Tuesday, October 6, 2009

'Jiyo!' Rajiv Sethi corporatizes crafts and heritage!

- Shanta Serbjeet Singh, New Delhi
August 15, 2009

Back in 1982, when Rajiv Sethi first raised his striking, Grecian head on the cultural horizon, I remember describing him, in a full page article in The Hindustan Times, on the occasion of the first Festival of India in Britain, as an Adonis come to earth! Indeed. Rajiv's dark curly mop framed a very fair, perfectly proportioned profile and a well-built, tall statuesque body that could have stepped out of a Gandhara sculpture. Physical features apart, here was an original, creative mind in every sense of the word.
As the blue-eyed boy of both Rajiv Gandhi and Pupul Jayakar, as a creative maverick who conceptualised grand, path-breaking projects such as ADITI at London's Barbican Centre, 'The Golden Eye' and 'The Silk Route' at the Smithsonian, 'Apna Utsav' in Delhi, Rajiv catalysed the cultural field and changed it forever. Of course, along the way, he ran into huge media controversies and attracted attention for perhaps all the wrong reasons. But whether in the 80s or the 90s or in the first Manmohan Singh Government where he headed a task force in the Planning Commission on the Creative and Cultural Industries or just very recently, when he designed the Mumbai airport interiors and created a living facsimile of Habib Tanvir's 'Agra Bazaar' around the Taj Mahal, Rajiv has been steadfast in his commitment to building an enduring blueprint for the revival of the fast vanishing crafts and artisan traditions of the land. To house the baazigar, the puppeteer, the acrobat and the natni, the myriad performers of our folk traditions and our weavers and potters, to give them a living which is sustainable, a decent environment to live in, he set up the Bhule Bisre Kalakar Cooperative and even got land for their model housing, called Anand Gram. Alas! Rajiv the dreamer did not factor in the brutal power of the corrupt politician and met his Waterloo at the hands of the very power elite that he had sworn by. The allotted land was hijacked and the Bhule Bisre Kalakar remained where they took shelter thirty years ago – under a bridge in Shadipur near the bus depot!
But one thing was changed for ever. Now puppeteers like the Puran Bhatts and performers like Gazi Ismail Khans of Shadipur travelled the world over and were feted in the most important exhibitions and fairs of the world. As Puran Bhatt said to me: "We are treated like kings and forget where we come from when we travel all over the world. But the moment we reach Delhi, the looks we get from everyone around us leave us in no doubt that in truth little has changed in our homeland."
But the point of this story is to tell you that Rajiv, the Lionheart, has yet another axe up his sleeve. This is 'Jiyo!' To mark August 15th 2009 Rajiv has set up 'Jiyo' a new corporate body with 70% shareholders drawn up from the marginalised crafts and heritage sector. 'Jiyo' has come into existence with the help of The World Bank and the Development Fund of Japan. It will have both brand equity and an identity of its own. Among the projects which are already up and working is Jiyo's inputs into the big talent search program on 'Colours' channel which has already turned many humble artistes and performers into big-buck earners.
Then there is one in Bihar's Muzaffarpur district where young girls are taught the art of Sujani embroidery and made stakeholders in Jiyo. Those who want to continue their education are enabled to do so by means of Jiyo's 'College Fees Collection' project. This ensures that their formal education is not disturbed while they learn a traditional craft and while the global marketing division of the company finds new sale outlets for the products emerging from this revival.
Jiyo has plans to embrace the entire traditional knowledge bank of the country. Thus, from Chattisgarh's tribal belt, the lost art of using herbs to create incense to chase away mosquitoes is being researched and marketed in Jiyo's herbal department. Yet another lost and forgotten art, that of the 'Basvan Biga' sari, handloom woven saris with 52 'bootis' and the entire range of Dharmavaram, Mangalagiri, Upada, Gadwal and other traditional saris is being revived and projected in new, corporatized, global initiatives.
Keeping the changing needs of the global market in mind, a division of 'Animation and Digitisation' has been set up to introduce traditional folk artistes to new technology and train them to use it for their own creative pursuits.
An old woman Rajiv met the other day in the countryside said to him, "Sahib, I am told artisans are getting a new company of their own. I am alone. I carry loads of mud from the canal and live by this hard work. Where do I fit?" Rajiv got into a chat with her, only to discover that she knew how to spin fine yarn from cotton, an art that has almost vanished. Jiyo will certainly have place for her.
Sahir Ludhianavi's words come to mind:
"Na Munh Chuppa Ke Jiyo
Na Sar Jhuka Ke Jiyo
Gamon ka daur bhi aaye
To muskara ke Jiyo"
(Don't hide your face and live
Nor bend your head to live
Even if there are waves of sorrow
Live only by smiling through them!)

