Members of NE Greens project were invited to participate in Consultative Meet on Ecological Security of North-east India organisd by Centre for Microfinance & Livelihood and Sir Dorabji Tata Trust and Allied Trusts (Mumbai). NE Greens member Anjana Dey participated in the Meet and shared her experience and ideas for the protection and promotion of the fragile ecology of the region.
Here’s a first-hand account of the Consultative Meet by Anjana Dey.
It was an exciting full-day journey for me from Duliajan to Guwahati to make it to the consultative meet and share from my experience of working in the North East and to learn from others. Several agencies, organisations and NGOs from around the country, especially those working in the NE region, had been called to participate in the consultative meet workshop. The workshop itself was targeted to shape up a thematic map for future prospect and scope of ecological security projects in the NE region.
The workshop began in the IIBM campus in Khanapara with Mr. Biswanath Sinha, Sr. Project Officer welcoming the gathering with a brief introduction about the wonderful multi-dimensional work of Sir Dorabji Tata Trust and Allied Trusts (SDTT). Following this, the participants introduced themselves to the steering committee as well as to each other.
After the brief introductions had been made, Dr. S. Phansalkar of SDTT addressed the gathering and articulately clarified to all as to what was the objective of the consultative meet and what specific inputs SDTT is looking for from all the invited agencies and organisations. This was crucial to the success of the Meet since all of us work in different directions and dimensions even though with the same objective of sustainable development in mind. It is therefore important to always be clear of what is the outcome expected in any such discussion that may take place on the intricate and complex issue of environment protection and preservation.
The following sessions in the day witnessed pre-determined presentations from different organizations working on ecological security in the Northeast region. Significant among these were WWF-India, Nagaland Empowerment of People Through Economic Development (NEPED), Samrakshan Trust, ATREE, Aaranyak, all of whom presented their respective work in different subjects and areas related to the strengthening of ecological security in the North East. The presentations were followed by an open discussion to deliberate upon the issue(s) and challenges presented, the methodology of working in order to develop and identify successful models of green working in the North East region.
The post-lunch session at the consultative meet was even more interesting as all of us who were present were asked to identify a topic for promoting North East India’s ecological security, which would then be taken up by SDTT as a broad theme area. This brainstorming session was moderated by Mr. Biswanath Sinha who ensured that an open discussion took place involving all individuals present. There was a rigorous submissions of theme areas to work on and even more rigorous discussion on the pros and cons of every topic.
The topic identified by me, which is not getting the degree of attention it deserves in the North East region today, was that of Solid Waste Management. Increasing population and consumption pattern in the region has tremendously increased the waste generation capacity which needs thorough investigation and suitable interventions. The topic was well taken and included in the list of topics submitted by others. A broad thematic map was drawn with everyone’s consensus towards the end of the session.
The much intense session was closed with some articulately condensed concluding remarks by Mr. Biswanath Sinha. The closing of the session also marked the closing of the consultative meet workshop, with an inspirational speech by Dr. S, Phansalkar. Following this, a documentary film was screened which highlighted the role of SDTT in helping organisations around the country in better solving the problems of respective villages and rural areas.
The documentary film removed all doubts about the will and intentions of SDTT in taking forward the mighty task of ensuring ecological security of the North East region. A vote of thanks was put forward by Mr. Partho S. Patwari of the CML and all of us who gave our time and inputs to the meet were duly acknowledged. All in all, the consultative meet turned out to be very meaningful and the day turned out to be a resourceful one!