Vellore model of Solid Waste Management (seen in Satyamev Jayate’s “Don’t Waste Your Garbage” episode)

Cows, hens, frogs, ducks and earthworms—these are only some of the ‘workers’ helping C. Srinivasan to convert garbage into gold. Srinivasan, who appeared on the Don’t Waste Your Garbage episode, spoke about the ‘Vellore model’ of solid waste management which involves both animals and human beings in reusing and recycling waste. After the show, people from all walks of life approached him to learn more about handling waste responsibly. He us tells us more here.

C. Srinivasan

After the episode was aired on the morning of March 16, my phone was engaged all day, till late at night. I used to think garbage was a dry subject and nobody was really interested in it. But I was surprised that so many people want to see India clean.

Through the show, people learned about the reality of garbage and began to realize that the problem is solvable. They now want to see change in their own localities and become involved in bringing about that change. So, making India clean may not be far off. You have lit the fire and it has caught on like a forest fire; it cannot be stopped.

I was contacted by people from 16 states, and received nearly 300 emails. Out of these 50 were from total strangers. The people who contacted me wanted to know more about our Solid and Liquid Resource Management programme and implement it in their own areas. Some people even said, ‘I will give my land for this project, but I need your help with the technology.’ It isn’t so easy for people to promise their land for a project like this. Students contacted me to learn more about the SLRM project so that they can get involved in it soon after they graduate.

I also noticed that highly qualified people want to get involved in managing unwanted materials. Normally, such people want to sit in AC rooms and expect that people will come to them. But here, people with MBAs, MScs, PhDs and other postgraduate degrees contacted me. Most of them want to get involved in the field, to use their hands. Some want to use this method to develop a business; others just want to help society. At the moment, two people with MBAs are being trained by us. I feel that all these people are definitely going to be change-makers. Earlier, we were on the lookout for change-makers, but here they are waiting for us!

In addition to this, I received 12 emails from outside the country, including from a Madagascan diplomat stationed in Poland, who has approached the president of Madagascar and asked for the implementation of the SLRM programme in that country. Many people have expressed the desire to visit us and see the project site in Coimbatore. Looking at this response, we have decided to set up a training centre not only for people in Tamil Nadu but for people from across the world. They can come for a one-day visit or for a 15-day training programme, which will help them understand all the different aspects of treating and recycling unwanted solid and liquid materials. They could also stay for a year and get certified as a Grassroots-Level Consultant in SLRM from a local university.

Today, I still receive emails and calls from people who have seen the show. We’ve been waiting for this kind of response for years. Satyamev Jayate was like a rocket that pushed the issue of garbage into space. Now we just need to get it into orbit.

C. Srinivasan is the project director of Indian Green Service, an environmental organization. He can be contacted on velloresrini [at]

Sourced from Satyamev Jayate website:

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Earthrise : 9 min videos on the SOLUTIONS for a sustainable planet


earthrise explores solutions to today’s environmental challenges, taking an upbeat look at ecological, scientific, technological and design projects the world over. Our reporters meet inspiring individuals and communities leading the way in a field few can afford to ignore.

We need to dub many of these into Indian languages and spread them around!

From Wardboy to Independent Filmmaker

post originally published at : 

Santosh M Padwal is a storyteller, always in shorts and from Mumbai.  According to him, this is it and his introduction ends here. Well, he had also travelled 70,000 km in 13 months all over India doing photo/video documentation. He also knows a lot of cooperative games and has been associated with Shikshantar, Udaipur and was a Khoji in Swaraj university in the very first batch. Here are the excerpts of the talk we had with him:

Tell us about your life journey in brief?

I am basically from Mumbai, studied till 10th. Post that I spent 5 years working as sales executives in max york life insurance, airtel, vodafone etc. and then as a Wardboy. After that I got a chance to join Swaraj University (It follows a self designed learning philosophy with no degrees and no exams) which completely changed my life and my thought process.

What prompted you to start filmmaking?

Well, I didn’t have much interest in filmmaking initially but I had an inclination towards camera. Whenever I used to get a camera, I used to try clicking pictures from various angles etc. Slowly from photography, I learned filmmaking and then I learned editing on my own. At that time, I got my first opportunity as a filmmaker from Kisaan swaraj yatra which I took and thats how I became a filmmaker. Post that yatra, got another projects because of my work including projects from Jan Satyagraha. In the meantime, I also attended mentorship sessions form Abhivyakti – Nasik etc. After all these experiences, I realized that film making is a very strong tool to communicate stories and with youtube and other social networking sites, reach of a video/ film has increased. So, I decided to pursue it full time.

