Tuesday, February 19, 2019

My City My Responsibility - Climate Friendly Organic waste management workshops

Dear All, 

As part of our initiative on Citizens Charter and Action agenda for Sustainable Pune, we are planning to promote case studies or projects happening in Pune that have a potential to lead us towards Sustainability. We will be organizing a number of workshops in the coming months under this initiative. To start with, we are focusing on organic waste management in a climate friendly manner. We will be having two such workshops back to back in the next week.  

Workshop on Climate Friendly Garden Waste Management. 

In my last blog I mentioned about our Workshop on Biochar - Garden waste management
We received an overwhelming response from everyone. Seeing the enthusiasm and the demand for such simple, local and low carbon technologies we will repeat the same workshop next week. For more information please see the poster below. 

Workshop on household Biogas technology by VAAYU

Our next workshop will be focused on managing kitchen waste and going LPG free. Are you curious to know more about it??? Vaayu is a Biogas technology that converts kitchen and food waste into cooking and heating fuel and can be set up by any individual in their home, balcony or kitchen itself. Join us to know more about this. We will be discussing all the issues related to the use of Biogas and its feasibility for an urban household. For more information please see the poster below. 

Both the waste management innovations not only enable us to lead Sustainable lifestyles but also gives us the joy of going carbon negative - i.e., subtracting rather than adding carbon emissions to the atmosphere! Its definitely a win-win situation for all of us.  

Looking forward towards your participation in both events!!!

Please RSVP! It will help us in making the logistical arrangements for both the workshops. 

Pournima Agarkar. 

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

My City My Responsibility - Climate friendly Garden waste management

Dear All, 

On last Thursday 7th Feb, 2019 we at Samuchit conducted a full day workshop on Climate Friendly management of Garden waste in Indradhanushya Environment and Citizenship Centre, Pune. I have been associated with Samuchit for the past two years now, however, this was the first time I participated in one of the core work areas of Samuchit related to waste management and climate change and I was super excited for the same.  

Though it was a full day workshop, Dr Karve, planned it in a very engaging, inclusive, detailed and free flowing manner giving ample time for questions and discussions. I am sure no one must have been exhausted at the end of the day except the speaker. 

Group Photo.
PC: Harshil R

In the first half part of the day, Dr Karve took us back to fifth grade science where she explained the carbon cycle that helps understand the critical phenomenon of Climate Change in a simple manner. She clarified a lot of myths around composting, burning and traditional/religious practices and explained the scientific reality. She also explained that garden wastes having higher generation rate and lower decomposition rate makes the management of this waste biomass more difficult. Even though burning of waste is prohibited, most housekeepers or helpers tend to burn this biomass in open air, creating a lot of local pollution.

Here, Samuchit's technology of converting the dried biomass (garden waste) into char through gasification plays a very crucial role. In this case only a small quantity of the biomass is burnt initially, that heats up and gasifies some of the biomass. The hot gas is burnt under controlled air supply, which then keeps the process of "heating - gasification - burning of gas" going.  This ensures practically smokeless waste management and The residue formed is char. Once the flame of the burning gas dies out, the char embers can be doused with water to prevent them from burning down to ash. The char can be used in multiple ways after sufficiently drying. More importantly, the char is nothing but solid nonreactive carbon which has been prevented from going into the atmosphere - this is a very low tech carbon capture technology that can help combat climate change. 

This char is also known as semi activated charcoal or Biochar. Dr Karve showed, short and crisp videos of setting up and working of the equipment known as Samuchit Transflasher kiln and Sampada gasifier stove. However seeing its working on site was the most exciting part of the workshop. A demonstration of both these equipments was undertaken by Prashant Borate and Karan Shelar in the garden area of Indradhanushya using available garden waste. This was a very enlightening session for all, since we not only saw the actual working of these kilns but also witnessed practical problems that can be faced while using these kilns and discussed about various issues around climate change and its impacts.  

Demo - Samuchit Transflasher Kiln

Interactions during DEmo

We had a quick working lunch and all of us were back to the second part of the workshop, curious to know what all can be done with this 'Biochar'. Biochar can be easily used in many applications. Samuchit is using this char for making briquettes that can be used as fuel. The procedure is simple but may not be feasible at such a small scale as a residential garden plot. However, a deodorizer or a natural air freshner is one of the most handy usages of this product. Instead of using naphthalene balls or air freshners that use chemicals to produce a fragrance, one can use this char powder that ensures that organic particulate pollutants, including aromatic compounds that produce bad odours, are removed from air. 