Move over Benneton, Provogue!
JIYO is here!

Shanta Serbjeet Singh, for twenty-five years, columnist, critic and media analyst for The Hindustan Times, The Economic Times and The Times of India, India's most important mainstream English dailies, is the recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award of the Sangeet Natak Akademi, the premier Government cultural institution of India in 2000 and the same from Delhi Govt.'s Sahitya Kala Parishad in 2003 for her contribution to the field of culture.
She is on the Central Audition Board of Doordarshan, India's national television, as well as the selection committees of several prestigious government bodies involved in culture such as The Indian Council for Cultural Relations and the Department of Culture. She was a member of the Tenth Five Year Plan Committee for Cultural Policy and of the First National Advisory Committee of the Ministry of Tourism and Culture.
Singh has authored several best selling books on Indian arts such as 'Indian Dance: The Ultimate Metaphor,' 'The 50th Milestone: A Feminine Critique,' 'Nanak, The Guru' and 'America and You' (22 editions).
As elected Chairperson of APPAN (The Asia-Pacific Performing Arts Network) for the past nine years, she has individually organized and helped her team of eminent artistes to organize eight international symposiums and festivals in several Asian countries and in the United States. APPAN, set up in 1999 by UNESCO, has, with the collaboration of UNESCO, pioneered the concept of delivering stress therapy, in particular in disaster-prone situations such as the tsunami and earthquake victims. The pilot project of this series was done under her leadership in four Asian countries after the tsunami of 2005 and another for the cyclone affected of Myanmar in 2008. Singh is the founder-Secretary of The World Culture Forum –India and Director of WCF-India's first Global WCF to be held in New Delhi in 2011.
" Art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life " – Picasso

Shanta Serbjeet Singh (Chairperson, APPAN International)
C 51, Gulmohar Park,
New Delhi 110049
Tels: (91- 11-) 2686 3502 / 2656 9990
Fax: (91-11-) 2686 3502
e-mail: shanta.serbjeetsingh@gmail.com
For more details on APPAN please visit www.ukhap.nic.in

Thursday, August 27, 2009


By Jerry Mander


How I moved from advertising glamour to anti-globalisation fervour.

revelatory moments to explain sharp turns in life, then this was one for me. It was in 1964, during one of many Martini-drinking evenings with David Brower, the late inspirational leader of the Sierra Club. Between drinks we discussed an advertising series he had asked me to help write and design, opposing new mega-dams being planned for the Grand Canyon.

I was in the commercial advertising business at that time. I was excited to be able to speak imagery into the brains of millions of people and see them react as we wanted. Of course, in passing, I was also seeing how these fabulous new technologies of mental invasion were slowly bringing a global homogenisation of commodity consciousness. But I did not yet see much of a problem with that.

Brower's assignment was difficult. Las Vegasinterests had been pushing for big dams to provide electricity to expand into the south-western desert.
Congress was poised to authorise them. Desperate measures were required, Brower said. These dams would submerge hundreds of miles of wilderness river gorges, leaving lakes as much as a mile deep. The strata of those magnificent canyon walls, formed over billions of years, displayed the geologic history of the world. Equally important, Brower said, was that the experience of being in those canyons put people in touch with creation, and projected their consciousness back to the roots of existence. Drowning the canyons for corporate profits, during a brief one-century blip of geologic time since the industrial revolution, he said, would be an outrage to nature, to human consciousness, and to God.