S padwal

What kind of films have you made?

I like to make documentary films. It helps me in telling stories of people who are doing real good work. In the process, I also come to know about the challenges people are facing, how they are overcoming them etc. I have made films on Jan Satyagraha, Om Creations, Cycle marathon initiatives etc. Somehow fiction films don’t give me that kind of kick. In future, if I get a chance to make a fictional film, it would be a docu-fiction only.

What is your dream/ vision?

My Vision is that documentary films should get the same (if not more) recognition like fiction or feature films. I would like to work in this regard on how to make documentary films more entertaining and interesting.

What difficulties you face as an independent filmmaker?

I can make good films with my simple camera also, but when you have to execute a project, there are many things you require and there is a project cost involved which many people don’t understand. You need equipments, there is a travelling cost involved, if you are shooting in a village you need lights so it becomes very difficult to manage project cost. Having said that, its all part of the game and thats how you grow as an individual and and as a filmmaker.

S m padwal

Any fun/ memorable incident?

Once we were travelling for shooting and we took a wrong turn and reached a place full of mines. Very big vehicles were looking so small there. So we thought of shooting that place. We hardly shot for 2-3 min and suddenly a group of 40-50 people came running towards us. We got so scared that we all sat in our car and drove as fast as we could. If they would have caught us, they must have broken our camera else our bones :)

What advice you’d like to give to someone who is interested/newbee in filmmaking?

I will not call it an advice but my belief is that when you are making a film, whether its a fiction, documentary or anything else, the audience should connect to it. They should have ‘some’ feeling after watching the film. Also, you must financially sustain yourself, and you must have a plan for it.

living stories- Story Telling Traditions of India

The film takes us on journey to different parts of India, to explore the different kinds of story telling arts in India- from Padvani, a story telling art in Chhattisgarh, to Kathakali, in Kerala. Exploring all these art forms by conversing with artists who perform these, the film presents the socio-cultural background of each of these forms of story telling. Using interviews of various contemporary story tellers of India, it discusses how this art has survived in the contemporary society. It also shows how local legends and myths in the collective popular consciousness have influenced the religious motifs.

Allan Savory: How to green the world’s deserts and reverse climate change | Video on

Allan Savory: How to green the world’s deserts and reverse climate change | Video on

What if more grazing animals and not less, can reverse desertification of the world’s grasslands? What if nature has designed a symbiotic relationship between animals and plants in a way that abundance of one leads to abundance of the other? A compelling talk that sheds a totally new light on the global warming conversation

Amanda Palmer: The art of asking

Gift culture at work in the music industry : How one artiste switched from making people pay for her music, to asking them to, while offering her work for free, and was more successful with the latter. And not just the payment aspect; she describes elements of gift culture all through her profession : couch surfing, crowd-sourcing resources when travelling and performing.

Amanda Palmer: The art of asking | Video on

Interview with Kailash Murthy on Natural Farming

video (22 mins) Interview with Kailash Murthy on Natural Farming (2011)
Interview with Kailash Murthy on Natural Farming (2011) - YouTube

“Kailash Murthy, like all other farmers used fertilizers and pesticides as specified by the agricultural experts. He proudly displayed a record yield in his neighborhood. But to his dismay, he observed that the yield grew less and less each year.

A bank employee by profession and farmer by conviction observed that intensive artificial inputs like fertilizers and chemicals decreased the soil fertility, increased soil erosion and destroyed the food chain of predator and prey population.

He stumbled upon the book, One Straw Revolution, written by a Japanese farmer Masanobu Fukuoka a pioneer in natural farming. The book inspired him to further read the Shastras. Reading the Shastras reveled that India was not new to natural farming. Many Rishes grew their entire food around the ashram with out ploughing. They believed food grown without ploughing is healthier.

So he gave the established farming a break and left the Land to itself, no tilling, no chemical fertilizer, and no use of pesticides, in short, nothing accept scattering of seed at random.

Surprisingly within two years the transformation was remarkable. The natural balance of soil was restored and the 6.5 acres of land transformed itself into a mini forest, a self sustaining eco system.

