Expert lays stress on sustainable development

R Balasubramaniam, founder and chairman of GRAAM, at an international conference on 'Economic Growth and Sustainable Development: Emerging Trends' in Mysuru on Friday. SDM IMD director N R Parashuraman and professor B Venkataraja look on. 

Sustainable growth democratises expertise while economic growth monopolises expertise, said R Balasubramaniam, founder and chairman of GRAAM and visiting professor to IIT Delhi and Cornell University, USA.

He was speaking at the inaugural ceremony of the fourth international conference on ‘Economic Growth and Sustainable Development: Emerging Trends’ at SDM IMD here on Friday.

Quoting a few of his experiences, Balasubramaniam said, “The tribal people, whom we deem as poor in the conventional sense, had a contrary story, when I met a group of indigenous people who live in the interior parts of the state. They grew about 160 types of greens and 30 tubers, having medicinal qualities. They included them in their regular diet. They were rich with things that they needed and lived a sustainable life. But when the government acquired their land and commercialised the place, they had to relocate. This is when they actually lost everything and became
poor”.

“In another such incident, the tribals maintained a fallow near their farmlands, where nothing was cultivated, leaving it for other organisms that exist in the ecosystem. This is an example of inclusive growth. The tribal leader distributes a different crop to every tribal to grow every year. This facilitates cultivation of different crops on the lands over the years. Besides, they gain knowledge on all crops and gain expertise. Thus, the monopoly of an individual tribal group over growing one kind of crop is discouraged, paving way for sustainable growth,” he said.

“The society is economically driven. Sustainability and economical growth must go hand-in-hand, which needs collaboration of people, who work towards achieving growth. It needs to be balanced. It starts with oneself. Every individual should incorporate sustainable living in every aspect. We need natural resources to sustain, but we should ensure that they are not exploited,” he added.

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Expert lays stress on sustainable development

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