The developers of the dams said the lakes would be a great thing, since they would encourage tourists in power-boats to get higher up the canyon walls for a closer look. So, the first ad of the series was headlined "Should We Flood the Sistine Chapel So Tourists Can Get Nearer the Ceiling?" That ad, and several that followed, produced tens of thousands of written letters (pre-internet) to Congress. The dams were halted. Stewart Udall, then Secretary of the Interior under President Johnson, praised the ad campaign, calling it the first projection of a new modern environmental movement.

The ad series also projected me right out of the commercial advertising business. Immersing myself in the environmental message of the 1960s, I finally understood that using the most powerful mentally invasive instruments on Earth to trivialise and commodify existence was not such an ideal calling. I closed the commercial ad agency and started a new non-profit company that worked only for environmental, social and anti-war causes. It still exists today in San Francisco - the Public Media Center.

THEN, IN THE early 1970s, the first statistics on the advance of global television viewing were published. The average person in industrial countries was already watching about four hours of TV per day, and in some countries - notably the US - seeing more than 23,000 commercials per year. People were spending more time watching television than doing anything else in life besides sleeping, working or going to school. For a majority of people, television viewing was the main activity of their day: passively ingesting powerful imagery projected by a small number of commercial interests with intent. Electronic media were replacing direct experience of a wider world, substituting secondary and tertiary processed knowledge and experience; mediated reality; virtual reality. The Orwellian vision of mind control was near realisation.

What was true for industrial countries in the 1970s was soon true everywhere - people in grass houses in Borneo or in northern tundras were staring at satellite images of Dallas or Baywatch. Global mass media were morphing diverse cultural consciousnesses into clones of the commodity culture that dominated imagery, knowledge and experience. We see the outcomes nearly everywhere, today.

That was the point when I decided to write Four Arguments for the Elimination of Television, to amplify the invasive, controlling, stupefying, globally homogenising impacts of television, now in the hands of ever fewer global corporate giants. At first, I never thought of Four Arguments as an anti-globalisation book. But now I do: the first of three books that are reiterations of similar warnings, via different prisms. The next book, In the Absence of the Sacred, covered two other related points: first, the role of other modern technologies in alienating human experience, while ravaging the Earth; and second, the unique rapidly growing role of the world's remaining 300 million indigenous people in resisting that process.

INDIGENOUS KNOWLEDGE AND cultural, economic and spiritual practices are expressions of non-mediated societies rooted in direct contact with nature, operating from values nearly opposite to our own. They offer an antidote to the modern dilemma. It is no small irony, however, that the very success of indigenous peoples of the world in sustaining viable traditional societies over millennia, without destroying their lands or biodiversity - wildlife, forests, waters, biota - has also made them prime targets for modern resource-addicted global corporations who seek to invade and exploit those lands. Organised indigenous resistance to these advances is now expanding on every continent, most spectacularly in South America in such places as Bolivia, Ecuador and Peru. These movements must be supported by non-indigenous activists everywhere.

In the Absence of the Sacred was published in 1991. In that same year, I began conversations that were arguably as significant for me as those with Brower, this time with Doug Tompkins, a friend of thirty years who had founded the clothing company ESPRIT. Tompkins told me he was quitting business, and asked me to help launch his new Foundation for Deep Ecology. One of the firstactivities we agreed to work on was the grave threat of economic globalisation. If mass media represented the internal mental homogenisation process, then economic globalisation - the new global structures that transfer real power away from local communities and nation-states to global corporate institutions - represents the external unification, centralisation and homogenisation process; the remaking of economic and political forms to better fit narrow corporate purposes, with horrendous implications for nature. In 1993, we convened a meeting of leading thinkers and activists who were already at work on this problem - notably Edward Goldsmith, Vandana Shiva, Maude Barlow, Helena Norberg-Hodge, Martin Khor, Tony Clarke, Dave Korten, Walden Bello and Lori Wallach, among others. That, in turn, soon led to the formation of the International Forum on

Globalization (IFG), and ramped up efforts to stimulate, through public teach-ins, publications and activism, an effective global opposition movement, which later burst onto the scene in Seattle. It also led me to partner with Edward Goldsmith for the third leg of the trilogy, The Case Against the Global Economy, and For a Turn Toward the Local.

