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Low-carbon Resource-efficient Building Materials for Sustainability

Low-carbon Resource-efficient Building Materials for Sustainability

Eco Tourism

Indian water resources are under strain due to increasing population, intensified agricultural production, industrial development, changing food habits with growing income as well as surface and subsurface water pollution. India is inflicted with a dual water crisis both in terms of accessibility and quality. Essentially, the well-being of the people and planet has been responded to through science, technology, and innovation, but in silos. However, a 2021 report by UNESCO on Draft Recommendation on Open Science highlighted the need for better integration of science with society to address the global climate change crisis including water resource management. Public participation in science received immediate attention in the report.

Citizen Science plays an important role here to gain public participation and connect policy with praxis. The process is not limited to listening or reading highly qualified research but engaging the public in hands-on activity. Development Alternatives' Citizen Science programme aims to address the water quality issue in Udaipur, Rajasthan. We engage citizens in hydrological monitoring thereby bridging existing information lacunae and empowering them to make informed decisions with respect to planning and protection of their local water resources and promoting democratic and just decisions. The programme brings together students, subject experts, teachers, and the general public in scientific management of water resources by collecting data on water quality, well monitoring, rainfall, and ecological health assessment through capacity-building workshops.

TARA Akshar+

India is plagued by large levels of illiteracy, with a higher number of female illiterates. Development Alternatives, under its mandate to empower communities, developed the TARA Akshar+ programme to impart functional literacy in rural and urban spaces. TARA Akshar+ is an intensive information and communication technology-enabled literacy and numeracy programme, which supports and trains illiterate women in reading, writing, and doing simple arithmetic, using advanced learning and memory techniques.

Within 56 days of highly instructive and entertaining two-hour classes, which are held in villages, learners acquire sufficient literacy and numeracy skills to be able to read simple books, write letters, verify her shopping and banking transactions, and go on to learn highly valuable job-related skills. Saving some two years and huge costs, which other teaching programmes require, TARA Akshar+ is demonstrably able to position its graduates to become vocal members of their families and effective leaders in their communities.

Sam-Udyam- Equity and Inclusion in Entrepreneurship

The concept of inclusive entrepreneurship, or ‘Sam-Udyam’, stems from the belief that an ecosystem of actors can induce systemic change to build new micro-economies where progress is based on equitable growth and social well-being. These actors not just address the problems of livelihood insecurity and widespread joblessness that India is faced with, but deal with issues that caused them in the first place. Sam-Udyam brings more people into the ambit of entrepreneurship and create jobs on a scale that cannot be matched by small, medium, and large businesses alone.

India must prioritise the upward socio-economic mobility of over 80 million individuals stuck in low-paying informal jobs with uncertain tenure or subsistence-level income-generating activities that are the only means of making ends meet for many, especially women. Thus, Development Alternatives’ Sam-Udyam is dedicated to a systemic change in which millions of ‘job seekers’ become ‘job makers’ within their communities, thereby leading to enhanced social inclusion and sustainable economic growth.