HYDERABAD: The Covid-19 pandemic has put focus on the realationship between humans and nature like never before. Various natural calamities like cyclones and earthquakes are leading to a shift in people’s understanding of nature, and the extent to which it has been exploited. Dharmendra Vepari, a Hyderabad-based permaculture designer and educator, has been conducting Facebook live sessions for Connect2Farmer, an NGO, on how to bring harmony among self, the society and nature.
He says: “Nowadays, everyone is talking about sustainability in farming. I feel that sustainability comes when our thought process will change. Farming is not a profession, it’s a way of life. Our lifestyle choices are damaging the environment, farming and creating a lot of problems like the pandemic, locust attacks and health issues etc. There are certain kinds of thinking including — Abundance thinking, Co-operative Thinking, Compassionate Thinking, Systems Thinking, Nature Thinking, Solutions Thinking, Future Thinking and Doing Thinking — to bring a real change.” Dharmendra was an IT professional, but his heart lay somewhere else.
“I was in the IT field for eight years. While working, I was also volunteering for different environmental NGOs like Vata Foundation. After I volunteered for an event, I came to know about permaculture, a sustainable form of farming. I also completed a 13-day permaculture design course from Aranya Agricultural Alternatives in Zaheerabad,” he says. In his live sessions, Dharmendra talks about the need to generate not only financial capital, but social capital, material capital, living capital, intellectual capital, experiential capital and spiritual capital.
“Money is not the only currency.
It can be our happiness, health, knowledge and relationship with others too. When we understand this, we can bring back concepts like animal integration, seed saving/sharing, trees and forests, community work, local economy, growing our own food and design for disasters.” He also suggests a vegan, natural recipe (see box) for our readers. Dharmendra, or Dharmendra Dada on Facebook, will be conducting a webinar on permaculture from June 12-16.
4-layered vegan ice-cream
Bananas, roasted peanuts, mangoes, sapotas, cashew soaked in water for three hours, coconut cream, tapioca starch
- For the first layer, blend bananas and roasted peanuts. Mix in a vessel and freeze it.
- After the first layer is frozen, put mango pulp as the second. Freeze it.
- Use sapota blended with soaked cashew for the third layer. Freeze it.
- Lastly, put coconut cream mixed with tapioca starch as the top-most layer.
- You can use almond milk instead of tapioca starch.
- Blue berries + banana,or strawberry + banana can also be used as a layer.
- Put a layer only after the previous one has frozen. Use wet grinder to blend the ingredients.
- Recipe courtesy: Shailender Sga and Sai Kumar, naturalists and minimalists
— Kakoli Mukherjee kakoli_mukherjee @newindianexpress.com @KakoliMukherje2