Wazas and many other things will go green next year.
BISMAH MALIK , SRINAGAR,Dec 19:Amongst many factors we blame our degrading environment for, technology inevitably tops the list. But how many times have we thought of technology being a savior of our dying surroundings? Probably never. Kashmir in particular seems to be more alien to the “green technology” considering the fact that technology is still pushing its way into the Kashmiri homes and wherever it has made its presence feel, technology has only earned a bad name for itself from an environment point of view.
But here is how a US headquartered NGO-“Mercy Corps is doing its part to make your home technology an environment friendly one. According to Usman Ahmad, who is overseeing programme development of Mercy Corps in Srinagar; his organization is in the process of formulating a strategy which will focus on behavioral patterns of the people , bring some simple, basic changes in their lifestyles to cull out a workable solution for assisting alternative sources of energy in driving our routine exercises.
And imagine who they are going to compete with on, this front? Well, their competitors would be our own Wazas (chefs) .Sounds bizarre but kind of true. Mercy Corps is planning big ,to help “Kashmiri Weddings go green” next year by organizing a unique Wazawan contest, in 2010 where the conventionally prepared Wazwan from firewood would have a face off with the Wazwan prepared from something as petty as Rice husk, potato peels and some ungrateful plants from Dal Lake.
Explains Usman, “What essentially we are trying to do is to go a level above the paperwork on Climate hullabaloo and starting to deliver specially in realistic terms and something as unavoidable as a Wazwan which has a symbolic cultural value if relished with same exuberance as with the conventional means but made with cheaper, safer and greener ways can go a long way in demonstrating how technology aided alternative means can outdo the conventional means in helping us carry out routine affairs. “
And the efforts just don’t end there. The greener ideas innovated by Mercy Corps would trickle down into Kashmiri homes next year, when the group would demonstrate an extraordinary mingle of technical expertise with the local inputs by training the young entrepreneurs to use bio mass produce in more effective ways.
Believes Usman, “The point is that we all need to make a move. While awareness, researches and findings would be helpful but the grass root level work has to take off immediately. A positive development for instance is that many Srinagar homes are now lit with energy saver bulbs which definitely is a promising thing. But then, using lesser fuels or saving energy is not enough. We have to replace the base fuel in itself.”
And the base fuels being used over the generations together have been largely derived from felling trees resulting in an enormous depletion of forest cover. At a time when the forest cover of the valley was 80 percent, Sheikh Noor-u-din Wali cautioned:” Aan Poshe Teli, Yeli Van Poshe” (We will be fed till the time our forests last) .
“And now when the forest cover has gone down to less than half of this, people cannot turn its back on the issue. “observes Dr. Arif Shafi, an environmentalist.
Interestingly a survey put forth by Mercy Corps stresses, that the environmental backlash the developing countries of the world are facing are due to the misdeeds of the developed western countries which has led to an annoying carbon concentration in the upper reaches of atmosphere.
“Carbon-footprints” which in human terms implies the contribution of an individual in increasing carbon concentration in the atmosphere is less prevalent among the people of Kashmir than anywhere else.
“Hence we cannot afford to bear the illogical effects of an issue we are not to blame for”, asserts Usman.
“So while Mercy Corps is pulling its socks up to combat climate change creatively, we could probably go green at our respective places”, concludes Dr. Arif