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Young people urged to go sustainable at TERI’s YUVA Meet

Jan 28, 2013

Speakers at the YUVA 2013 Meet impress upon India's young people to think sustainability and incorporate it into their lifestyles.

New Delhi: At a two-day meet in Delhi, speakers encouraged young Indians to move towards sustainable lifestyles. The YUVA meet, organised by The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) in collaboration with the Ministry of Youth Affairs, the British Council and the United Nations University, provides a platform to young people to share their thoughts on promoting green growth and follow it up by appropriate actions. Approximately 250 young people are participating in the meet.

Speaking at the meet, Dr Guru Gujral, Head-Society, British Council, India, said that the youth, today, are keen to make a contribution to society but they lack awareness on what to do and how to bring about change.

“We are going beyond our needs, which means beyond sustainability”, said Ranjana Saikia, Director, Educating Youth for Sustainable Development, TERI. She emphasised on the need for the youth to understand sustainable living and to rethink about choices and priorities.

Smita Vats, Founder-Director, Indian Traditions and Heritage Society (ITIHAAS), highlighted the fact that Indians have inherited a green past. She gave the examples of traditional practices of recycling cotton (dhunai) and reapplying a silver coating on utensils (kalai). She said: “Recycling is not a new concept but a necessary concept.”

Even Gaurav Shorey, architect and a consultant on green buildings, spoke about traditional knowledge and how Western modes have influenced the thinking of our youth. “We all are a result of modernization,” he said and informed youth that sustainability is a natural outcome and young people have the potential to achieve it.

Another speaker, Naman Pugalia, Public Policy & Government Affairs Analyst, Google, explained the “psyche of a typical corporation” and explained to the youth how we get spoilt by what we see and not what we actually need. He emphasised on the need for companies to think more in terms of sustainability and green growth. Pugalia also highlighted the sustainability efforts of Google.

The first day’s discussions at the YUVA Meet generated a lot of enthusiasm among young people who actively put up questions to the speakers and sought advice on how to make individual contributions to their surroundings.

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