Thursday, 14 March 2019

Debating Sustainability: Discourses on Environment and Development

February 21, 2019
CHRIST (Deemed to be University)
Main Campus, Bengaluru

This was the second in the series of annual seminars organised by the department of Sociology and Social Work, CHRIST (Deemed to be University). The seminar contained papers covering a range of topics and issues concerned with Sustainable development. There were presenters  from other parts pf the country as well. It started with the inaugural session at 9. 15 AM. The welcome address was given by Dr. Rajeev Kumaramkandath where he spoke about sustainability being close to our perceptions and practices including consumption. He also discussed about how as an idea which emerged prominently in 18th century Europe, Sustainability took a long time to get connected with discourses of development. Dr. Victor Paul gave the presiding address followed by Dr. Kennedy who inaugurated the semina r. In her keynote address Dr Seema Purushotaman from Azim Premji University said that sustainability today looks like an evolution of new cultures and is like a jellyfish. Development looks positive. The World Council of Churches states that economic and suitable sustainability d efine sustainable development. We need to grow well, grow more and control pollution. In 2015, Sustainable Development goals were released with fanfare. The Pope had stated to stop exporting pollution.
The inaugural session was followed by a panel discussion where Dr J. K Suresh, Trustee and Mentor, Gram Seva Sangh  and Founding Member of Lok Vidya Vedike , Prof . Padmakumar  M M ; Head , Department of Media Studies , CHRIST,  Bengaluru, Captain K Pooja Vasanth (retd) - Head Operations and Administration , Indian Institute of Human Settlement (IIHS) Bangalore, Sri. Akshay Hebilkar - Director, ECO WATCH, Bangalore participated. Dr. Prita Dasgupta, the former Head of the Department of Sociology and Social Work chaired the panel discussion. All members spoke both from theoretical and experiential dimensions about Sustainable Development and there was a vibrant discussion and question answer session towards the end of it.
Post panel discussion the first academic session started under the chair of Dr. Joshy, department of Economics. Themes such as Human Rights violations, Incest behaviour and questions of sustaining a development pattern and the question of carbon emission were presented and discussed during the session. The following academic sessions were divided among four parallel venues. The themes of their organisation were 2 sessions on Ecology and Consumption, Rethinking Development: Communities, and Education and Discourses of Development. Presenters, from both CHRIST and outside, presented papers in the sessions and all sessions had serious interactions between the presenters and the participants in the respective venues. Papers by and large touched upon a range of topics starting from climate change to questions pertaining to continued displacement for development in the contemporary times. Papers also discussed about the necessity to evolve a participatory model activities concerning sustainability and talked about the need to sensitize people by using education to spread sustainability. The second academic session came to an end at 1:30 pm and it was time for lunch.
There were three parallel sessions during the post lunch session, namely, Rethinking Development: Psychology and Behaviour, Human Rights and Development, and Sustainability and Intersectionality, Health and Development. As the themes reflect, the papers handled a range of themes that covered the deep relation between psychology and climatic changes to issues concerning gender and LGBTQ related issues and their centrality in discussions of sustainability. There were papers on SHGs as leading the postmodern discourses of development and papers about caretaking institutions like Palliative care as central in development models.
In this national level seminar there were presenters from Delhi, Chandigarh, Kerala, Pondicherry and Mumbai apart from Bengaluru. The seminar was a success due to the efforts of the students and teachers from the Department of Sociology as they were preparing for it from the past three months. The vote of Thanks of the seminar was given by Ronit Ranjan at 3:50 pm which marked the end of the one day national level seminar.


1 comment:

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