Library - Latest 10

Critique of Climate Projects
18 Mar 2021

Ram Esteves

2050 is fast approaching. Nations, corporates, business leaders and informed individuals were acutely aware that time was running out. The IPCC had warned that we have crossed the tipping point. Yet, till very recently, responses didn't seem to match the realisation. They appeared casual and indifferent, bordering on the callous; defensive comebacks with metaphoric shields up and weapons drawn. The rural poor, on the other hand, with lives intertwined with nature and bearing the direct brunt of climate change and unpredictable weather patterns, have an intuitive grasp even if not based on datasets and scientific explanations. Community-based climate projects facilitated by grassroots NGOs have, for the past decade and more, taped this intrinsic potential in as serious and responsible a manner as possible. We need to critique these efforts in order to identify lapses and make improvements. In order to initiate reflection and debate among FCN Members and others I have, over the past few weeks, penned my own thoughts and reflections.

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Coolie Sangha - a membership based People's Organisation
02 Jan 2021

Rajiv Gandhi Foundation

The depth, length and breadth of the Sanghas journey and our long term support to them

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Ram Esteves: Pioneer in Development and Social Change
02 Jan 2021

Rajiv Gandhi Foundation

Biographical video for the younger generation who are coming into development work to learn from a journey and philosophy.

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Village Life in the Pandemic
16 Dec 2020

Ram Esteves

After such a long spell of Lockdowns and unlocks ADATS decided to call the Coolie Sangha cadre from each Gram Panchayat for day long meetings at Bagepalli. This chronicle is not a recording of the minutes of the 6 meetings. It is a penning of the sum and substance of everything that 212 women and 191 men from 94 villages shared in 21½ hours spread over 6 days, interspersed with select anecdotes and authentic statements paraphrased to the best that my memory serves, ordered under 5 topics - the Pandemic, Lockdown, Crops & Cultivation, Children's Schooling, & the Coolie Sangha

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Musings on the Global Response to COVID-19
31 May 2020

Ram Esteves

Lockdown was just an immediate initial response to gain an understanding of the never-before-seen “novel” coronavirus. Irrespective of how it was presented to the population, it was never intended to be the magic bullet to defeat COVID-19. To therefore call it a knee jerk reaction that failed, even if it did not give anticipated results, would be wrong. It has given us time to plan a more realistic and effective response. A critical examination of learning gained – epidemiology, virology, response protocols – is the urgent need of the hour. On the other hand, pretending to be infallible and refusing to examine even limited results and failures will be the stupidest course to take.

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ADATS Daily Reports on Migrants
26 May 2020

Ram Esteves

On Sunday, 10 May 2020 we got to know that large number of Migrants had reached the Karnataka-AP border, right at our doorsteps. Ever since, ADATS Staff started going out every evening to asist as many as possible make a smooth crossing. We distributed a little bit to eat, drinking water and money to help them on their epic walk back home. Whenever possible, checkpoint authorities and we stopped Northbound trucks to ferry the Migrants at least a part of the thousands of kilometres they'd set out to trek. This is a compilation of emails we have been sending out to friends and well-wishers on our daily interactions and learning from some of the bravest youngsters we've ever met.

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The Coolie Sangha I Visualised 49 years back...
20 Feb 2020

Ram Esteves

650 Coolie Sangha members came over 2 days to receive carbon revenue from the sale of Forestry credits sequestered through the planting of trees on their scattered holdings. To date, 509 families have received a total of Rs 1.77 crore Another 3,128 End User women have received Rs 3.03 crore through the sale of Emission Reductions they generated by using their Biogas units instead of non-renewable biomass. In the next few months, these women will receive another Rs 1.09 crore taking their total "business earnings through environmental services rendered to society at large" to Rs 4.99 crore Ram Esteves spoke about the current political economy, the Coolie Sangha, the agricultural economy, capitalism, climate change and carbon revenue in order to contextualise their heroic efforts.

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Keynote Address to ADATS Woodstoves Project
13 Feb 2020

Ram Esteves

The Coolie Sangha of yesterday was a unity forged in order to overcome poverty and tackle feudal oppression. You have achieved your objectives. Those functions of the Coolie Sangha are no longer relevant. In today’s world, we need the Coolie Sangha in a state of permanent cooperation and mutuality. It should be a Unity that continually stands for justice, protection and support for each other. This Unity is the basis for Social Capital needed by individual poor to aggregate their efforts and draw upon the community in order to succeed in new age business ventures that ADATS will identify and facilitate.

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ADATS-Coolie Sangha brochure
22 Nov 2018

Ram Esteves

Way back in 2010, Andrew Slater and Heather Wilson from New Zealand, made a brilliant brochure on ADATS and the Coolie Sangha

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Engendering Climate Projects
11 Apr 2018

Ram Esteves

The "Project" is not Climate Change. The Project is social transformation. Social transformation will remain a utopian utterance, without scale and long-term involvement. Climate Projects offer both; an opportunity to reach out to hundreds of thousands of rural poor and stay intimately involved for decades. Social transformation can be achieved only through a bottom up process of dialogue and conversation with the rural poor and, among them, the most disadvantaged, rural women. By and large, grassroots NGOs are efficient and cost effective in implementing Climate mitigation/adaptation projects. After implementing the technologies, actual usage has to be monitored and the units maintained for 10-21 years. Centralised management followed by NGOs will not work. Monitoring, repair and maintenance can be carried out only by End User women themselves. A hapless lot, crushed through millennia of systematised social oppression, cannot be expected to magically take control of a global effort. They must first feel emboldened, empowered and enabled to take control of their own lives within their own households, which are the traditional bastions of patriarchy. FCN Member NGOs need to support all and every effort made by rural women to take control of their lives. A radical alteration of organisational structure and style of functioning is needed. When effective post-construction/implementation systems are in place, carbon offsets will be generated and translate into carbon revenue. Delivery commitments to carbon investors will be met. After that, revenue will continually be generated to compensate End User women and also maintain the systems/revenue flow. These have to be viewed as instruments for social transformation.

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