A hands on activity for making a deodorizer pack was undertaken by Prashant Borate giving a sense of handling the char. Using deodorizer is simple and hassle free. After using a pack of deodorizer for a month or two, one can simply put the char into the garden soil. The concept of using biochar for plants helps improve soil fertility and is sequestering carbon in soil. This helps in mitigating climate change impacts. 


Last and the most delicious part of the day, having steam cooked corn in Samuchit's Steam Cooker that works on the char briquettes made out of the biochar, was the most nutritious tea time snack we ever had. Dr. Karve showcased the working of this steam cooker through a video and Karan Shelar demonstrated its actual working and design in the hall. Based on the concept of slow cooking, Samuchit's Steam cooker ensures that the flavours are intact along with nutritional value of the food that is being cooked in this cooker.

Understanding the global problem of Climate Change and mitigating the same through such simple, local, easy to use solutions can help resolve the global problem in a very innovative way. Its important to know that though Climate Change is a global problem, I am the ONE who is responsible for creating it and only I can resolve it. 

For viewing the videos of kilns and Samuchit Steam Cooker click on this link. https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCQz1_oM7hY20oJsWoSDKPNg

Pournima Agarkar. 

Saturday, February 9, 2019

MUSINGS FROM PRIYADARSHINI KARVE: Carbon Negativity... Revisited!

I wrote two blog posts Carbon Negativity - 1 and  Carbon Negativity - 2 in January 2018 - months before the IPCC 1.5 deg C report came out. Now with that report the urgency around measures towards carbon negativity has become heightened. I have no idea how the multi-million dollar technologies being touted by the big business interests across the world are going to pan out. I am however confident that with the waste biomass that all of us generate in varied quantities in our daily lives, we can do our bit towards carbon negativity. Biocharing is one of the techniques available to us for this purpose.

आयपीसीसीचा १.५ डिग्री सें. अहवाल येण्याच्या काही महिने आधी, जानेवारी २०१८ मध्ये, मी कार्बन निगेटिव्हिटी या विषयावर दोन ब्लॉग पोस्ट्स लिहिल्या होत्या -  कार्बन निगेटिव्हिटी - १ आणि  कार्बन निगेटिव्हिटी - २ . आता हा अहवाल आल्यानंतर कार्बन निगेटिव्हिटी तातडीने साध्य करण्याची गरज अधोरेखित झाली आहे. जगभरातील मोठे व्यावसायिक लक्षावधी डॉलर्सचा खर्च असलेल्या तंत्रांचा यासाठी प्रसार करत आहेत, त्यांची वाटचाल भविष्यात कशी होईल मला माहीत नाही. पण आपल्या आजुबाजूला आपल्याच दैनंदिन व्यवहारातून जो जैविक कचरा आपण निर्माण करतो आहोत, त्याचा वापर करून आपण कार्बन निगेटिव्हिटीसाठी थोडेफार योगदान निश्चित देऊ शकतो, याबद्दल मला खात्री वाटते. यासाठी जी तंत्र आपल्याला उपलब्ध आहेत, त्यापैकी एक बायोचारिंग हे आहे. 

A big thank you to all the participants of the Hands On Training on Climate Friendly Garden Waste Management on 7 Feb 2019. I hope that some of you have been inspired to give this process a try to deal with your garden waste AND to go carbon negative!

बागेतील काडीकचऱ्याचे क्लायमेट फ्रेंडली व्यवस्थापन या विषयावर ७ फेब्रुवारी २०१९ रोजी आयोजित कार्यशाळेत सहभागी झालेल्या सर्वांचे मी आभार मानते. आपल्यापैकी काहीजण आपल्या बागेतील काडीकचऱ्याच्या विल्हेवाटीसाठी या तंत्राचा वापर करून पहाण्यासाठी पुढे याल, व कार्बन निगेटिव्हिटीकडे वाटचाल कराल, अशी मी आशा करते!

