Wednesday, July 30, 2014
Tuesday, July 29, 2014
Monday, July 28, 2014
Sunday, July 27, 2014
When In the course of human events, it becomes increasingly necessary
to recognize the fundamental qualities that connect us,
then we must reevaluate the truths we hold to be self-evident:
That all humans are created equal and all are connected.
That we share the pursuits of life, liberty, happiness, food, water,
shelter, safety, education, justice, and hopes for a better future.
That our collective knowledge, economy, technology, and environment
are fundamentally interdependent.
That what will propel us forward as a species is our curiosity, our
ability to forgive, our ability to appreciate, our courage,
and our desire to connect...
That these things we share will ultimately help us evolve to our
fullest common potential.
And whereas we should take our problems seriously,
we should never take ourselves too seriously.
Because another thing that connects us...is our ability to laugh...
and our attempt to learn from our mistakes...
So that we can learn from the past, understand our place in the world,
and use our collective knowledge to create a better future.
So perhaps it's time that we, as a species, who love to laugh, ask
questions, and connect....do something radical and true.
For centuries, we have declared independence.
Perhaps it's now time that we, as humans, declare our interdependence!
Thursday, July 24, 2014
Today was a proud moment for us when we formally inaugurated the micro grid in Dharnai village in Jehanabad district of Bihar. We issued the following press release in Bihar & national media. GPI issued the International PR simultaneously. Please check for IPR
Bihar village declares independence from darkness and anonymity
Greenpeace's first solar-powered micro-grid in Bihar kicks off with village ceremony
20 July, 2014, Dharnai/Jehanabad: Even as more than 300 million people still wait for electricity in India, Dharnai in Bihar declared itself energy-independent today with the launch of Greenpeace's solar-powered micro-grid. The 100 kilowatt (kW) micro-grid currently provides quality electricity to more than 2,400 people living in Dharnai village in Bihar's Jehanabad district.
"While India was growing leaps and bounds, we were stuck here for the last 30 years, trying everything in the book to get electricity. We were forced to struggle with kerosene lamps and expensive diesel generators. But now I can proudly say that Dharnai is a leader in innovation. We have established our identity as an energy self-sufficient village and can compete with the country in its race to growth," said Kamal Kishore, a resident of Dharnai.
Costing Rs. 3 crore, the solar-powered micro-grid is a comprehensive, first-of-its-kind enterprise that provides 24x7 electricity to more than 450 households and 50 commercial establishments. This includes 70 kW for electricity generation and 30 kW for 10 solar-powered water pumping systems of three horsepower each. Built within three months and on a test-run since March, the quick-to-install micro-grid also takes care of 60 street lights, energy requirements of two schools, one health centre, one Kisan Training Centre (Farmer Training Centre) and 50 commercial establishments. It gives the village the mandate to not just a better life but also an ambition.
A quarter of the global population without access to electricity comprise the poor in India, where more than a third of the rural population lacks access to electricity. The decentralised, expandable and sustainable approach of the micro-grid provides that critical catalyst to power the new growth centres of India like Dharnai as well as bridge the deficit in urban areas. It is also a solution that can plug into the current government's focus on using solar power for energy access to every household by 2019.
"Even as the government is preoccupied with blaming the civil society for stopping energy projects, here is a village that has created its own energy pathway through an alternate model of sustainable energy. The coal-fired and nuclear-fired power plants of the country will not be able to reach the Dharnais of the country. Nor will they be able to address global climate concerns and India's commitments towards those concerns. India needs to seriously reconsider its energy strategy and prioritise renewable energy for social and climate justice," said Samit Aich, Executive Director, Greenpeace India, at the launch of the micro-grid attended by more than 3,000 villagers and community leaders from 25 villages. Also present at the launch were representatives from partner organisations CEED and Basix.
The micro-grid is operated in association with BASIX, a livelihood promotion institution as well as CEED, which is a network of NGOs and think-tank organisations in Bihar to support renewable energy development in the state.
The micro-grid has been set up with the approval and conformity of the people of Dharnai. So while it is a 100 kW system as of now, it can be expanded to meet the advanced requirements of the people.
"The micro-grid intends to be the answer to the intense policy and vision paralysis that India's energy sector faces today. The towns and villages of Bihar have been deprived of energy for decades now and we feel this is where the micro-grid can be the connect. We urge the Bihar government to follow and replicate this model," said Naveen Mishra of Centre for Environment and Energy Development (CEED).
Greenpeace appeals to the government of Bihar to recognise decentralised renewable energy systems (DRES) like the Dharnai model for replicating and upscaling to provide energy to the dark villages of Bihar and create adequate regulatory structure for promotion of similar models.
