"The situation the Earth is in today has been created by unmindful production and unmindful consumption. We consume to forget our worries and our anxieties. Tranquillising ourselves with over-consumption is not the way."
Sustainable production and consumption is about promoting resource and energy efficiency, sustainable infrastructure, and providing access to basic services, green and decent jobs and a better quality of life for all. Its implementation helps to achieve overall development plans, reduce future economic, environmental and social costs, strengthen economic competitiveness and reduce poverty.
To know its story in India, we have to look turn back to the days when India had just gained independence from the bloodied hands of the British. The legacy of Mahatma Gandhi and Jawaharlal Nehru, were deeply skeptical of Western consumerism as a path to Indian human and economic development. Mahatma Gandhi's political and personal philosophy of thrift and simplicity had influenced both Indian economic policy and the Indian middle classes. It was a time when frugality was regarded as a positive trait.
Fast forward to 1991, the economy was stagnant and the population booming never before. The government took a bold step which is considered to be the true ‘opening of India', when we took a loan from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for the first time. But, it wasn't going to be all give-away. It brought with it conditions that India deconstruct its planned economy and downsize government. For the outpouring middle class, it not only meant more variety of goods but also lesser taxes. The hard-hit were the domestic producers and manufacturers. Those who welcomed the competition with a joint venture with the foreign companies instead of just open arms survived while those who couldn't keep up with the rising competition perished.
Today our country rests in the hands of leaders like Narendra Modi who have launched programs like ‘Make in India' to place India on the world map as a manufacturing hub and give global recognition to the Indian economy. India has become one of the most attractive destinations for investments in the manufacturing sector. Through the present government policies, it is clear that small scale businesses and our country's you entrepreneurs will flourish. The new de-licensing and deregulation measures will surely reduce complexity and significantly increase speed and transparency. The digitalisation of the procedures will make everything hassle free. Development of smart cities and industrial corridors will ensure that ideas get transformed into products. Skill development program will provide the necessary workforce to the entrepreneur.
A changing political economy is favouring increasing consumption in economic development and promoting products that are marketed to save time and housework. This is behind a rapid increase in energy production, both from petroleum products and coal, which is found in abundance in India. This contributes to local pollution, to greenhouse emissions and to extractive pressures on Indian forested areas where most of the coal is deposited.
India's consumption per capita and ecological footprint is still far below those of the USA and Europe, but its large and growing population make consumption a huge challenge for India's domestic environment as well as for global efforts to combat climate change.
Enactus MPSTME realises the need to meet supply and demand and that sustainability of production and consumption takes into account the environment as well. From scrap cloth to leftover wood, the raw material for all our products is made from waste. The source for the raw materials are permanent and hence, once our beneficiaries start working on their own, they will already have a viable and reliable source. The source is also economical as the raw materials are from waste. Hence they follow the 3 R's, that is Reusable, Recyclable and Reducible. The lifetime of our products are long enough to maintain the balance. Finally, the packaging for our only product that employees this (aggarbbattis) is eco-friendly.
Meeting the customer producer demands is indeed a challenge, however our team of dedicated individuals believe that tranquillisers isn't going to cause as much relief as a production that goes parallel with it.