Priyadarshini Karve
Samuchit Enviro Tech

प्रियदर्शिनी कर्वे
समुचित एन्व्हायरो टेक


Samuchit Enviro Tech.     samuchit@samuchit.com     www.samuchit.com 

Tuesday, February 5, 2019

My City My Responsibility - Action oriented approach for Sustainable Behavior

Dear All, 

Awareness to Action Model - Gurudas Nulkar

When we started working on our project on Citizens Charter and Action Agenda for Sustainable Pune, we met a lot of citizen groups who were keen to adopt sustainable lifestyles, but due to lack of access to appropriate services or lack of knowledge about sustainable practices or limited motivation....many could not undertake actions towards sustainable behaviors. Given the fact that if we decide, we can achieve anything, we wanted to explore what are the problems/barriers that people are facing in order to undertake Sustainable Behaviors. 

When we met Gurudas Nulkar an expert in Environmental Sustainability from Ecological Society, he explained us the concept of Awareness to Action. In our December event on Sustainably SMART Pune 2030  he very well articulated the overall concept. 

Yesterday Gurudas Nulkar undertook a brainstorming session on creating a model for any issue where people are aware about the issues to an extent, yet there is no effective action towards resolving the same. So, along with a few members of Jeevitnadi we brainstormed on using the concept for enabling sustainable behaviors or Pro Environment Behaviors (PEB). Gurudas Nulkar stressed that policy alone may not be always helpful in creating change in the society, but a collective action driven by the citizens can definitely lead to change in the society. 

According to Gurudas Nulkar, behavioral change is linked to the following aspects - Awareness, Attitude, Barriers and Benefits along with Enablers. Let us see all these aspects in brief. 

Awareness, in this world of Google, awareness about any topic like climate change or pollution is not an issue, however the issue lies in knowing that am I the cause of the problem and I am the one who can help resolve the same. Awareness about sustainable actions is missing. Many a times, we all know climate change is happening, there's a lot of pollution etc etc...but we are not aware about individual or community actions to mitigate the same. Based on the awareness levels, socio economic strata of the society, age and gender etc, we can design an awareness strategy for the target groups.  

Attitude is an important aspect for any behavioral change, some of us have a very negative or indifferent attitude towards a lot of issues in our city. For e.g. public transport is looked down due to lack of proper buses, frequency, time of travel, etc...in spite of knowing that public transport is pro environment or climate friendly, we end up taking our own vehicle for daily commute. Our indifferent attitude is in a way hindering us from undertaking the sustainable behaviors. Our attitudes many a times are also influenced by certain good practices, or some habits that are pro environment. Can we as individuals give thought to our attitudes, can we be more responsible, fair or take the initiative in the above case an initiative of using the public transport and advocating for the same for all good by creating pressure groups will certainly help in getting a better transport facility.  

Mapping and analyzing the Barriers that may be in the form of cultural, social, economical, political or personal and the Benefits in the form of financial, non-financial, social, status related, moral, or selfless is very important to understand. There is need to reduce these barriers by changing our attitudes and raising or creating barriers for unsustainable practices. For instance if water supply is reduced to only two hours a day, we tend to use water cautiously, whereas if its available for 24 hrs we don't really bother about our usage. 
Similarly raising the benefits may be in the form of a financial gain or as a source of income generation is very effective and should be advocated. Newspaper recycling is a classic example of a  win-win situation. Important to note that any benefits accrued from any unsustainable practices should be demotivated. In order to achieve these various Enablers like the central, state or local bodies or community watch dogs, social groups or religious values can play a crucial role. 

Its easier to write about it or talk about it, but in practical its a difficult task but not impossible for sure. We need like minded people who would like to participate in creating such action oriented strategies that can help result into more and more pro environment or sustainable behaviors and lead us to sustainable cities and communities. 

Pournima Agarkar. 

PS. Members who attended the session, please feel free to give your inputs. 

Friday, February 1, 2019

My City My Responsibility - Citizens Meet for Sustainable Pune

Dear All, 

Our Group

Our event held on the 30th January, 2019 on Citizens Charter and Action Agenda for Sustainable Pune at Sumant Moolgaokar Auditorium was a success. I would like to thank each and every person starting from the Citizens, Professionals, NGO personnel, students who attended our event, young enthusiastic volunteers to caterers, translators, document designer, photographers, video documentation people and our guest from MISEREOR and Mumbai from LAYA and INECC our favorite Myron Mendes and Ajita Tiwari, Engagement Global our funders and last but not the least Samuchit Enviro Tech for overall coordination of the event.
Dr Priyadarshini Karve

Dr Priyadarshini Karve opened the session with her remarkable speech in Marathi and powerpoint slides in English in order to make it Inclusive. January 30th which also marked the death anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, who promoted the concept of Village Swaraj which resonates with the concept of Sustainability of human settlement. Though not consciously intended, we happened to undertake our event on Sustainable cities on this day and Dr Karve very well acknowledged it.

