The Yonex French Open begins today and it signals the obvious fact that the 2017 Badminton season is far from over. It has been quite good so far for Indian shuttlers. The biggest influx of positive news perhaps came in the past few months with World Championships and two Indian medallists at the elite tournament. PV Sindhu then went on to overturn her World Championship final loss in the Korea Open. The doubles scene was not ignored either as the pair of N Sikki Reddy and Pranaav Jerry Chopra reached the semis of the Japan Open much to the excitement of sports enthusiasts back home. And then, of course, came the pinnacle of success in the career of one Srikanth Kidambi who won his third Superseries title of 2017 a week back.
Needless to say, for the average Indian fan, the laurels amassed in Badminton remain unparalleled. Perhaps, no other sport has managed to make a mark as much as Badminton has. And the good news is, there is plenty of action yet to come.
The Yonex French Open begins today and the stalwarts of Indian badminton are geared up to once again create waves within the sporting circuit. The main draws include 9 matches featuring Indians. HS Prannoy has already won his first match against Denmark Open finalist Lee Hyun-il to progress to the next round.
Women’s Doubles pair of Ashwini Ponnappa and N.Sikki Reddy begin against the English duo of Jenny Moore and Victoria Williams, The news is not so great for the Mixed Doubles pair who are set to take on fourth seeds Tontowi Ahmad and Liliyana Natsir of Indonesia. It is certainly an uphill task for them as they will fight to ensure they do not face an early exit in the first round itself. A closer look at the coordination between Pranaav and Sikki Reddy would suffice to conclude that it is not impossible for them to make it big in this tournament.
Saina Nehwal, silver medallist in 2012 will face the 34th ranked Line Hojmark Kjaersfeldt of Denmark in the first round. If things go well in that game, she will have tougher encounters in the subsequent games. She might end up facing Akane Yamaguchi in the next round. Here, it is important to note that Yamaguchi is fresh out of winning a silver at the recently concluded Denmark Open. The two had met in the DANISA Denmark Open itself where Yamaguchi had snatched a decisive victory at the end of the match. Saina was conquered after a straight game loss with the scoreline reading 21-10 21-13.
World No. 2 Sindhu will face the 27th ranked Beatriz Corrales from Spain in the first round.
Things will be a little simple for the Men’s singles. After an overwhelming number of contenders withdrew, the lads from India will be looking to make full use of the opportunity. Both HS Prannoy and Sai Praneeth have already won their respective first matches. Srikanth Kidambi was handed a stroke of luck after Rajiv Ouseph, with whom he was originally drawn with, withdrew. Now he faces a lower ranked Fabian Roth who is ranked 45th in the World.
The Indian shuttlers will definitely look to continue their streak of positive results.
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.