He was kind enough to talk to us and share with us his experience and wisdom to help more people switch to Natural Farming. Enjoy his wonderful insights in this short 22 minute interview.”

Click here to see the video (22 mins) Interview with Kailash Murthy on Natural Farming (2011)

Uploaded by Rishi Gangoly and VK Bharadwaj from Mumbai who are a part of Sulins, an eco-village project.

Gunter Pauli: The Blue Economy

Inspiring person: a serial entrepreneur who’s making business models that are more in tune with ecology, from which everyone can benefit. He converted 20 million hectares of deforested Savannah in South America back into forest, and in the process multiplied the land’s value 3000 times over in 25 years : a better investment than, say, investing in microsoft.

“Gunter Pauli has a dream. The Belgian economist and entrepreneur has a plan to develop 100 manufacturing innovations with viable business models that could generate 100 million jobs in 10 years. All with zero emissions and no waste.

He calls it “The Blue Economy” with innovations covering the full gamut of industrial activity, from energy to mining, from medicine to banking … all of it inspired by science and biometrics. And Pauli isn’t all talk … there’s plenty of action in the many startup-style projects around the globe funded by his organisation Zero Emissions Research and Initiative, which is now a global network.

Memorable achievements include recycling coffee waste for mushroom farming, making biodegradable detergent from discarded citrus peel, and the conversion of petrol stations into ‘charge stations’ for electric cars.”

via Gunter Pauli: The Blue Economy – Science and Technology – Browse – Big Ideas – ABC TV.

Check out a video/audio in the linked article, a 1 hr presentation where he shares most of his work.

Make Your Voice Heard: Discover Democratic Education

In a society based on democracy, participation, and engagement, shouldn’t education be democratic, participatory, and engaging? How can young people be creative, curious, and collaborative learners when their schooling boxes them in with testing and standardization? What does a more empowering, democratic education look like?

Check out this video by IDEA – the Institute for Democratic Education in America, and visit their website to learn more and get involved:

Make Your Voice Heard: Discover Democratic Education – YouTube. (2:35 mins)

Green Gold – Documentary by John D. Liu

“It’s possible to rehabilitate large-scale damaged ecosystems.” Environmental film maker John D. Liu documents large-scale ecosystem restoration projects in China, Africa, South America and the Middle East, highlighting the enormous benefits to people and planet of undertaking these efforts globally.

Green Gold – Documentary by John D. Liu – YouTube (47 mins long)

Natural Farming with Masanobu Fukuoka

Full-length documentary following the legendary Masanobu Fukuoka on a visit to India

Natural Farming with Masanobu Fukuoka – YouTube.

Farming – The Gandhian Way – Bhaskar Save

Known widely as the Gandhi of natural farming, Bhaskar Save, at his farm located in south Gujarat, imbibes non-violence and harmonious co-existence with farming. See the video below to learn how he does it, and some surprising insights and innovative practices.

gandhian principles farming

How to make Amrut Jal (Water) to Enrich soil

A Hands on guide for Indian farmers on How to make “AMRUT JAL” By Shri dipak Sachade – Natueco Farming Expert, to Enrich Soil

More: An extended 4-part series on the philosophy of Natueco Farming Science, Method of making Amrut mitti and Amrut Jal
Organic/Natueco Farming – Malpani Trust – Deepak Suchde – Bajwada, M.P. – Part 1
Organic/Natueco Farming – Malpani Trust – Deepak Suchde – Bajwada, M.P. – Part 2
Organic/Natueco Farming – Malpani Trust – Deepak Suchde – Bajwada, M.P. – Part 3
Organic/Natueco Farming – Malpani Trust – Deepak Suchde – Bajwada, M.P. – Part 4

Nitin Das – 7 year old superhero (short film)

The story of a 7 year old super-hero from the Himalayas and her quest to save the planet.


An inspiring scene from the movie “Lage Raho Munnabhai” in which Munnabhai advises different kins of people over a radio show on how to sort out their daily problems using Gandhigiri.

Song: Gao Chodav Nahin

This song describes the present day exploitation of tribal land and forests in the name of development.

Many Faces of Madness (A film by Amar Kanwar)

The Many Faces of Madness is a short film that emerges from the reality of
destruction and the appropriation of the commons in India.

Story of Stuff in Hindi

A 20-minute animation of the consumerist society, narrated by Anne Leonard