The one quote that comes to my mind that relates Mahatma Gandhi and Sustainability is  ''The earth has enough resources to meet the needs of all, but not enough to satisfy one's greed".This quote does in a way lead us towards introspecting on our behaviour and lifestyle as an individual and can lead us towards Sustainability. 

Creating a citizens charter and action agenda for Sustainable city is a project born out of our study on Sustainably SMART Pune by 2030. This sub-project intends to educate urban citizens about Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) with a special focus on SDG 11 (making cities and communities sustainable) and thus stress on the role of citizens in making the city Sustainable by 2030. We conducted seven workshops last year in collaboration with local organizations working on some of the targets under SDG11. Daftar, Parisar, Ecological Society, Jeevidha and Jeevitnadi along with two colleges Bharti Vidyapeeth College of Architecture and Bharti Vidyapeeth Institute for Environment Education and Research (BVIEER) supported us for undertaking these workshops.

Pournima Agarkar
We compiled all the inputs given by citizens/activists during these workshops with respect to four pillars of SDG 11 i.e Inclusive, Safe, Resilient and Sustainable and formulated a Citizens Charter. This charter will keep evolving, while we would like to formulate an Action agenda for the citizens. The Action agenda is like a set of best practices that enable the citizens to undertake acts of Sustainability. Since I am leading this sub project supported by Engagement Global and funded by Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development, I presented the status of Pune city with respect to the targets of SDG 11 and the overall initiative.  

Myron Mendes

Myron Mendes our communications expert conducted a LIVE poll where we generated a WORD CLOUD on qualities that a citizen needs to possess in order to make his/her city Sustainable. The word cloud generated reflects a set of qualities and initiatives that can be undertaken for making a city Sustainable through 188 responses. 


Our active guest speakers Sanskriti Menon, Ravindra Sinha, Shailaja Deshpande and Sathya Natarajan each presented their individual actions in a very influential and convincing way. I would like to give a glimpse of their talks. 

Sanskriti Menon
Sanskriti Menon, the Biker Babe as she referred to herself, made riding a bicycle a happening thing!!! She very well articulated how her feel good factor of riding a bicycle and interactions with the local street vendors and waste pickers motivated her in preparing the Pune Bicycle Plan in a inclusive, safe, resilient and Sustainable Plan in coordination with PMC. She stressed on having a  deliberate democracy system which is indeed critical for Sustainability as it is based on consensus decision making as well as majority. 

Ravindra Sinha

Ravindra Sinha literally scared us with all the figures showing groundwater depletion levels and how the day zero happening in Cape Town, may become a reality for us too. I liked one statement that he made ' Smart city or Tanker city'. The number of societies in Pune that are dependent on Tankers for daily water supply today is really alarming. Its time we start reflecting on our consumption of water, reuse and recycling alternatives or else the smart plan of 24X7 water supply will be just a dream. 

Shailaja Deshpande
Shailaja Deshpande made an emotional connect with everyone with her power-packed and intense feelings about Heritage and how lucky we are to have these natural resources like Rivers as our heritage without even realizing it. In just a matter of 50 years we have been responsible for degrading this resource and exploiting its heritage value. She stressed on how it is our sole responsibility to preserve the same in our individual capacity as well as, as a community.

Sathya Natarajan

Sathya Natarajan, a volunteering enthusiast connected us to the big picture of Sustainability with simple acts of tree plantation, complaining about issues that harm the environment around us and concern for the sanitary waste pickers by promoting the SWACH - red dot campaign. 

Glad to have speakers who walk the talk. I appreciate their ability to stick to the given time limit and yet make presentations that were inspiring for everyone. We had an enriching Q&A session followed by concluding remarks by Ajita Tiwari INECC's National facilitator. The speakers and the guests from MISEREOR were felicitated at the hands of Walter Mendoza, founder member of INECC.  

