Lucky 13

I’ve always considered 13 a lucky number. Perhaps it’s because I got engaged on 13 December! Whatever the reason, the number has an incredibly positive association for me, making Harmony’s 13th anniversary that much more special.

Our theme this month is also close to my heart. Two years ago, it was an honour for the Reliance Group to be chosen as the first founding partner (with myself as ambassador) in India for the Global Goals Campaign, which seeks to promote the Global Goals adopted by the UN General Assembly for sustainable development.

That said, our engagement with the environment goes back much further—and deeper. As chairperson of the Group’s CSR initiatives, I have been witness to its concerted efforts to build more sustainable communities through efforts in areas ranging from affordable energy and agriculture to water harvesting, sanitation and ecological conservation.

This magazine, too, has taken great pride in recognising unsung eco-crusaders who have given their time and abilities with little recognition or reward. In fact, our efforts to honour ‘ordinary people doing extraordinary things’ as part of the Harmony Silver Awards resulted in bringing many of them to centre-stage.

Among them have been water warriors Chewang Norphel of Ladakh, Anupam Mishra of Delhi and Laxman Singh of Laporia in Rajasthan, who applied innovation and ingenuity to tackle water scarcity; Delhi’s Yogeshwar Kumar who generated hydroelectricity from village streams to light up the northern Indian hinterland; Kambel Chulai of Meghalaya, who developed a low-cost, eco-friendly crematorium; Hirbai Lobi in Junagadh, Gujarat, who helped the women from her marginalised Siddhi community market an indigenously produced vermicompost; Bhausaheb Santuji Thorat in Sangamner, Maharashtra, whose Dandkaranya Movement turned a drought-stricken region into a lush forest; Dr Ganesh Devy from Tejgarh, Gujarat, who proposed the idea of a ‘Green Economic Zone’ as an alternative to the Special Economic Zone for Adivasi communities; and Dr Sekhar Raghavan in Chennai, who invented dry-composting toilets.

The journey of these real heroes, and those we feature this issue, finds resonance in our own voyage these past 13 years: commitment to a chosen cause; battling the odds in the belief of an idea; and an unflagging zeal to inform, inspire and motivate the maximum people. I thank Team Harmony for walking this road with me with purpose and passion. And you, our readers, who impel us to be the best we can be, so we can give you the magazine you truly deserve. Gratitude—and keep reading!

By Tina Ambani

Featured in Harmony — Celebrate Age Magazine
June 2017