This is an entry to "The Idea Caravan" sponsored by Franklin Templeton Investments
What an Idea Sirji
Every time I saw the "Idea" ad on my Idiotbox, I used to think it to be a lame advertisement which doesn't have any credibility in reality. "An idea can change the world". How is that even possible? India is a junkyard of problems ranging from corruption to molestation, poverty to un-education. We, the Indians are in such a state of affairs that we can’t do with just an idea but we need a revolution. Every time you switch on the news channel, there are pre-defined set of depressing events rolling- new corruption seeing the days of light, lower standards of poverty redefined, human morality dropping an inch with every passing hour, disrobing the modesty of women in some part of the country, people in power making money out of children’s meals or charity; the list goes on and on and on...
I was an optimist person with great zeal of energy and enthusiasm as a college lad who had big dreams to change the world and make the country a better place to live for one and all. Then I got out of college and stepped into the big bad world of rat race trying tooth and nail to keep myself ahead in the race. Over a decade I realized that optimism and positive attitude is on a downward trend. I have now become more pessimistic, cynical and negative in my attitude towards the term “India Rising/Shining”? Every time I hear someone say something similar to that I laugh it off. In the race to get higher TRPs, the media has played a spoil sport and probably lost their vision. How many times have we seen any positive news being flashed zillion times to create a positive impact on public? But a feud between 2 khans would get the primetime attention as breaking news and panel discussion. If the media showcases ONLY faults of our politicians, high profile leaders, how can one expect a positive attitude in citizens? No wonder people like me have become cynical which is very well put in the movie “Rang De Basanti”; where they all laugh and say “Is desh ka kuch nahi ho sakta”. Yes, nothing positive can come in India if we continue on our current path.
Thinking of all these things I got through “The Idea Caravan” which had a positive attitude and vision to changing the future of our country. This is an initiative by Franklin Templeton Investments partnered the TEDxGateway Mumbai in December 2012. The attractive prizes were encouraging enough for me to browse through the videos, though with a skeptical mind frame initially. Couple of videos down, I could feel the lost hope and enthusiasm. It made me realize that all is not lost and we are not a completely failed country. There is still hope at the end of the tunnel. There are many unsung heroes, who are the torch bearers of optimism and humility carving the path for our better tomorrow. These are the real heroes who have dedicated their life for something completely beyond materialistic façade.
Every single video was a story in itself to make our lives better. But there is one video which emphasized on “water” really quenched my thirst for selfless deed.
Video 1: Suprio Das
Suprio has proved that- “Even a mile long journey starts with a single step”. He didn't wait for people’s approval of his idea. He followed his instinct and selfless act of materializing Rabindranath Tagore’s “Ekla Chalo Re”.
The issue with water inspired me to search and read about it more and landed up in following link: http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/datablog/2011/jun/28/water-scarcity-africa-middle-east
The more I read, the more it felt like we are sitting on time bomb which can boom anytime. Even a cosmopolitan city like Bangalore is not spared by the evil of water scarcity. There have been reports of water bed dehydrating. Migration has set the wheel of borewell’s spinning at alarming rate. Apparently, the city is not equipped to support big populations with drinking water and sewage needs. The city’s water-bed is drying up and the water mafia is making people cough for drinking water. A recent study had scared the living daylights of the IT crowd in the Silicon Valley of India.
Hopefully this would eventually delay the time bomb which is inevitable unless a miracle happens. We are all familiar with the Cauvery water fiasco or the drastic change in Bangalore’s weather. If no action is taken, the day is not far when the world would probably turn into water world (1995 movie) where there is water everywhere but not a drop to drink.
Some actions are being taken by authorities but we as citizens also have to come together and stand for the cause. At the end of the day its our city, our country, our earth and we are the one responsible for our actions.
The study has not just made the authorities but even the citizens responsible to a certain extent. This recent event led many Bangalore apartment complexes to install Rain Water Harvesting system. We went one step ahead and started saving the water discarded from RO water purifiers. This water is used for car wash or gardens. This is not a revolution, but this one step of saving discarded water from our purifiers has shown great results and savings in our complex.
Now the TEDs link has become idea store for me. The app available for smartphone not only gives easy access during commute, but also keeps nurturing the positive attitude in me.
People like Suprio and many others have taken a step towards their passion and Franklin Templeton Investments with this contest is helping create a bigger foot print. Tiny four lettered word “Idea” is peeping through the TEDs window and is about to make a giant leap for humanity. My vocabulary falls short in praise for people like Suprio but to warp-up I would say- What an Idea sirji.