Walter Mendoza
Ajita Tiwari

This time our event also featured taking short video interviews of participants on their vision of Sustainable City and we are glad that we had great responses. The videos will be uploaded soon. 
Also we had a fun activity of selfie corner along with SDG 11 backdrop and props. We believe that citizens should prioritize sustainable lifestyle choices and hence we had displays set up by Samuchit, Jeevitnadi's Toxin free Lifestyle products, Alternate riverfront conservation poster, household biogas initiative by Vaayu and CEE's books. One of our volunteers assisted interested participants to calculate their carbon footprint through https://www.climatecollectivepune.org/CPC/ our online app. 

Citizens of the city

This event was just to mark the beginning of preparing the Action agenda for Sustainable Pune. We need everyone's feedback/inputs and analysis. Kindly like, share and comment on our FB page: https://www.facebook.com/SustainableCityPune/
Or simply email me at pournima@samuchit.com

Looking forward to your inputs. 

Pournima Agarkar. 

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

My City My Responsibility - Citizens of Sustainable Pune

Dear All,

This is a formal invitation to all for attending our event on Citizens Charter and Action Agenda for  Sustainable Pune to be held on the 30th January, 2019. See the poster for details. Though the event starts from 6.00 pm onwards, registrations and snacks starts from 5.00 pm.  

I am glad to announce that a few active citizens will be our guest speakers at the event. Below is brief information about the dynamic personalities who are gracefully working at the ground as well as at the top level for making our city livable.  

Shailaja Deshpande - Founding member and Director of Jeevitnadi and a river warrior. She has been working relentlessly for revival of rivers and has been the driving force in sensitizing the society through initiatives like Adopt a Stretch, River walk and toxin free lifestyle products along with Aditi Deodhar and Manish Ghorpade to name a few. 

Ravindra Sinha - Dedicated towards working for community groundwater through his initiative Mission Groundwater and also a founding member of Resident Welfare Association of Baner Pashan link road where he is actively involved in resolving civic issues of the society.   

Sanskriti Menon - Programme Director at Centre for Environment Education (CEE) working on several aspects of the city like education, creating awareness, carbon neutrality and mobility etc.. She has been involved in developing the Pune Bicycle Plan in coordination with PMC. She rides a bicycle for her daily commute to promote sustainable transport that is low carbon, healthy and environment friendly.  

Sathya Natarajan - An enthusiast, committed towards city's environment, greenery, clean rivers and air quality. He has been volunteering tirelessly for several issues in the city, be it chain fasting for our rivers, saving bird sanctuary, wall painting for a cause, SWACH survekshan, cycling and for red dot campaign etc etc and the list continues. 

I an super eager to hear from this package of inspiration about their work, the challenges they face and yet strive to continue playing their roles in a superb way.  

If you are also eager to know them and interact with them, see you at the event!

Please RSVP me for participation in order to make food arrangements.

Pournima Agarkar. 

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

My City My Responsibility - Citizens meet for Sustainable Pune

Dear All, 

Are you concerned about your city? Do you want to take any action that will help make your city Sustainable? Are you curious to know what all can be done to make your city pollution free, congestion free, green, clean, safe and sustainable?

Then you should attend our event on Citizens Charter, a LIVE document, as mentioned in my earlier blog .We are drafting the same and it will be available to all at our Citizens meet happening on the 30th Jan, 2019 at Sumant Moolgaokar Auditorium, MCCIA Trade Tower from 6 to 8 pm.
Food arrangements have been made for all, hence kindly RSVP me at pournima@samuchit.com for your participation. 

The event will feature engaging and interactive activities, where you get to meet active citizens of the city, who will share their work, which is creating a huge impact in making their community sustainable. Since the document is LIVE, your comments, suggestions are welcome. There will be experts in the event with whom you can share your concerns or any issues that you have been trying to resolve. If would like to be part of this network see you soon!

Looking forward to meet you all.

Pournima Agarkar. 

Tuesday, January 8, 2019

My City My responsibility - Experience at KVIFF EcoBazaar!

