We at Sangatya have been conducting camps for the last few years with the aim
of bringing about awareness on the topic of Sustainability and Justice. The participants in these camps are usually college students, young graduates and other youth. This note is to invite truly interested participants to our next camp which will be held from Wednesday, May 23, 2018 to Tuesday, May 29, 2018. The social context of the camp and what we propose to cover are explained below. Inequality has always plagued human society. Struggle for justice has tried to keep pace with institutionalisation of inequality, based on class, caste, religion, gender, race, nationality, etc. We have now reached a stage in which any struggle for justice must be informed by an understanding of sustainability. Two facts that bring urgency to the need to understand the material basis of our survival are climate change brought about by human activities and our dependence of fast depleting reserves of non-renewable resources. Statistics show that the richest 1% in India own 58% of the wealth of the country and that 42% of our children suffer from malnutrition. Inequality is increasing and though there is no longer any ecological space left for alleviating poverty through economic growth, governments follow policies of pursuing growth at any cost. Terms such as ”inclusive growth” are used only to placate the poor.
The vast majority of the people take our present lifestyle for granted and do not even understand what sustainability means. There are some who can formally define a sustainable society as one which obtains its present needs without adversely affecting the availability of those needs for future generations, but do not understand it deeply enough to connect it to their lifestyle, values and aspirations. Those who understand the gravity of the situation know that mere individual actions are not enough. However, they are too scattered to work with a common cause and effectively invest their energies in cooperation and collective action. Since sustainability is about the survival of our civilisation, awareness of it must not be confined to specialists. However, few school and university curricula treat sustainability with the seriousness it deserves.
It is in this context that we have been conducting our camps. In our camp lasting seven days, we will try to have discussions on all dimensions of fairness and sustainability. The camp will give the participants an experience of community living. There will be some work in the field everyday. All necessary tasks including cooking and housekeeping will be done in small teams by rotation. There will be film shows, reading and discussions covering various dimensions of fairness and sustainability. We hope that the camp will motivate the participants to learn more and incorporate the understanding in the way they live. We further hope that at least some will become activists for a fair and sustainable world.
Since we conduct such camps without any funding, we try to keep expenses to a minimum. There may be about 25 people living in a small house. Participants are requested to bear with some inconveniences in a spirit of accommodation. All are requested to bring their own bed sheets. A torch will be useful in the event of power failures and for going out at night.
Participants should confirm their participation not later than May 10, 2018. In case of any queries regarding the camp, please contact me on phone (9480346081) or email (firstname.lastname@example.org). The best time to call is between 2 PM and 4 PM, and between 9 PM and 11 PM.
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