutions to the city’s environmental problems,” Jha said.

The ‘climate mela’ has on display a wide range of green products and services: home composting units, elephant poo paper, herbal products, organic food products, toys made from cow dung, decorative items, organic seeds, cereals, solar power , bags made from jute and recycled cloth.

These items are produced by various NGOs and self-help collectives and companies participating in the event.

“ There is a lack of concern about environmental issues in the city. Here people either pay lip service to the cause of environment or do a few things more as a a fashion statement,” said Surya Shankar Dash of Vriksh, a Bhubaneswar-based self-help group.

Others were equally disappointed with the lack of awareness about green products.

“ There is a huge demand for solar-lights in many states, and we are also exporting solar lights to many countries. But solar lights do not sell in Delhi,” said Praveen Sharma of Cosmos, a Delhi-based company which produces solar lights.

“We are trying to convince Delhites about how solar products can save environment and empower lives,” Sharma said.

But Arshad Jamal Ansari, a manufacturer of vermin compost manure believes Delhi is taking to organic foods in a big way.

“Many Delhiites want to grow organic food in their personal gardens,” Ansari said.

The event features a series of evocative posters with pithy messages that bring out myriad environmental problems like pollution, water contamination, lack of waste management as symbolized by landfills.