For more information on the micro-grid, please visit
For the briefing paper on the micro-grid,
For a detailed manual on the micro-grid,
For the fact sheets on the micro-grid,
For photos please visit,
Wednesday, July 23, 2014
Consider what you shared about the Dust Bowl of 1930s. The American agriculture techniques were not adapted to the American climate. Lack of dryland farming techniques. Famines happen when agriculture doesn't adapt to limited-resources conditions. But there ARE ways to grow food and survive non-plentiful conditions. Switching over to more resilient agricultural practices is a far better option than the chemtrail program, duh! The basic assumption that the current system of agriculture is the ONLY way to grow food is flawed, and that throws the chemtrail justifications out the window.
Tuesday, July 15, 2014
The revenues foregone in 2013-14 could fund the rural jobs scheme for three decades or the PDS for four and a half years.
By P. Sainath,
It was business as usual in 2013-14. Business with a capital B. This year's budget document says we gave away another Rs. 5.32 lakh crores to the corporate needy and the under-nourished rich in that year. Well, it says Rs. 5.72 lakh crores but I'm leaving out the Rs. 40 K crore foregone on personal income tax since that write-off benefits a wider group of people. The rest is mostly about a feeding frenzy at the corporate trough. And, of course, that of other well-off people. The major write-offs come in direct corporate income tax, customs and excise duties.
If you think sparing the super-rich taxes and duties worth Rs. 5.32 lakh crores is a trifle excessive, think again. The amount we've written off for them since 2005-06 under the very same heads is well over Rs. 36.5 lakh crore. (A sixth of that in just corporate income tax). That's Rs. 36500000000000 wiped off for the big boys in nine years.
With Rs. 36.5 trillion – for that is what it is – you could:
- Fund the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme for around 105 years, at present levels. That's more than any human being could expect to live. And a hell of a lot more than any agricultural labourer would. You could, in fact, run the MNREGS on that sum, across the working lives of two generations of such labourers. The current allocation for the scheme is around Rs. 34,000 crore.
- Fund the Public Distribution System for 31 years. (current allocation Rs. 1,15,000 crores).
By the way, if these revenues had been realized, around 30 per cent of their value would have devolved to the states. So their fiscal health is affected by the Centre's massive corporate karza maafi.
Even just the amount foregone in 2013-14 can fund the rural jobs scheme for three decades. Or the PDS for four and a half years. It is also over four times the 'losses' of the Oil Marketing Companies by way of so-called 'under-recoveries' in 2012-13.
Look at some of the exemptions under customs duty. There's a neat Rs. 48,635 crore written off on 'Diamonds and Gold.' Hardly aam aadmi or aam aurat items. And more than what we spend on rural jobs. Fact: concessions on diamonds and gold over the past 36 months total Rs. 1.6 trillion. (A lot more than we'll spend on the PDS in the coming year). In the latest figures, it accounts for 16 per cent of the total revenue foregone.
The break-up of the budget's revenue foregone figure of Rs. 5.72 lakh crore for 2013-14 is interesting. Of this, Rs. 76,116 crore was written off on just direct corporate income tax. More than twice that sum (Rs.1,95,679 crore) was foregone on Excise Duty. And well over three times the sum was sacrificed in Customs Duty (Rs. 2,60,714 crores).
This, of course, has been going on for many years in the 'reforms' period. But the budget only started carrying the data on revenue foregone around 2006-07. Hence the Rs. 36.5 trillion write-off figure. It would be higher had we the data for earlier years. (All of this, by the way, falls within the UPA period). And the trend in this direction only grows. As the budget document itself recognizes, "the total revenue foregone from central taxes is showing an upward trend. "
It sure is. The amount written off in 2013-14 shows an increase of 132 per cent compared to the same concessions in 2005-06.
Corporate karza maafi is a growth industry, and an efficient one.
Sunday, July 13, 2014
"Remembering that I'll be dead soon is the most important tool I've ever encountered to help
me make the big choices in life.
Almost everything--all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure--
these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important.
Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you
have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.
No one wants to die. Even people who want to go to heaven don't want to die to get there.
And yet, death is the destination we all share. No one has ever escaped it, and that is how it should be, because death is very likely the single best invention of life. It's life's change agent.
It clears out the old to make way for the new."
Saturday, July 12, 2014
If we keep aside everything and really go back to the beginning, then there's clarity. We have to be a people's movement, do work for the people, and then the people have to compel us to stand for elections when they see it as the most efficient way to get their problems solved. Not the other way around! I'm feeling happy to see this message put loud and clear, feeling happy about this course correction. There can be infinity-squared blamings on what has happened so far ("if like this then why did we do this this and that", "then they should not have this and should have that" etc), but for the way forward, I think this is much better.
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