OF COURSE ALL of thiswork continues today, with the increased focus of many groups on actualising viable alternative, local, ecological economics. And IFG has a new book, Paradigm Wars: Indigenous Peoples' Resistance to Economic Globalization, which surveys and supports that movement. To say that it all began with martinis with David Brower in New York may be stretching the point, but in my own life it certainly created the initial earthquake of consciousness that pushed me down many pathways to here.o

Jerry Mander is Founder of the International Forum on Globalization and is now Senior Fellow. In the 1970s he formed the first non-profit advertising agency in the US, the Public Media Center, which campaigned internationally for Sierra Club, Friends of the Earth, Greenpeace and other environmental and anti-war efforts. He is also Program Director of the Foundation for Deep Ecology.

Monday, July 6, 2009

White Sugar Now Coming From Genetically-Modified Sugar Beets

NaturalNews) This year saw the first commercial planting of genetically modified (GM) sugar beets in the United States, with that sugar to hit the food supply soon after.

Farmers across the country will soon be planting Monsanto's Roundup Ready sugar beet, genetically engineered for resistance to Monsanto's herbicide glyphosate (marketed as Roundup). John Schorr, agriculture manager for Amalgamated Sugar, estimates that 95 percent of the sugar beet crop in Idaho will be of the new GM variety in 2008, or a total of 150,000 out of 167,000 acres.

Approximately 1.4 million acres of sugar beets are planted in the United States each year, primarily in Minnesota and North Dakota's Red River Valley, as well as the Pacific Northwest, Great Plains and Great Lakes areas.

In response to the anticipated flood of GM sugar onto the food market, the consumer group Citizens for Health has launched an email campaign to pressure three major sugar and candy companies to refuse the new product. In 2001, American Crystal Sugar, Hershey's and M&M Mars all promised that they would not use GM sugar; Citizens for Health is asking consumers to email those companies from the group's Web site and urge them to keep that promise.

"Since half of the granulated sugar in the U.S. comes from sugar beets, the infiltration of GE sugar beets represents a significant alteration of our food supply," Citizens for Health says on its Web site. "Unlike traditional breeding, genetic engineering creates new life forms that would never occur in nature, creating new and unpredictable health and environmental risks."

In 1999, candy companies' refusal to purchase GM sugar scuttled Monsanto's first attempt to introduce Roundup Ready sugar beets.

On another front, a coalition of farmer and environmental groups is seeking to block the planting of the GM beets through a federal lawsuit. The plaintiffs in the case - the Center for Food Safety, High Mowing Organic Seeds, the Organic Seed Alliance and the Sierra Club - are represented by lawyers from the Center for Food Safety and Earthjustice.

In 2005, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) changed the classification of Roundup Ready sugar beets from regulated to deregulated, meaning that the GM beets could be planted without a special permit. But the lawsuit alleges that the USDA failed to properly conduct an environmental review into the impacts of this deregulation.

"The law requires the government to take a hard look at the impact that deregulating Roundup Ready sugar beets will have on human health, agriculture and the environment," said Greg Loarie of Earthjustice. "The government cannot simply ignore the fact that deregulation will harm organic farmers and consumers, and exacerbate the growing epidemic of herbicide resistant weeds."

Critics point out that Roundup Ready crops encourage increased chemical use, with dangerous effects on both human health and the environment. In addition to contaminating soil and water, pesticides leave potentially dangerous residue on food plants themselves.

Citizens for Health says that this is a particular concern in light of the Environmental Protection Agency's recent compliance with a Monsanto request to increase the allowable levels of glyphosate residue on sugar beet roots by 5000 percent.

"Sugar is extracted from the beet's root, and the result is more glyphosate pesticide in our sugar," the group said.

Another concern is that such plants encourage the development of "superweeds" that are resistant to Roundup.

