Image by mohamed Hassan from Pixabay 

The great strides in economic development that India has made in the last two decades are remarkable. While this has resulted in improving incomes in several sectors of society, it has also had side effects leading to the loss of a real “quality of life” of a large proportion of people. In the rapidly expanding urban and potential megacities of India, the quality of life as predicted by the required stakeholders has declined consistently. In the rural sector, the loss of several traditional value systems that assisted the equitable & fair distribution of resources has also led to the degradation in the resources. The loss of equitable use of resources has resulted from inadequately designed development strategies which are not suited to the reality of the rural world. While all traditional practices are not necessarily required in the present context of development, some of them are of great value in maintaining ethical, moral and other concerns related to societal equity and a feeling of togetherness. While urbanization and industrialization have enhanced economic development, it has led to degradation of forest, grasslands, mountains, rivers and wetlands. This has created increasing disparities in wealth. These major concerns are the most important challenges that the world must face. 

An overarching strategy that can be provided for all these different sectors for a more sustainable economic, social and environmental management can Fastback these complex developmental issues towards a sustainable future. This requires a change in formal educational processes. The creation of better access to health and education are necessary to sustainable development. This strategy must include mitigating measures such as eco-restoration of degraded land, reforestation using local plant species and biodiversity preservation, at the core of a new thinking on development. This new cross cutting interdisciplinary approach to development must not be seen as a measure that will curtail economic growth, but as an innovative engine for development that will continue to steer world sustainability over the next few generations. Thus the change required to move from unsustainable to sustainable development must begin at the grassroots level. This includes involving a variety of public and private institutions as well as by creating more sustainable personal lifestyles. Much of this can be dealt with through enlightened local governance. However, this needs relevant educational inputs and local capacity building. If each individual use resources, the world will become a better place to live-in.

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