Practical Climate Resilience Building; Some Thoughts Beyond Adaptation

The financialisation and securitisation of the climate change discourse is the best thing to have happened. People take climate change more seriously. Lifestyle Environmentalism is incremental in nature. Climate Change Resilience is implemented through technology, finance and buy in from communities. And green politics also helps. We need more than tree hugging to save lives and the planet. The planet is an abstract idea, the flooding in the neighbourhood is cognitively more relatable.

The banks and financial sector taking climate change risks as real drivers to their portfolios has been a game changer as the Hindi proverb goes ‘Baap bada naa bhaiya, sabse bada rupaiyya’ which affirms the primacy of cash more than relationships.

Climate change will hit everything we do, some cities have already declared climate emergency. We need bankers to invest more in green infrastructure to save the world.

The Political Economy of Environmental Data

Environmentalists, in the corporate, consulting, civil society, research, regulatory and academic spaces need to understand that scientific data is a social construction. There are many parties in the production of the data on which policy, planning and implementation decisions are taken. The political economy of the environment, with its multiple manifestations in climate change are essentially human decisions, anthropomorphic in academic lingo. How knowledgeable is produced, interpreted and disseminated is key how environmental decisions are placed within the realm of political economy.

Understand how the technical reports are consumed in the decision making ecosystem, as the common refrain is ‘environmental issues are not taken seriously’.

Environment is more than science, fortunately. It is life.

Article 15; A Movie Review

Article 15 is a master class handling a sensitive topic such as entrenched caste discrimination in Northern India. It takes a saviour lens to the topic with a Stephenian Delhi Boy Character taking on caste based power hierarchies in delivering justice to disenfranchised members of subaltern community In Uttar Pradesh.

The film has amazing documentary style cinematography and background score with solid performances. Ayushmann has another winner.

The strength of the film is in its dialogues and screenplay. It shows how many India’s reside in parallel, with Instagram and Watsapp, co-inhibit worlds of caste cauldron and Hindutva consolidation. This particular juxtaposition is the heart of the film. The film has shades of Dibakar directed Shanghai where politics and bureaucratic rot intersections are present.

Good films with a social message do work.

#article15 #changethinker


If we are stuck in the present

How will the future emerge?

Through the sliding of time

Or the imagination of of the soul?

Creatures of the EMI

When will the ‘I’ emerge

On the Saturday night

Over the ‘Quarter’ and Chakhna

Or the possibilities of a Sunday morning after Church?

The heart should answer

Not the Banker

Migration Research’s Blind Spot- Good Samaritan’s as Last Mile Healthcare Delivery Provision

Migration Governance is back on the research agenda as refugee theatres in Africa, Maghreb, Mediterranean and South East Asia are simmering if not raging. The multilateral institutional activity with IOM, UN, WHO and the Marakkesh Declaration is encouraging with increased focus. The migration trends in the Khaleej are changing with African low wage workers from Cameroon to Kenya replacing Kerala as the manpower exporter. Many interviews with taxi drivers in the emirates have yielded the inference that African manpower is replacing the Pashtun as the preferred taxi driving talent pool. Bangladeshis are hired only as cab drivers in the UAE as there is a work visa embargo on them.

Ethiopian is a sound heard frequently as Nigerian dialects in many areas of Dubai. This is shifting the migrant support networks to the Evangelical Church groups as linguistic community groups have been the on call support of choice for Indians. In the Permanant Transience of the Gulf, support systems are limited to a couple of friends and village groups from back home. The first response to healthcare is panadol (often called Panadol Region) then the company doctor prescribed as per the insurance. This however is also Foucaudian Bio-surveillance as unfit workers are prime targets during restructuring.

Too much academic literature is focused on the causes of migrant issues regarding health, emergency financing and legal access. However very little attention is paid to groups who formally and informally deliver this last mile support.

Good Samaritan Model is often the case when salaries are delayed for months and mouths have to be fed back home. These voices of the Good Samaritans have to be recovered as these support workers in their home away from home. When I was not paid for months in my previous company, my extended family paid my bills as I looked out for my next gig. But not all are as fortunate as me.

Banglar Kantha and Bangladesh Centre Singapore of Veteran Journalist AKM Mohsin in Singapore is one platform for emergency relief.When workers are hospitalised Mohsin Bhai is there for help. He has sent back many dead workers to Dhaka over the past two decades. When diplomatic staff are faltering, the Good Samaritan’s plug the gap.

There needs to be a structured research program interventions around the last mile support organisations for health for migrants including the embassy staff who help. It’s time that the spotlight is shown upon the dark knights of remittance economies in academic and practitioner research.