"Just as overuse of antibiotics eventually breeds drug resistant bacteria, overuse of Roundup eventually breeds Roundup-resistant weeds," said Kevin Golden of the Center for Food Safety. "When that happens, farmers are forced to rely on even more toxic herbicides to control those weeds."

USDA data reveals that in the 10 years after the 1994 introduction of Roundup Ready crops, herbicide use increased by 15 times. This has led to a concurrent increase in superweeds. While no cases of Roundup-resistant weeds were known in the U.S. corn belt in 2000, this year the roster of such weeds includes marestail, common and giant ragweed, waterhemp, Palmer pigweed, Cocklebur, lambsquarters, morning glory and velvetleaf.

Ninety-nine percent of U.S. superweeds are resistant to Roundup.

GM crops may also cross-breed with non-GM plants of the same or closely related species. The primary seed-growing region for sugar beets - the Willamette Valley of Oregon - is also a major seed-growing area for the closely related organic chard and table beets. Since all these species are wind pollinated, the chances of contamination are very high.

"Contamination from genetically modified pollen is a major risk to both the conventional and organic seed farmers, who have a long history in the Willamette Valley," said Matthew Dillon, director of advocacy for the Organic Seed Alliance. "The economic impact of contamination affects not only these seed farmers, but the beet and chard farmers who rely on the genetic integrity of their varieties."

Crops contaminated by cross-pollination with GM varieties can no longer be certified organic.

Since corn syrup is an even more widely used sweetener than sugar and the majority of corn grown in the United States is also Roundup Ready, food safety advocates note that nearly all sweetened food in the United States will soon be GM. Because U.S. law does not require labeling of GM ingredients, consumers of products from candy to breakfast cereal will soon be unknowingly exposed to engineered sugar, with unknown health consequences.

"As a consumer, I'm very concerned about genetically engineered sugar making its way into the products I eat," Neil Carman of the Sierra Club said.

Sangita Sharma

Holistic foods, a subject very close to my heart, over the recent years is fast contaminated.

Greetings from "MY RIGHT TO SAFE FOOD"

Holistic foods, a subject very close to my heart, over the recent years is fast contaminated.

As i watch the plight of millions of consumers frequenting hospitals with their loved ones especially children with their diet so dependent from the very basics like white sugar, white pasta, white bread, white rice, white milk, made to look pure but in reality a poison. More appalling is the diet in hospitals for patients which comprise most of the above. Many times, I request my doctor friends and ask them if they can do something about it. Yet to happen!

Lets take artificial white sugar which robs the body of its Vitamin B. It is that portion of Vitamin B called Thiamine and many other valuable minerals which is destroyed necessary for growth, good appetite, smooth functioning of the digestive tract. It plays so big a part in nerve health that it is called the "morale" vitamin. Thiamine is stolen from our bodies by these robber foods - white sugar, synthetic sugar, white flour, white bread, cereals and many refined and processed foods.

If you eat jaggery and carbohydrates in natural forms, you do not expereince any thiamine deficiency nor alow the body to steal thyamine from its storage reserves in liver, kidney and heart. If you eat white sugar daily you are almost bound to suffer from thyamine deficiency and if you are a heart case such a dietary habit is cold suicide. Sugar + Vitamin B deficiency = HEART TROUBLE.

If you do not believe me, kindly read a 68 potent book called "Sugar - The curse of Civilisation" by J J Rodale.

From the supermarket shelves, rows of glistening, jewel-coloured jellies, cakes, biscuits and jams, sparkling fruit juices beckon invitingly. Packaged well, most contain commercial glucose or corn syrup made by treating corn starch with sulfuric or hydrochloric acid. The resulting syrup is then neutralised with soduim carbonate and decolourised with carbon or bone black.

