One ten year old girl always driven in a chauffer driven car, asked me, 'Why do you only cycle Aunty ?'. As I wondered what to reply, her mother gave a well intended reply, 'Green, you know. Like you read in your environmental science.'.
I wanted to counter, but didnt. The roads have any number of ordinary women in sarees cycling to do housework or to sell flowers or something else. They cause least pollution in the most unassuming manner. Thats all there is to it. If a women who knows English cycles, she is said to be 'green', and given other silly western labels. Did this ten year old never see and respect those simple women causeing least harm, as posited against her polluting car rides daily.
Why are children not absorbng this despite some 'environmental studies' starting in class 5 in their syllabus.
Suraj Kumar "Why are children not absorbng this despite some 'environmental studies' starting in class 5 in their syllabus."
I think it is *due* to the environmental studies that they're not absorbing this!
Aparna Krishnan meaning, it 'abstracts' it ?
Suraj Kumar Yes, the context: education tell children that their original communities / ancestors were wrong and that we are somehow not wrong. Secondly, it paints them all in one light ("poor", "poverty", unecofriendly savages who chop trees or arcane things like working with the soil). Thirdly, it offers them the promise of solutions which are anti-solutions (that is the most dangerous bit) - green this, scale that, etc.,
Aparna Krishnan Yes. And because the need and virtue of simplicity is not faced. The only answer is 'reduce'. But wonder why no one wishes to say that. Addicted to consumption I suppose.
Suraj Kumar I think, even for those who are not compulsive consumers, they feel a sense of achievement - like "Look, internet, telephones, sky scrapers, drones and AI" - Like, isn't all of this worth the inequality, plastic pollution, radioactive wastes, climate change, peak oil, resource depletion and world war 3? :) My answer: in a self-serving way, it is all worth the bigotry we've gained.
Aparna Krishnan Gandhi, and only he, nailed it. Anyway we've nailed him onto a postage stamp. We will face the music. First the poor will because they have no asset. Then we, because with the poor dead, we will have no one to farm the land for us and do all the work. We will starve.
Shyamala Sanyal Children can see very well the gap between what we teach and what we actually practice.
They know that all this teaching is lip service.
That's why we have this kind of hollow society.
Aparna Krishnan Yes, we create the children.
Sunita Mudaliar That is because cycling in cities has become a fad Aparna Krishnan....rich men and women are purchasing cycles worth lakhs and going on these joy rides on weekends to prove they are 'green' and so physically fit or conscious about it....ppl who cycle to work or out of necessity are passe.
Aparna Krishnan thats not my world. My daughter's cycle cost 5000/-, and mine actually cost 800/- because it was 2nd hand. I like my world.
Aparna Krishnan when i cycle i find camaraderie in all the other ordinary women, maids and others who cycle. Its a vast and friendly world. We 'stand out' only if we restrict ourselves to the 'upper middle class' circle.
Leslie The is most natural flies beneath the radar. In fact, that is a crucial aspect of being natural really. To live a life that is simple and natural is to be almost silent on a certain level. It is to be unself conscious. It is to follow what is higher in an unassuming manner. That 10 year old girl has no context for any of this and cannot recognize it either within or without. And therein lies the true tragedy and the inherent violence of the whole set up.