How N S Ramakanth, a noble soul, is trying to save Sankey Tank


Avarige protective gear kodsi, Swamy… Can you look at the filth they are standing in? There’s lead and mercury in the sludge. They will get all kinds of diseases. Can’t you just get them boots and gloves?”

I heard N S Ramakanth (NSR)—a Bangalore-based environmental activist—say this to a mid-ranking BBMP official on Gandhi Jayanthi evening at Sankey Tank. A never-seen-before, massive clean-up operation was into its fifth day to save whatever that was left of this beautiful water body post Ganesha festival. “Don’t say that, saar! They will stop working,” the official replied. Continue reading

The saga of sanitary waste-2: OF DONKEYS AND ONE WOMAN’S PERIODS


In the age of sanitary pads and other easier options, it’s difficult to fully comprehend the agony suffered by the women of older generations during periods. One can ascribe any number of religious and cultural significance to the taboos that pushed the women into menstrual huts, it goes without saying that they were (still are in many parts of India) subjected unspeakable inconvenience, pain and humiliation.

India is a land of narratives. And the narratives built upon the “crimson flow” are many. Although menstruation is a natural, cyclical and biological occurring, the experience varies with each woman. Each one can tell a different story.

Here’s a moving account on a woman’s periods, her “ritual” dips and the donkeys (yes!) as seen from the eyes of a young, innocent boy. Although using cloth pads is now being looked at as sustainable menstruation as it does not leave behind non-biodegradable waste, I thought of including this post in the sanitary waste series for the simple reason that it offers a rare male perspective on a subject that even women hesitate to discuss openly.

Thanks to N JAYARAM for sharing this beautiful blogpost with you all. I am sure you will find yourself immersed in this short story just as I did.

Continue reading

How I am going organic–1: About some doubts & trust issues


It’s one thing to talk organic but quite another to suffer sticker shocks when you step inside organic grocery stores.

I thought of writing my own experience after talking to quite a few people. It became clear to me that almost all of them went through the same phase, weighed pros and cons and then made the switch. Not that I have found all the answers surrounding this subject, but through this series, I hope I will be able to put certain common doubts and fears to rest. Continue reading

Up against ‘PoP culture’, these Bangaloreans make their own clay Ganeshas to drive home a message


Volunteers from HSR Citizen FORUM learn the art of making clay Ganesha idols at Clay Station in HSR Layout. They are taking this initiative to their communities and encouraging more people, especially children, to go for pure clay idols instead of lead-laden idols made of plaster of Paris.

There may be several religious overtones to Ganesha idol immersion ritual carried out all over India each year. But the one that I find forever appealing is my mother’s philosophical take on it: “What comes from the Earth must go back to it. Immersion means abdication of any material attachment. It’s a means to develop philosophical detachment in life.” Continue reading

Community composting method-10: This steel bins system can work a treat on your terrace

Cassia block of Brigade Millennium in J P Nagar has its own unique steel bins system which has been producing one tonne of compost each month.

Cassia block of Brigade Millennium in J P Nagar has its own unique steel bins system which has been producing one tonne of compost each month.

Bangalore’s roads run like tedious arguments. I had to meander my way around one such ‘argument’ recently by hitting the road at 7 am in Yelahanka to study a community composting method in an apartment located in J P Nagar.

Cassia Block is just like any other nestling in this mammoth condominium called Brigade Millennium. But it stands apart for its high eco quotient nurtured by its all-woman management committee. They have a very good waste and water management system in place and in fact, the residents have stepped out of their threshold, cleaned up a spot just out of their periphery, planted a line of trees and have even set aside some space for vermi-composting right there.

Now, that definitely sets the tone for this write-up, doesn’t it? Continue reading

Soil recipe-3: This egg extract can boost your plant growth


Soil Recipes is a useful how-to-do-it manual on soil nutrition and maintenance authored by Goa-based organic farmer ISA ALVARES and published by The Organic Farming Association of India (OFAI). Endlessly Green is happy to republish these recipes.

The recipes, as the author says, have been “vetted and verified by experienced organic farmers” belonging to OFAI. They not only “enable the soil to re-stock its populations of beneficial soil microbes”, but also help “control disease…” Continue reading