Dear All, 
Word Cloud - Peoples vision of Pune city

In the last week I attended the Kirloskar Vasundhara International Film Festival (KVIFF) organized by the Kirloskar Group. This is a week long festival held every year in the month of January in many cities of India. In Pune KVIFF was hosted from 3rd Jan to 7th Jan 2019. This festival involves film screenings and other allied activities like seminars, panel discussions, workshops on a specific environmental theme. Eco bazaar - an exhibition exclusively for ecofriendly products and innovations - is an important part of the festival. This year the theme of the festival was in line with the UN theme for World Environment Day 2018 i.e 'No to Plastic and Yes to Earth'. This is KVIFF's thirteenth year of creating an environmental protection movement that aims to enrich lives of the citizens of the city. I feel its a great platform for availing information on environmental issues through films and other allied activities.  

Karan Shelar at Ecobazaar
This year at the  Eco bazaar along with our products Deodorizer, Samuchit Steam cooker (upgraded model of Sarai cooker), Sampada gasifier stove, Charring kiln and Self watering pots, we introduced our family carbon footprint calculator, developed by Dr. Priyadarshini Karve and launched as a web app by Pune International Centre (PIC). We also conducted a live poll on Vision for Pune city from the visitors. While Prashant Borate, Supriya Borate and Karan Shelar were involved in presenting the Samuchit products. I was involved in interacting with the people for the carbon footprint calculation and the live poll along with Aditi and Akash from PIC who also joined us. Dr Priyadarshini Karve supported all of us!!! 

Supriya Borate at Ecobazaar

Prashant Borate at Ecobazaar
Dr Karve at Ecobazaar

Calculating carbon footprint
It was good to know that a lot of people were already aware about carbon footprint and why it is important, some people were even scared to know about their footprint since they had a suspicion that it would be high! Yet many people calculated their footprint using our calculator. Unsurprisingly everyone who had an impression that their footprint is less were shocked to know that per capita footprint was either 2.7 or 3 tCO2eq. The whole idea of calculating carbon footprint of urbanities is to understand that though at the country level India's carbon footprint stands well below the norm of 2 tCO2eq. At the city level it is around 3 tCO2eq and above. Our calculator is a tool to measure how much carbon emissions we generate due to our daily activities.

Click here for calculating your carbon footprint using our calculator. Once you get your results, please write to us at pournima@samuchit.com we can guide you on how to reduce your footprint!

Our live poll activity on Vision of Pune city, will be active till this Sunday (13th Jan), you can check out the instructions below for giving your responses. You can feed in multiple responses but each response has to be ONEWORD. The word cloud posted above is the result of the responses received till date, word cloud generated through your responses will help us in policy advocacy for our city and hence your response matters a lot as a citizen! 

Instructions to participate in the live poll

This was my experience at the KVIFF Ecobazaar. Were you there? Did you participate in some way or were you a spectator? kindly share your experiences as well! 

Pournima Agarkar. 

"the power of the people is much stronger than the people in power.”Wael Ghonim

Tuesday, January 1, 2019

My City My Responsibility - Citizens Manifesto for Sustainable City

Dear All, 

Wish you an Enthusiastic, Sustainable and Peaceful New Year!!!
An Inspiring Action for Sustainability

Last year has been really very fulfilling for me and I am glad to know, meet and have people around me who are motivated and keep motivating everyone to take up acts of Sustainability may be big or small. 

Having met all these enthusiastic people and knowing their initiatives, we thought of preparing a citizens manifesto, where we asked the citizens as to how would they want their city to be by 2030. We have been compiling all these people's perspectives since the last year and have come up with a Citizens Manifesto! This Manifesto prepared by the people of the city can be a guide or a ready reckoner for anyone who wants to work with the people and for the people.

In my last blog I mentioned about an upcoming event and I am glad to announce that on the 30th January, 2019 Wednesday, we would like to unveil our version of Citizens Manifesto to all of you for further comments and refinements. We intend for this to be a 'living' document which will keep on evolving with people's inputs.

Kindly block this date and keep watching this place for more details!!!

Pournima Agarkar.

'the power of the people is much stronger than the people in power.”Wael Ghonim.


