A couple of years back, a small group of young Chennai-ites wanting to desperately solve the great waste problem on the city’s beaches, got together to form an energetic collective called Reclaim Our Beaches (ROB). Ever since, they have been wading through its ecosystem, cultures, garbage, its sources, government plans, corporate projects, household waste issues, in search of clues and solutions. In their statement, they write –
“We believe that our beaches are urban commons, and that as citizens we have the right to a healthy beach ecosystem. We have begun to understand how waste on the beach is perhaps the biggest symptom of a much larger issue, one that involves our materials economy, and is driven by what we consume and how we act as consumers. Therefore we also work to deepen Chennai’s conversations on waste and it’s management; by identifying connections it shares with issues around corporate accountability and social justice.”
On 18th and 19th (Saturday and Sunday) August 2012, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., in the Conference Hall, School of Media Studies, Loyola College, Chennai, ROB has planned an interactive symposium that addresses the issue of waste from as many viewpoints as possible. With presentations and activities led by many activists, researchers, and academics, the group aims to create a space that deepens Chennai’s conversations on waste, in order to find and support solutions that are truly ecologically sustainable and equitable amongst all classes of people. Some of the speakers are Nityanand Jayaraman, Amita Baviskar, Karen Coehlo, Dharmesh Shah, and Annie Leonard.
You can read the speakers’ profiles, some presentation outlines and register for the symposium on ROB’s website – www.letsrob.org. For updates, you can check their Facebook page – www.facebook.com/letsROB; for further enquiries call +919840295081/+9884237457.