75 years of Independence - urges us to rethink! | The Daily Dump Blog
A message from Compostwali!
Driving through the city market on the way to Jolly Mahala to meet aggregators of used plastic bottles I passed by the Vani Vilas Hospital. The walls surrounding the grounds of the hospital are hidden behind all the small shops, traffic, crowds, and noise which drown out this historic building. The flyover looms over this area and you would never think that this was once a quiet part of the city.
I was born in this hospital in 1962, and as my father captures me as a newborn on film the frame sweeps across strong stone walls and green cover. 1962 was only 15 years after our Independence as a nation and Bangalore was a wonderful city to grow up in. I still remember walking to school on stone pavements while the light of the sun filtered down the rain trees and the smoke of the burning dried leaves caught the back of my throat.
Now in the 75th year of our Independence as a nation, the urgency of the aspirations fueled by technology and accessibility leaves me conflicted. I yearn for a kinder pace for change but know that every time I step out on my street, yet another familiar part of the neighborhood is being torn down to be replaced. While this is inevitable and history tells us that this is the normal process of urbanization, the trajectory has not changed course despite the growing concerns on climate change. We are lulled into accepting a qualitative loss in our lives that this rabid change brings, by the promise of a world that is “more progressive, more convenient”.
In our hearts we know that we need to do things differently and the 75th year of Independence urges us to reflect on how we might build greater diversity in our definitions of a better world.
In our own work we ask ourselves, how can we position the need to compost for the brave and sometimes confused new India?
I have personally found that composting helps me satisfy the urge to be do my bit! It lets me apply my agency to contribute (however little) to a large problem of food waste, methane emissions, pollution from logistics and of course soil health. Composting has also made me explore the ideas of independence in the context of self-reliance, of democracy or action by the many for a common need.
From this practice I have learnt what it means to do something in the face of resistance. It has gently aligned my thinking and doing to the rhythms of the climate, earth, natural systems. It has made me view work, economies, and technology as tools to make sense of our life on earth and not in an end in themselves. Having found comfort in this world view has been the best outcome of working with composting over these 16 years.
I believe doing composting sets you off on a journey that provides you an alternative view of a world, which is so important in the face of this impersonal churn we are all sucked into from time to time in our everyday lives.
Happy Independence Day!
Poonam Bir Kasturi August 2022