Tuesday, December 25, 2018

My City My Responsibility - Launch of Sustainably SMART Pune 2030 report

Dear All, 

Collage of some of the pics from the event

Firstly I thank all the people who made it to our event, held on the 20th December, 2018 at the Kalmadi High School, Shakuntala Jagannath Shetty Auditorium on behalf of Samuchit Enviro Tech, INECC and LAYA. We really missed the presence of Ajita Tiwari, Nafisa Goga D'Souza and Dominic D'Souza from INECC and LAYA during the event. I am sure there were many others who wanted to grace our event but couldn't make it, however for all of you I would like to narrate the event😃

Pune International Centre (PIC) with their initiative on Climate Collective Pune (CCP) were our collaborators and helped us in organizing the entire event. We are grateful to Prof. Amitav Mallik and Aditi Kale for being available to us throughout the event planning and implementation phase.  

Prof. Amitav Mallik, trustee of PIC and core member of CCP opened the session. CCP is a network of experts from varied backgrounds like Urban planning, Groundwater, Renewable Energy, Green Building, Environment Education and experts working with the Area Sabhas and Mohalla committes etc. The goal of this network is to make Pune a Carbon Neutral city by 2030. It is noteworthy that this vision is very much in line with our vision of making Pune a Sustainably SMART city by 2030 and he expressed his belief in achieving the goal collectively for the common good.

Word Cloud showing citizens vision of Pune city. 
All our events are people oriented, hence engaging people has always been our main activity. Myron Mendes our communications expert helped us involve our audience in the event through an activity. We used mentimeter, an online interactive software that helps to execute live opinion polls. Through this app, we asked people to type a word describing their vision for Pune city. The audience had to open the menti.com website on their smartphones, and enter the code flashing on the screen to allow them to participate in the poll. We gave the audience a time of 5 minutes to enter as many responses as they could, and while people were voting, a word cloud based on their responses was being generated on the screen. In just five minutes we could receive more than 500 responses, and the word cloud clearly reflected the vision of Pune by the Puneites. Word cloud is an interesting form of graphic, the more people enter a word, it gets bigger. Our word cloud reflected that we as Puneites want our city to be Sustainable, Clean and Green! 

On the Dais from left to right Dr Priyadarshini K, Myron M, Gurudas N,
Amitav M  and Pournima A
After this activity, we released our report on Sustainably SMART Pune 2030 by the hands of Dr Gurudas Nulkar our guest speaker and others on the dias. 

Radar chart showing current status & our vision for 2030
Dr Priyadarshini Karve, the Project incharge of this study and a straightforward speaker presented summary of the report. She explained how the 3 year study kickstarted when she saw problems with the SMART city mission (SCM). SCM has a flawed financial and management structure with technology as its end goal. Its design makes it incompetent to meet the Global goals i.e. Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) esp. SDG 11 which deals with making cities and communities sustainable. Through the SMART city mission, the city is being reshaped for the future without taking into consideration the basic issues that we are facing locally and globally. Hence the study proposes an approach that is Sustainably SMART where minimizing the socio-economic inequity, local environmental impacts and climate change impacts. These three boundaries encompass problems faced by urban spaces locally and globally. Here, technology does play a role but only as a tool. Our approach is very well in line with the Global goals as well esp. SDG 11. The role of citizens is crucial in making a city Sustainably SMART and is thus the objective of the study as well. 

Chart from Dr Gurudas presentation
Dr Gurudas Nulkar an expert in Environmental Sustainability and a great speaker, then addressed the audience as to why and how can citizens act in order to make the city sustainable. He gave a brief background on ecological footprint and an approach for making cities livable. The most interesting part of his talk was about the transition from awareness to behavioral change. This transition is very crucial but often very difficult to attain. There are many barriers that are stronger than the benefits. Each one of us is enough aware of the problems, however in order to defeat them firstly, we need to identify these barriers, we should then talk about them, discuss them and find solutions to reduce the barriers in the path of behavioural change and increase or create barriers in the path of 'business as usual'. This two pronged strategy will help make that behavioural shift decisively, and we can create a sustainable society. 

Taking note of this speech, Myron Mendes had another activity for our audience, where they had to give individual pledges on what they will do to make Pune sustainably SMART on 'handprints' - hand shaped papers - and take a selfie at our selfie corner. He concluded the event by a vote of thanks to all. 

Collage of selfies at the event

Selfie collage by the Green Soldiers-a waste management group

We are going to organize another event for citizens' involvement in sustainably SMART Pune 2030 around the end of January 2019. Stay tuned if you want to be part of it!

Note: Our report is accessible to all, email me at pournima@samuchit.com for the softcopy of the report. The report is available in English as well as Marathi!

Pournima Agarkar.