Posts Tagged ‘food scarcity’

India’s New Program of Planting and Employment is a Win/Win

photo: Ben Earwicker Garrison Photography, Boise, ID

photo: Ben Earwicker
Garrison Photography, Boise, ID

India’s Prime Minsiter, Narendra Modi, has launched an initiative to combat unemployment AND environmental issues in one shot. The government will be hiring jobless youth to plant trees along the entire National Highways network. Millions of trees are in the plan, providing more than simple roadside beauty, but a density of greenery (some suggest is wishful thinking and mathematically impossible) that would be forest-like. In light of the intense impact the Indian nation has had on the environment, this is a large step in the right direction. In some versions of the plan, fruit trees are the model, so local communities suffering from food scarcity can also reap the crops.

The plan is aiming quite high, and it doesn’t stop there. It was announced along with grand schemes to clean two of the major river systems and other waterways, and developing systems to better capture rainwater–more than 60% of which is lost and washed to the oceans while locals clamor for potable drinking water, water for hygienic use, and agricultural/irrigation water to increase food yield.

While some suggest these are political promises, if the nation can put some action behind them, even falling short of these lofty goals would still be progress. Here’s hoping India takes these bold steps toward viable environmental solutions that also address underemployment, and that many nations will take notice and follow suit.

Buddhist Global Relief Volunteers

663799_36496821There is so much that intrigues me, and so much I don’t know, about the various practices of Buddhism in this world. I’ve just recently learned of Buddhist Global Relief, an organization dedicated to the vision of a world where debilitating poverty has been banished; where everyone has access to food, clothing, housing, and healthcare; where all can achieve a satisfactory level of education; and where all are in harmony with our environment. Toward these ends, they specifically focus on chronic hunger and malnutrition by providing direct food aid, working toward better sustainability, promoting education of girls and women, and providing access to livelihood projects for women (which directly affect the food resources for families).

Those who want to be actively in support of BGR works can volunteer in roles like facebook page administrator, bookkeeper, web developer, graphic artist, and working directly on supporting projects around the world in partnership with existing community programs and resources in Bangladesh, Cambodia, CĂ´te d’Ivoire, Ethiopia, Haiti, India, Malawi, Rwanda, Sri Lanka, and Vietnam (as well as domestic programs in New York City and Santa Clara County). There are also annual fundraising walk events in communities across the United States and internationally as well–most of them in the fall (several coming up quite soon).

If you’re feeling like it’s time to get in closer touch with active Buddhist compassion expressed through programs of social engagement, explore, delve, and dedicate.