THE muckiest city in India suddenly stepped into glass slippers and pert ecofriendliness last fortnight. Local NGOs, environmentalists, craftspersons and sundry others with a green bent hung together and tried to inject adrenalin into languid Delhites to turn them into environment buffs. High on the list of programmes was Dilli Haat in South Delhi, where craftspersons gathered to exhibit their ecofriendly wares. The Crafts Museum, the Indira Gandhi Centre for the Arts, the India International Centre, Max Mueller Bhavan, the British Council Gallery, the World Wide Fund for Nature, Spic Macay, et al, put up paintings and handicrafts. They screened films and audiovisuals on a host of pressing environmental issues. Wildlife, particularly the embattled tiger, was one of the main concerns of many of Delhi's environmentalists.
Ecological problems in the Western Ghats and the Himalayas also made it to the discursive front. Children, most malleable and willing to commit themselves to a lifetime of eco-benign behaviour, demonstrated their skills and held a workshop on toymaking with junk and waste. In a kind of radical superficiality, cosmetics were also included in good measure. The fortnight proved rather conclusively that environmentalism need not be restricted to political whingeing and drab academics.
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