What moves pointReturn

Q9: For Karpagam, Sriram and DV: Our state Tamil Nadu has been making much progress in recent years, but I don’t see any improvement in public’s behaviour. Our sense of cleanliness, orderly traffic, friendly accommodation and hard work are missing. What can bring about a change? Do you have any plans to work towards that?

A: Sriram: Mad rush towards growth and development has made everyone insensitive to his surroundings. This is true for western world too; however their governments have a manageable number in terms of population which makes it possible for them to keep their cities clean. Weather and rain in the temperates helps keep the dust low. However we do not see the filth that big a problem. Inequality is the bigger problem. So is deforestation, migration from rural to cities etc.
The collective of individual action is what we believe in. Change won’t come by preaching but by living it.

A: DV: On bringing about change in others, Gandhi has conclusively said – [and which has alas become a cliche for being bandied without internalising], “As human beings, our greatness lies not so much in being able to remake the world – that is the myth of the atomic age – as in being able to remake ourselves.” So how do I prevent littering? I stop littering. That’s about all i need to do

Q10: For Sriram: Would you please ask your friend and college senior, Siddarth, who has joined you at pointReturn to answer some of these queries as well, please?

A: DV: So far as I can tell, Siddarth is even more into doing it, rather than talking about it, than the rest of us.

Q11: For Karpagam, Sriram and DV: Do you have any other interests beyond plants, books and the Internet?

A: Sriram and Karpagam: We like music – Carnatic and old Tamil and Hindi film songs. We also like movies – again not commercial but offbeat. We are big fans of Kamal Hasan and his films. So we are just normal people in our likes. Sriram likes sports.

A: DV: I enjoy thinking up simple problem-solving devises and gear, exploring design possibilities, keeping track of technology that would have
positive impact on earth.

I adore the Internet as the greatest republic ever created


Following questions came from readers of my blog, addressed to Karpagam and Sriram.

Q12: Have there been moments when you regretted or questioned your decision to move to pointReturn?

A: Karpagam and Sriram: NO

Q13: What was the incident or event which made them take this decision? Many of us have these thoughts but there must be some strong driving reason for it.

A: Sriram: No incident in particular.

Q14: Is there anything that they learned which can benefit a poor farmer. If so, are there any plans to educate them.

A: Sriram: We are learning and have a long way to go. As an immediate observation we feel farmers should grow multi grain crops and vegetables also for home consumption rather than growing only a couple of crops like rice/groundnut for the market and then buy their daily needs from the market. They should think about consuming their produce.

3 thoughts on “What moves pointReturn

  1. hi sriram

    -first of all,have you experienced what life is like, growing up in a village as a poor,landless,low caste villager?

    while ‘our’ education is not perfect,i wonder if something is better than nothing. for the urban elite,village life is very romantic and ideal,but it is not so for the millions of poor,illiterate,low caste,landless villagers.while they may have skills,those skills,unfortunately are often not enough to even provide them with 3 square meals a day.what freedom do they now enjoy that will disappear after they get ‘our’ education? are they not servicing the rich now,working for the rich in village,at wages which hardly are enough to make both ends meet,not to mention the other types of exploitations like the ignominy of casteism? at least’our’ education ensures that you and i do not go to bed hungry,that our basic needs are met.

    you yourself have ensured an alternate source of income ( thru you rent) and the much maligned education system has probably helped that and also you relatives whom you don’t have to support.you have your own land.you can use media to find information.how many poor people in india have this luxury?whether you accept it or not,it is this education which has given you the knowledge and confidence to survive in this world and this is always a back up for you in case there is a need. why is it that the poor have to carry the responsibility of maintaining traditions,skills etc etc etc?

    like i said before,’our’ education is not perfect but atleast it can ensure that people do not starve.as for happiness,it is not that all the well- to- do in the city are unhappy and all in the village are happy.if the rich are unhappy,they have only themselves to blame for it.more spirituality and less materialism is what is needed.but for the poor,tortured by hunger,casteism,exploitation etc,they are helpless.just by talking about idealism is not of any help.it is the question of survival.abandoning them just because it is not ideal,is not the way to help the vulnerable.

    an education,though not perfect, and blending in the city is one of the best ways to escape poverty and casteism- and i say this from a near personal experience.

  2. hi sujatha,
    sriram has replied to your query as follows:

    “we said – “teaching children OUR education…”
    this ‘our’ is to signify the current education system prevalent in the country which makes our children literate/educated/city-centric/rote capable/rich servicing etc., but destroys their freedom and so on.

    so unless, we are able to conduct education in a completely revised manner (for eg., like defined in gandhiji’s nai talim), we do not have the interest to impart education.

    using the double negative to interpret this statement (or any other) is going to give you the wrong perspective.”

  3. you say: ‘teaching under privileged children will make them lose control of their freedom and start servicing the rich.’ do you mean to say that uneducated/illiterate underprivileged children/people are living enviable lives now? and, have full freedom and are being serviced BY the rich?

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