Pratiksa – Digest for September 2021


പ്രതീക്ഷ (Malayalam: pratīkṣa; Hope)

What might you expect from a story of two men behind prison walls? That perhaps it’s about violence? Is bleak? Even tragic?

The Shawshank Redemption is all of that. It is also an account of an unlikely friendship between two people from starkly different maps… a tale that encompasses music, resolve, corruption and confinement. Exceptionally though, The Shawshank Redemption is about hope.

“Remember, Red, hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things, and no good thing ever dies. I will be hoping that this letter finds you, and finds you well.”

These are Andy’s words to ‘Red’, hopeful that not only will his prison mate one day exit the penitentiary but also find this letter which he has left in a box buried in an open field under an Oak tree.

Hope is something we, at the Rainmatter Foundation, try to live with and bring to, to each of our interactions. And in September, we had a healthy dose of this optimism (or is it a fool’s paradise?). Dots joined, doors opened and a handful of partnerships started to get broader contours. Our belief in the idea of getting existing solutions and efforts to collaboratively go mainstream found resonance.

We engaged with state officials on agroforestry and community management of the commons in Anantapur district and we ideated on an easy-to-use information repository-cum-app for farmers. There were also grim conversations about how chemical farming may be directly contributing to increased incidences of cancer. We began experiments to build water pumps that pump themselves
(without fuel) and are considering the use of flowforms to recycle grey water. A slow crawl on an as-yet-unnamed initiative got off-the-ground even as Dakshin, Nrityagram and Fields of View became a part of our circle.

We’d like to doff our hats to Krutika, Vaibhav, Pravin and Arti. The Farmers For Forests #AMA
(ask-me-anything) elicited much engagement. If you were unable to attend and have questions about plantation drives, afforestation and reforestation efforts, chances are you’ll find some answers

From the community

awareness drive wastewarriors

Community mobilisers conducted awareness drives in schools and with households before starting the door-to-door
dry waste collection in Doni and Satta villages in Uttarakhand. Photo: Waste Warriors

Door-to-door dry waste collection in remote Uttarkashi villages
Waste Warriors has engaged two community mobilizers and four safai sathis, i.e. people who go door-to-door to collect waste, in two remote villages in Uttarkashi, Govind Wildlife Sanctuary and National Park. This is a first since there is no organised door-to-door waste collection mechanism in the villages of Doni and Satta. Nearly 800kg of dry waste has been collected from 260 participating households in the last five months (since May). This is trash which would have otherwise been left by the roadside, in landfills or down the mountain slopes, eventually finding its way into streams and rivers. This is part of a program funded by GEF, SECURE Himalaya under the Ministry of Environment Forests and Climate Change in association with the UNDP.

Reap Benefit
and its growing tribe of Solve Ninjas have been very active. Their third cohort of the Solve Ninja Leadership Accelerator program, a six-month initiative to groom young, civic problem-solvers, kicked-off in July. Twenty-two people, including 14 women — from places ranging from Guwahati to Kanpur and Faridkot to Hosur — are working on addressing matters such as solid waste segregation, village development plans and inclusive and accessible education for underserved children. In Bangalore, they are perfecting the art of blackspot fixing i.e. cleaning up public spaces where litter and trash pile up even as they have roped in local elected representatives in different parts of the country to test their Solve Ninja chatbot to engage with citizens in their constituencies. Click here to see what else they’ve been up to.


Stop the amendments to the Forest Conservation Act:

Civis is an organisation that makes it super easy to participate in the process of law-making i.e. the ‘by the
people’ part of democracy. They do this by facilitating the public consultation — i.e. responding, commenting or objecting to new laws, rules and regulations — process. And we urge you to submit a response on the proposed amendments to the Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980. Here’s what’s at stake and an easy-peasy way to make yourself heard.

Nudge expert:
Reap Benefit is looking for someone to help devise and execute nudge-based behaviour communication on their Solve Ninja Chatbot to motivate youth and citizens to take small, environment and civic actions in their neighbourhood. Email Gautam: [email protected]


📌 #ICYMI scientist Dhriti Banerjee became the first woman to head the Zoological Survey of India.
“We, in our country, have been made aware of the value of biodiversity through culture, mythology and
religion, but understanding the economic value of biodiversity will make people more aware of it and that we need to protect it,” she tells Mongabay in an interview.

📌 Blue Sky Analytics has multiple vacancies, including for web developers, frontend developers and data scientists. Check them out, apply, refer or simply spread the word.

📌 T4GLabs, is looking to hear from change-makers with an idea to leverage tech in their efforts or a funder looking to invest in impact tech.

📌 Nearly 60 endemic and rare species of flora and fauna feature on
Andhra Pradesh’s biodiversity map by graphic designer and artist Sudarshan Shaw.

andhra bio-diversity

via: @anant_aranya, @Sudarshanshaw93 on Twitter

📌 On the subject of maps, here’s one from Raj Bhagat’s twitter account; this one shows access or
distance to formal job centers in #Bengaluru from metro stations

jobs metro density

Courtesy: Raj Bhagat

Parting shot

Perhaps we can derive hope in knowing this: Five months into World War I, thousands of British and German troops on the Western Front decided to put down their weapons, rise from the trenches, and greet each other peacefully on Christmas Eve. This letter captures the extraordinary day on which enemies turned fellowmen to bury the dead and exchange gifts of cigars and smokes.

Until next time, may your roads be auspicious,

śubhāste panthānaḥ santu

Team Rainmatter Foundation

This entry was posted in Digest, General on by .

About Marisha

Resident listener at the Rainmatter Foundation. A large part of her role is to listen... not just to the people and entities Rainmatter engages with, but also to the message that the planet has been sending: we have to be sustainable, not extractive.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.