Sustainable Development

August 28, 2017

What is the meaning of Sustainable Development?

We generally read such rosy words in the corporate presentation. wiki says economic development that is conducted without depletion of natural resources.  Now we see people talking about Sustainable Development sitting in Air Conditioned offices which its self is very much contradictory to its own definition.

Let’s find out more and explore more about this Sustainability!

Nature is the best teacher and we should learn from nature what is the meaning of sustainability. Have you ever came across the situation where you feed black water to rose and the flower turn its colour to black from red. Yes, this is exact meaning of sustainable development. If you still continue watering the plant with black colour water still the result will be same. Due to chemical effects rose plant may stop its growth but will never give up on its fundamental property of giving you beautiful red roses. So what happens to that black colour which remains in soil if it’s artificial it will spoil the soil and if its natural it will get biodegraded and convert into the soil. Now if it’s artificial then the day it becomes more in quantity than soil the Eco-system gets collapse and soil become infertile.

This is what I can explain the Sustainable Development in lay man’s language. We need to make sure we do not add anything in an environment which will spoil the environment either in form of polluting water, polluting the air or polluting soil. Carbon in the air is pollution and the same carbon turns into fertilizer when it is pumped in the soil in form of organic carbon. The only machine developed by nature the tree can do this. The tree absorbs carbon dioxide from an environment and turns into organic carbon and refills the same in the soil. So Sustainability starts from less consumption of artificial things and encouraging the use of natural products also same time keep refiling the nature to assure a Sustainable supply of these natural things for our future generations.

In any system, we always have 2 parties one is the donor(producer) and another one is borrower(consumer). Borrower importance remains till some donor is available and vice versa. Balancing donor and borrower is called as Sustainable Development.

Now let’s see how we can implement the same in our everyday routine. Let us start with food which is the basic need of human being. Farming is itself an encroachment we cut trees and start farming. Consumers demand more hence farmer cuts more tree. Consumer demands more hence farmer use shortcuts. Consumer demands cheap hence farmer finds a way to make it fast. All this process never analysed in form of negative impact on mother earth.

Now how we can correct it?

Let us be responsible consumers and demand what is available in terms of region & season. Always an apple a day can’t keep the doctor away because apple farmers will imbalance the regional health of Eco-system to full fill customers demand. Hence borrower should first need to understand the limitations of donor and then design his demand.

How we can work on Sustainable Agriculture?

It’s more important to understand the risk factor of producer/farmer:

  1. he is not sure about climate still he takes efforts
  2. he is not sure about rates still he takes efforts

Now, don’t you think the person who is taking blind risk deserves additional incentives in terms of monitory benefits along with a word of appreciation?

 Now let us talk about Development as we learn about sustainability?

Development can be different for every person and yes it changes accordingly. Digital schools cant be a conclusion of development. Connecting kids with nature and teaching them lessons of nature will assure their development.  Metro Cities always enforced the concept of development on rural people.

What you think is the correct meaning of Development of Rural India?

Giving digital gadgets to school going kids?

Giving a sapling (can be mango, chikoo etc) to school going, kid?

Let’s observe the effects of both:

Giving digital gadgets to school going kids? – educated unemployed youth after 10 years.

Giving on sapling (can be mango, chikoo etc) to school going, kid? An educated entrepreneur who can become smart farmer or nature lover after 10 years.

So what we need educated unemployed youth or smart farmers?

A lot of things can be explained or elaborated here but I will conclude this topic with Mahatma Gandhi’s 4 quotes which will explain all in brief.



  • India ‘s way is not Europe’s; India is not Calcutta and Bombay. India lives in her seven hundred thousand villages.
  • Today cities dominate and drain villages so that they are crumbling to ruin.
  • Urbanization in India is slow but sure death for her villages and villagers
  • Return to villages means a definite, voluntary recognition of the duty of bread labour and all it connotes.


Saameer Ravindra Athavale

Fair Trade Activist