Refer chapter 7 "Glucose - A synthetic food". Leading diabetic authority Dr Lee, Dr Joslin of Boston says there is an increase in the present trend of diabetes. Much of the responsibility for this frightening prediction can be laid at the door of glucose or corn syrup.
According to Dr Quigley, M.D of Omaha, synthetic glucose must be suspected as being a cause of cancer, for he found it impossible to treat successfully some types of cancer until all traces of glucose were eliminated from the patients diet. He further says let the chemist say what they like but our bodies are not designed for synthetic foods. You feed your cells/body rubbish and they will lose their identity and revert into forms that can better live upon rubbish.
Glucose blocks the assimilation of calcuim, the most impotant element to strenghten us against many different kinds of disease. It also destroys amino acids which forms proteins, most required category of food and health. This causes fatigability and nervousness then brings toxic symptoms of liver disease and obesity.
Look at your shopping list and see the amount of junk bought for children's lunch boxes as well as fast processed foods..Horrific. NO matter how rushed you are, no matter how meagre the food budget, make efforts to avoid buying commercially prepared foods like jams preserves, jellies, ketchups, ice creams, bakery products, cereals.

Indulge and get back to making your own recipes with fresh fruits and vegetables. Trust me, it is only a matter of shift in our mind sets and attitudes. We bake our own bread, biscuits, cakes, fruit conserves, pickles etc...and mind you although we are rushed off our feet, we still make the time! Both urban and the rural consumers have become lazy and so dependent on the retail shops for their basics. In villages, we teach farmers to get back nutritional traditional diets with basics....whilst sharing and preparing recipes, they look at me and say " My grandmother used to prepare this..."

Involve children, treat your families to the age old tradition of making your own sweets with cane sugar, jaggery or date syrup. You will save not only on finances but also curb your visits to pharmacies and hospitals...Take charge of your food, its time to wake up.

Earlier it was refined white sugar, now its GM sugars which are further killers. The Organic Consumers Association (OCA) has called for a boycott of the Kellogg Company, also known as Kellogg’s, after the company refused to sign a pledge refusing to use genetically modified sugar in its cereal products.Sugar from genetically modified sugar beets hit the U.S. market for the first time this year, making the beets the first genetically engineered crop to enter the U.S. food stream since the widespread introduction of modified corn and soy in the 1990s. The sugar has been modified by the Monsanto Corporation to be resistant to the company’s signature herbicide, Roundup. Read on......

In solidarity

Sangita Sharma

Sunday, June 14, 2009



The Meaning of Green
transformed through time, traditions & trends.
How do you see it today?

Fundamentally, does the Green mean,
consciousness growing,
in harmony, in atomic - cosmic world?

Spiritually, does the Green mean
organic, dynamic, expansive spirit
enveloping you, me, them & us,
in dark, deep & bright - loving, blissful experience?

Materially, does the Green mean
translucent lean layer, live in human mind, heart & gut
separating & sifting, our greed & need?

Some of us seeking to unearth & unravel Green again
on seeing nature in ruffle, times in shuffle.
Green placards in hand,
they shout, show and won't let us shrug
about present picture of mother nature.

how do you see?
Is nature transforming or dying?
In chorus with mother nature,
do you also cry for change,
for new world, new future, new you, me & us?

Will you drink the Green potion
to dream and claim spiritual materialism anew?
Will you sing n say :

I choose,
customizable religion,
transparent relationships,
world citizenship.

I buy,
conscious consumption,
cultural selection,
creative communication.

I want,
spiritual society,
compassionate community,
harmonized humanity.

tell me brother, my sister, my friend
how far are we from the world in our dream?

is it time for Green, Unplugged...?

for more info

Plastic-bag billboard a world first

Janine Erasmus

Leading South African financial services provider Nedbank is once more setting the pace in good environmental practice, with a billboard made entirely of recycled plastic bags at Johannesburg's OR Tambo International Airport.

Claiming that "Only one bank can truly call itself the green bank", the billboard was hand-made by a group of seven crafters, all of whom are the breadwinners in their families. It took six weeks and more than 2 000 recycled plastic shopping bags to make the remarkable 40m-long advertisement.

Nedbank's head of marketing Greg Garden said the new creation showed the bank's commitment to doing things differently, and would hopefully serve as an example and inspiration to South Africans.

"Too many South Africans don't understand the need to recycle as a way of preserving our environment," commented Garden in a statement, "and this billboard represents just one of Nedbank's efforts to change this mindset and demonstrate the practical application of recycling principles in everyday life."

