Fifty years ago, in 1968, the Olympic Games were hosted in Mexico, a first in the whole of Latin America. Along with that Mexico also hosted World Festival of Children’s Painting and invited entries from all over the world. Children from 80 countries participated in the festival, and a total of eight children participated from India as reported by theTimes of India. The theme for the festival was ‘Un Mundo de Amistad’, meaning, ‘A World of Friendship’.
Now, after fifty years Mexico is searching for all the participants who took part in that festival in order to honour their contribution. The reason behind it is that Mexico is planning for an exhibition for a project ‘A world of friendship – 50 Years later’. In the exhibition, the surviving pieces will be showcased from the original collection of 1,800 pieces. The Mexico government has asked its embassies worldwide to search for the participants to acknowledge their contributions as issued in their statement.
The Embassy is planning to present the framed copy of the painting to the participants along with the certificate of commendation to mark the 50th Anniversary of the event.
Eight Children Participated from India
As per the embassy, about the Indian participants, all they have as an information is their names and age. The participants were Sujata Sharma (then aged 14), Jitendra Navital Parikh (15), Ira Sachdeva (12), Sanat Kundu (13), Vivek Kuchibhatla (9), Ela Ems (8) and Leela Sudakaran. Out of these participants Vivek, Ela and Leela were speculated to have gone to Mexico with Indian contingent to paint Murals that were exhibited along Avenue Paseo de la Reforma.
By far the embassy was able to find whereabouts of one participant- Jitendra Navital Parikh with the help of Ketan Trivedi, Ahmedabad based journalist. But unfortunately he died in 1998 due to prolonged illness.
Melba Pria toldThe Indian Express on Monday “We want to locate these children, who are now adults, and want to find out about their life’s story…and want them to join us in the celebrations.”
Shankar International Children’s Art Competition
There are speculations that the Indian children may have participated with the help of Keshav Shankar Pillai- a famous Indian cartoonist also known as ‘Shankar’, through Shankar International Children’s Art Competition. As per the report byTimes of India Yamuna Shankar, general manager of the Children’s Book Trust told the Mexican embassy that Pillai would select the best paintings from the competition and submit them to international events.
The embassy has released and circulated the images of the paintings along with one picture of Leela Sudakaran in Mexico with fellow participants from the publication. They have invited anyone with theinformation about the participants to visit their office at New Delhi.
Mexican Government is surely winning hearts for the efforts they are making to recognise the contribution made by them and to celebrate the World of Friendship in true sense.
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.