For the past several decades, if not more, Kashmir, Jammu and Ladakh have been suffering from many disorders. One such disorder is the phenomenon of unemployment aided by a hurried departure from tradition and unprocessed embrace of modernity. This has a great bearing on our economic situation and almost all other aspects of our personal and social lives. Majority of the population faces tremendous pressure to make ends meet and struggles to live with contentment and dignity. The aim of Mool is to think about rectifying this situation by envisioning a new plane of action for our engagement as individuals and as a society.
Education is supposed to pave the way out of this pressure for the people. However, despite the technological progress and great increases in the literacy rate, the economic survival for majority of the population is still not assured and the situation is deteriorating. At Mool, we look at the state of our education and economy from our collective experience. We try to understand whether these are serving our needs? And, we re-imagine the ways we need to meaningfully engage with ourselves, our communities and our surroundings to ensure economic, social and ecological sustainability. Trying to understand our current predicament, together, we analyse and see what influences our decision-making, and how? We think about the impact of the choices we make – for ourselves and for our community, the kind of society we want to live in and how do we adjust our behaviours to create that society?
Mool, through its participatory and practice-oriented programs, facilitates a dialogical environment at the community level for qualitative conversations on the challenges and questions that we face, both as individuals and as communities. It also provides space to dialogue and explore alternatives integrating our own cultural practice with the learning from the rest of the world. We invite you to contribute ideas and resources.
Mool promotes sustainable lifestyles by integrating indigenous resources with evaluated new knowledge through eco-initiatives in Kashmir, Jammu and Ladakh. Through participatory knowledge sharing, skills education, research, and material support (including collaborations, scholarships, fellowships, paid internships, and start-up and placement assistance). Mool encourages youth to expand the idea of creating sustainable lifestyles.
Mool’s approach embodies the economic, social and environmental sustainability needed to address these issues. Through examples of natural farming and other eco initiatives, Mool demonstrates farming and other local resource based initiatives as independent, respectable, and sustainable livelihoods. Through the widespread integration of indigenous resources and practices with evaluated new knowledge, Mool demonstrates that old and new can coexist. Mool’s education and fellowship program gives the fellows’ skills, knowledge and support to expand their idea of what is possible in order to start similar farming or other sustainable ventures. Within Mool’s community wellbeing program, we support the wholesome education and wellbeing of the local communities.
Mool creates a pool of indigenous people (especially youth) that understand the problems faced by the society, think about the long-term impact of their initiatives, and invest in a bottom-up approach to create a synergy between education, livelihoods, local resources, and needs. Fellows are encouraged to collaborate and build partnerships with other community programs to increase their personal and organizational capacity.
Challenges of ‘development’
Mool strives to address causes of people’s disillusionment with the present socio-economic situation, stress, unemployment, inadequate education, and ecological degradation. Kashmir suffers from a poor learning system, inefficient economy, and diminution of indigenous resources. Kashmir’s economy has traditionally been farm-based and to a large extent self-sufficient. However, over the years the situation has completely changed. As per a 2011 estimation, about 96% of materials (including all sectors) consumed or used in Kashmir are imported (livestock imports alone were worth about $2.65 million).
The floods of September 2014 and March 2015 have again demonstrated how the ‘development’ being pursued is not just insufficient and inefficient but wasteful and unsustainable. In the September floods the communication, transport and administrative-security infrastructure – that symbolises this ‘modern progress’ was rendered absolutely dysfunctional, and people re-discovered some ways of coordinating the relief work themselves at the community level. This again highlights the need for grassroots-level engagement to identify, plan and execute the socio-economic transformation that is needed including for prevention of natural disasters and preparedness to deal with them.
Challenges to farming
Despite being a fertile environment rich in natural resources, today farming in Kashmir faces many barriers. It has come to be perceived as ungentlemanly and unprofitable. Despite the propaganda, it lacks a credible and comprehensive support system. These problems, along with an inadequate and inefficient education system, have resulted in disillusionment amongst the people actually interested in or dependent on farming.
Mool was formally established as a trust in 2012. It was registered with the Income Tax Department u/s 12AA in 2016. Mool has its working office in Ganderbal and its registered office in Shopian.
Get in touch!
You can write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at +91 99066 24200.
You can also write or visit us at:
Mool Sustainability Research and Training Center
C/o Sagg Eco Farms, Watlar Wuder, Lar,
Ganderbal, Kashmir 191131.