With its Climate Change Position Statement issued in March 2009, Nedbank became the first South African bank to make a firm pledge to reduce its impact on the environment in terms of energy, water and paper usage, as well as carbon emissions.

The banking group has set targets of a 12% reduction in energy and carbon emissions by 2015, as well as a 5% water and 10% paper reduction by 2010.
Positive impact

The resourceful advertising agency in charge of the Nedbank brand is Cape Town-based Net#work BBDO.

BBDO's executive creative director Rob McLennan said the Nedbank campaign was an example of how the agency is building its clients' brands whilst maintaining an awareness and respect for environmental matters.

"This billboard has created jobs, married advertising with social conscience, showcased our local artistry and has removed some of the country's non-biodegradable rubbish," he said.

Although reusable plastic shopping bags are considered better for the environment than paper bags because they need less energy to produce, transport and recycle, a bag may take hundreds of years to degrade.
Award-winning innovation

This is not the first time Nedbank has shown that it has a conscience where the environment is concerned, and has turned that conscience into innovation.

In 2006 its first solar-powered billboard in Alexandra township, east of Johannesburg, won the Outdoor Grand Prix at the prestigious Cannes Lions International Advertising Festival.

Said to be the world's first solar-powered billboard, it is titled "Power to the People" and has 10 solar panels. Harnessing the fierce power of the African sun, each panel generates 135 watts of power that provides energy for the MC Weiler Primary School in Alexandra, in whose grounds the billboard stands.

The school saves over US$240 (R2 000) a month in electricity fees and furthermore can supply a hot meal daily to its 1 100-plus pupils, many of whom will not get a decent meal anywhere else. Stored energy gathered from the solar panels during the day lights the billboard at night.

The ground-breaking hoarding swayed the jury with its contribution to the upliftment of the community. Jury chair Jean-Remy von Matt described it as work that continues to work and to provide, in contrast with the many short-lived promotions that ultimately serve little or no purpose.

According to Net#work BBDO, the power generated is enough to boil 18 1-litre domestic kettles continuously at any one time.
Helping the community

Towards the end of 2007 Nedbank's second solar billboard was installed at the Athlone Youth and Family Development Centre in Athlone on the Cape Flats, south-east of the Cape Town city centre. However, this one also has a wind turbine for extra power generation, providing energy for the kitchen, security lights and geysers. This drastically cuts the community centre's monthly electricity bill.

The centre works with youth in the area, many of whom come from troubled homes and have become drug addicts and school dropouts. It provides a home for to up to 22 youngsters at a time, helping them to overcome their addiction, go back to their families, and rebuild their lives.

Director Sydney Dicks described the billboard as a godsend, saying that it has enabled the centre to install a 200l solar-powered geyser and two security floodlights as well as slash the monthly bill.

* Do you have queries or comments about this article? Contact Janine Erasmus at janinee@mediaclubsouthafrica.com This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Thursday, May 28, 2009

India'a first Green Store is Launched!


Your search for healthier, affordable organic and natural food for – that is nourishing, tasty and good for the environment ends here.
Mother Earth is launched … for fashionable choices in garments and accessories that are natural and stylish as well as sustainable and fair, …for gifts and home d├ęcor that keep our green hand skills alive.

Industree and Future Group present Mother Earth, India’s first Store focusing on Sustainability, both environmental and social.
Offering you sensible options, along with reputed partners like Sewa, Sasha, Cottage Industries Emporium, amongst others. Browse through three floors of exciting green choices – that combine the best of hand skills and natural materials with best of contemporary design.

Our Address
541 - 543, Amarjyothi HSBC Layout, Opposite Dell, Koramangala Intermediate Ring Road, Domlur, Bangalore.

about MotherEarth showroom.

India’s first green store.
Providing retail space for a bunch of sustainable brands.

11000 sq feet – totally dedicated to green-eco friendly and sustainable products

Providing markets for primary producers
Following Fair trade standards – motherearth is a fair trade certified brand

A noble attempt to propogate sustainable consumption among Indian urban consumers