When the water levels rise -it has become a matter of when not if- Bangladesh will be submerged and 150 million people will be on the move. We are not talking here of the worst case scenario. It could well be the best case scenario. Climate change is upon us. In the Indian sub-continent, the urgency is felt.
The response comes not in a middle-class hectoring to be good, to stop using plastic bags, carry designer water bottles, switch from diesel to electric cars. In India it looks more like enterprise. There is money to be made here, money for unexpected entrepreneurs, for people of modest means to get ahead.
The Self-Help Groups in Mumbai are at the head of the movement for change. Several of us on the study tour feel shamed into action. Eddie captures the sentiment clearly in his podcast.
What else has the West learned from the East? Mindfulness for sure, being present, in the moment, aware of one’s feelings and emotions.
The visit makes us mindful of our planet. Several of us reflected that we seldom think about what happens to our garbage after it is placed in the appropriate bin. In India we meet women who process waste for a living. At home we no longer ask where the water in the tap comes from. In many parts of India water flows for just a few hours a day. The result is a mindfulness about the planet.