THE CROAK is a weekly environmental newsletter put out by the eCoexist team. It is the voice of the environment on its last legs, the final croak that can either be a plea for attention or a call of triumph as the frogs jump out of the well of ignorance and denial.

Gandhi in Crisis : Protest , Protect and Build

Today is the birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi. As I think about him, I wonder what he would have said to us to navigate the COVID crisis? 

How would have have reacted to this pandemic? What would he have done for his peoples? How would he have led us out of this mess?

While we do not have the good fortune of having heard Gandhiji in person, we have some one who speaks and lives his thought. Satish Kumar, started his life out as a Jain monk, at a very young age. Inspired by a dream of Gandhiji, Kumar left his monkhood with the realisation that his work was actually to rebuild and reform the world, not abandon it in search of spirituality. 

Elegant Simplicity

After leaving the Jain monastery, Kumar arrived at the ashram of Vinoba Bhave , one of Gandhis closest colleagues. Here he learnt how to use his hands to grow food to cook and to spin the charkha. This move to self reliance, taught him about spirituality in a totally different manner - bringing the focus to the value of human labour.

With the act of spinning khadi, he learnt about the need for self determination and non violent resistance. Non violence is also a key principle in Jaina philosophy and when he heard about the global movement against nuclear weapons he made the decision to join in. 

Along with a friend he decided that they would walk to four nuclear capitals of the world, Moscow, London, Paris and to Washington in protest. With the blessings of Vinoba Bhave, they decided to head out without any money in their pockets. 

With his training in monkhood, he had the ability to trust in the Universe and they set out from New Delhi, through Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iran, Armenia, Georgia .... and as they walked they spoke about peace and disarmament . 

A lifetime of practise

A  long-term peace and environment activist, Satish has been quietly setting the Global Agenda for change for over 50 years. Satishji was the originator and cofounder of Schumacher College, served as its program director from 1991 to 2010, and was also the primary fundraiser during that time. He is currently a visiting fellow.

In 1973 Satishji settled in the United Kingdom taking up the post of editor of Resurgence magazine, a position he has held ever since, making him the UK’s longest-serving editor of the same magazine. During this time, he has been the guiding spirit behind a number of now internationally respected ecological and educational ventures including Schumacher College.

His autobiography, No Destination, first published by Green Books in 1978, has sold over 50,000 copies. He is also the author of You Are, Therefore I Am: A Declaration of Dependence, The Buddha and the Terrorist, Earth Pilgrim, Soil, Soul, Society and Elegant Simplicity.

Activism of Love

Crises often catapult us into action. But what is this activism based in ? Is it coming from fear, panic and anger? 

In this REVIVE talk, Satish ji will speak to us about what action we can take as a response to the COVID crisis ... but more importantly, what motivation should inspire our actions. Perhaps this is what Gandhiji would have encouraged us to do , to find that space of love within ourselves and serve from this inner space of peace.

As we struggle to translate our realisations from COVID into a new direction for our lives and work, how can we craft a life of elegant simplicity ? Not just for ourselves, but for all our fellow beings. 

We will also be joined by Ashish Kothari from the Kalpavriksh Environment Action group and Bablu Ganguly from the Timabktu Collective. Join us in what promises to be a very deep and inspiring discussion with Satishji. 

Register Here
What would Gandhi do? An article by Abhay Bang
Join the REVIVE series every Sunday

During the recent COVID 19 lockdown, eCoexist began a series of web talks called REVIVE - as a way to reconnect with self, with community and with Nature. These talks started as chats between friends to see how we were going to work towards a new normal and to find a way to envision a different future. Slowly, our audience grew to include more people and the discussions to cover various aspects of Sustainability and Self. 

Every Sunday, we welcome you to connect with us through the REVIVE talks, that is bringing together a fantastic community of sensitive and brilliant people, with whom we can co create a new future. 

The talks are free for registration and have ample time and space for a deep and authentic conversation with the speaker. Some of our guests are otherwise difficult to reach as they live and work in remote locations and so these are precious opportunities to hear from them in person. 

Visit the REVIVE webpage
Register for REVIVE : 11 Oct

You are invited to a Zoom webinar.
When: Sunday, 11 Oct, 2020 2.30 pm India
Topic: Revive w Ecoexist - COVID 19 - CRISIS or OPPORTUNITY? 

Register in advance for this webinar:

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

Register Here
The REVIVE Support network : Contributing to a new paradigm

On 19 July, we launched a new initiative, the REVIVE support network to collect funds for authentic work done by various NGOS on issues of sustainability. We invite our esteemed speakers to recommend a deserving group that needs financial support. Participants of the talk are invited to send small ( or large!) amounts to the eCoexist foundation over the next few days. This contribution is gathered and then sent as a collective sum to the organisation identified by the speaker. 

On 19 July we raised RS 27,000 which was sent to the Grama Vikas group in Mulbagal, Karnataka on the guidance of our speaker S Vishwanath who knows their work closely. During the Ganesh campaign we raised Rs 80,000 to support the Assam Haathi Project led by Nandita Hazarika who spoke to us on REVIVE. Our network has also sent funds to farmers in Andhra Pradesh to give them working capital to overcome COVID losses. 

We will continue this effort for all the upcoming speakers. Participants can pay as little as Rs 100 to contribute. 

The registration for the REVIVE talks is FREE and the organisers and speakers both offer their time and energy in creating these talks voluntarily. You are also welcome to send in a voluntary contribution to REVIVE to enable us to expand the reach of  this series. 

The REVIVE support network allows for all of us to enable authentic work on the ground to help our country and its people through this crisis and to protect our natural resources. We welcome you to join our efforts. 

( Pl mention the cause for which you would like to contribute on your transfer)

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The Croak is a weekly environmental newsletter put out by the eCoexist team. It is the voice of the environment on its last legs, the final croak that can either be a plea for attention or a call of triumph as the frogs jump out of the well of ignorance and denial. Satirical, urgent and wise the newsletter brings to your attention, topics of global environmental relevance as well as emerging encouraging alternatives. Put together by a team of passionate Nature lovers, The Croak hopes to look at the environmental crisis in its face. It is a tool to reconnect readers to Nature, through questioning and self reflection. To understand the outer environment as a reflection of our own inner state, individually and as a species. And to take responsibility for enabling change.
If you would like to contribute articles on ecology consciousness and sustainability please get in touch with us.

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