WALK TO BADANAVALU is a walkathon organized by the 'Friends of the Handloom' from 15th to 19th of April 2015 starting from various places including Mysore and culminating at Badanaval (a small weaving village in Nanjangud taluk).
I am very much interested in joining this Walkathon because of three reasons. First, I believe WALKING is a much forgotten adventure sport. This walkathon gives an opportunity to rediscover it with my family. From Mysore, Badanaval is neither too far nor too near. Walking through picturesque villages, vast tracts of fields, rugged roads, songs and theater, film shows, soak in the hospitality provided by villagers. It makes a perfect family outing to start the school vacation.
Secondly, this is an opportunity to walk through the countryside of India along with my countrymen. While great souls like Swami Vivekananda and Gandhiji has done it with a greater purpose and vision, I see it as a way to understand the ecosystem around me better. With the accommodation and food being arranged in the villages enroute, it's a great opportunity to mingle with villagers and learn Sustainable Living up, close and personal - with the safety and security aspects of my family taken care of.
Thirdly, Gandhiji being a role model for me, I believe in his statement of 'India's future lies in its Villages'. Gandhiji's choice of Charaka as a symbol of upliftment of the poor was not a random one. It represents India's long tradition in cotton and handloom and Gandhiji sees that as an tool for a rural based economical revival across the nation. So, this walk would be an opportunity to learn our culture and roots from a historical as well as futuristic perspective.
Like in plants & trees, physical growth in humans too happen till a stage in life. Then the process of decay kicks in. Like in plants & trees, only during this decay process, the fruits of the labour during the growth stage is formed and made available . And the decayed physical components of humankind merging with its origin, ie, SOIL, ensures the sustainability of this wheel of Life. BTW, the fruits are meant to be cherished to span new wheels of life, continuing the tradition.
Sustainability can be achieved when we know how to live in harmony with nature. For example, to have a sustained health, you should let your body to be in resonance with Nature. Likewise, to produce food sustainably, we need to be in sync with the natural processes and laws.
Natural processes like the carbon cycle, nitrogen cycle, phosphorus cycle etc are nothing but how these elements are in constant cyclic move. In other words, to ensure enough nitrogen is available in the land for agriculture (by the way, nitrogen is a very important element required in agriculture), our handling of oceans and air atmosphere is vital, so that the balance in nitrogen cycle is maintained. 'Sustainable Agriculture' thus, is something that can happen only when the various anthorpogenic activities are streamlined with 'Sustainability' as the driving factor.
Healing is a process which facilitates the returning to original state (or in other words, natural/default state). Today, science has proved beyond doubt that Mother Earth is undergoing changes that are unnatural, which are caused by human actions. For Mother Earth to heal and revert back to her original/natural/default evolutionary process, we need to learn how to walk 'light' and cause no permanent footprints on her....
About learning to walk 'light', Gandhi said 'There's enough for everyone's need, but there isn't enough for everyone's greed'. So if each one of us can draw that virtual line inside us that differentiates the NEED and GREED within, 'SUSTAINABILITY' is very much achievable. That according to me, is the simplest and shortest route to achieve sustainability.
Albert Howard's opening statement in his book 'Agricultural Testament' says beautifully:
And Nature, the old nurse, took
The Child upon her Knee,
Saying: 'Here is a story-book
Thy father has written for thee.'
'Come, wander with me,' she said,
'Into regions yet untrod;
And read what is still unread
In the manuscripts of God.'
If all our policies and actions can help man to draw that line between NEED vs GREED/DESIRE, we as a race would become progressive. Wouldn't we?
If our education can teach generations to decipher the real meaning of the above poem quoted by Albert, we need nothing else! Don't we?