“I grew up with living with my elder sister and my mother. I lost my father at a very young age and my mother used to take care of our education and other things. Growing up without a father I realized how important it was to have someone in my life. I understood that no one could actually take care of their daughters like a father could . Growing up with miseries of life, I got married when I was twenty and started a family after three years.
Initially I was never interested to work for a living. All I wanted was to take care of my beautiful, small family. But after one year of living as a perfect family life again turned its back towards me. One day my husband complained of not feeling well and said that there was swelling in both his legs. He wouldn’t eat anything as he was afraid to vomit again and again. moving to a new city after marriage, didn’t seem to be a great idea as I didn’t have any acquaintances here in Delhi and hadn’t showed much of a interest in making new friends, I didn’t even have the confidence to go out without my husband and this all proved to be my biggest mistakes when I had to take my husband to the hospital all by myself .
As his condition was very serious, doctors directly took him to ICU and after checkups the doctors said that both his kidneys were damaged. He hadn’t ever smoked and was a non alcoholic so we didn’t have a clue how this happened to him. The doctors advised us that only solution is kidney transplantation and for that a suitable willing donor must be required and that he should be put on dialysis for thrice a week. His condition deteriorated day by day and one of our distant relative showed interest to donate him a kidney. And transplantation was completed successfully. But the transplanted kidney got rejected after a few months. He was again put on dialysis. We spent all our savings on his treatment and he was the only earning member, our financial position was affected very badly.
Then I decided to search for a job and got one in one of the leading banks. It was not easy to manage going to the hospital, my new job and my daughter was only one year old and infants were not allowed in hospitals and I had to leave her at my sisters’ place and she used to cry very badly whenever she saw me going. Some how I managed all these hurdles and then my husband’s younger brother came to donate a kidney and all tests were matching and the transplantation was done successfully. Though I joined as a clerk my hard-work and sincerity paid off and now I am working as a Manager. I learn driving so that i could take him to the hospital. There were many Instances when I had to literally run leaving my work and had to take him to the hospital. It has been 13 yrs now and life is going smoothly. My daughter is now 16 yrs and my husband is also doing well in his work and health now.”
Submitted By – Geetha Suresh
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Even at 76, Pradip Burman, the zestful chairman of Mobius Foundation radiates a contagious enthusiasm when he is talking about sustainability. The environmental crusader, better known to many as the great-grandson of Dabur founder Dr S.K.Burman, has devoted substantial attention towards promoting the concept of sustainability in all aspects of life. He refuses to conform to the convenience and comfort in today’s world which ultimately adds on to the adverse effects of climate change.
Talking to The Logical Indian, Burman emphasised why sustainability as a concept is indispensable for us. “We ought to be aware of what lies ahead of us. Soon we will finish the oil, iron, tin, and coal, and our next generations will be left with nothing. Recycling, banning plastics, stop felling trees for paper… This should become a part of everyone’s lifestyle,” he urges.
Traditional wisdom and modern research
A mechanical engineer from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), USA, Burman had always nurtured a keen interest in helping the society, as evident from his graduation project of designing a sonic aid for the visually challenged, which detected obstacles in the way using ultrasonic wave signals.
As an executive for the nature-centric company Dabur, Burman has always opted for natural alternatives to solve his everyday problems like taking Ayurvedic medicine to cure his Arthritis. He later launched the veterinary wing for Dabur – Ayurvet – which provides nature-friendly solutions for animal health care.
A patron of the ancient scientific wisdom of India, Burman always hailed the confluence of “traditional knowledge and modern research”, which he advocated as the Ayurvet motto.
As part of the CSR initiative of Dabur, Pradip Burman founded SUNDESH (Sustainable Development Society) which has been tirelessly working for last 25 years in remote villages for uplifting the rural communities in an environmentally sustainable way.
An advocate of sustainability
Burman believes that sustainability is the indispensable mantra for the world at present. Due to uncontrolled utilisation of the planet’s resources by human beings, the world today stands at a juncture of destabilisation. Today the human race has reached the pinnacle of progress but the advancement is happening in a very unsustainable manner.
Through energy-efficient use of everyday essentials like transport, communication, altered habits of diet, clothing and daily living, some crusaders of sustainability try to reduce their carbon footprint. Pradip Burman’s Mobius Foundation is one of the forerunners toward sustainability goals.
Mobius Foundation aims to change the sustainability dynamics
In 2015, Burman paved the way for the start of Mobius Foundation, focused on sustainability. Named after 18th-century German mathematician August Ferdinand Mobius, the famous Mobius strip has an important philosophical significance. The extraordinary shape symbolises balance and union.
Similar is the essence of Mobius Foundation which wishes to enhance the “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle” principle to a widespread basis in India, helping generations to come.
Founder Pradip Burman wishes to achieve notable development in education, population stabilisation and renewable energy projects.
A dream school in the making
At Coorg, Pradip Burman’s Mobius Foundation is constructing the World Environment School, Coorg (WESc) where the curriculum will surpass the boundaries of books and classrooms, with a special focus on hands-on learning in close collaboration with the environment. Amidst the pristine natural beauty of Coorg, the school will nurture young minds to grow up into future green leaders. As of now, the school will be open to teenagers, welcoming students from standards 6 to 12.
Needless to say, World Environment School will be the first-of-its-kind not only in India but also in entire South Asia. The school is expected to start from March 2020.
The school promises to nurture the responsible behaviour of citizens of our future.
The Sustainability Conference of 2019
In 2019, the Mobius Foundation has planned an international conference, on the lines of the celebrated earth summits over the past decade. The 2019 International Conference on Sustainability Education (ICSE 2019) aims to bring together environmental activists, practitioners of sustainable development as well as climate change experts to help develop a sustainability-focused curriculum.
It is surmised that the conference will give a platform to innovative concepts of Sustainability Education including an essential change in the existing education system ensuring a wholesome personal development for a student.
The Sustainability crusader
The Mobius founder strongly believes that it is high time to sprout sustainability awareness among a society drowning in consumerism and unknowingly doing irreparable harm to the planet, every second. The best way to achieve this goal is through education which is available to all. At present, the education system is predominantly career-oriented, making the learners a victim of materialism, and thus, their dreams are also outlined in those colours.
Living beyond the limits
When asked about his wish to attain the age of hundred, he strongly asserts that more than becoming a centurion, he wishes his life and work continue to better the society even in his absence. “I have lived my life. I wish that whatever I start before I go, will continue – for the betterment of my country,” says Mr Pradip Burman.
He is also a trustee of the Climate Reality Project – India (affiliated to Mr. Al Gore of the Climate Reality Project Foundation, USA). Climate Reality Project, India, has been actively engaged igniting the spark and spreading the message of climate change amongst educators, policy makers and civil society. The India branch looks after more than 500 trained Climate Leaders, and more than 900 volunteers spread all over the country.
In his journey, Pradip Burman has been a beacon of hope for millions, motivating many to join the movement for sustainability. We wish he continues his tireless efforts for promoting sustainability awareness and inspire generations to come.