b. Interdependence - It's only when individual members of a community revive and practice traditions of interdependence that a community has any chance of being Independent.
c. Respect for Soil, Air and Water, and all the life they carry.
To sum up, Abundance is a state in which a community employs ecologically sustainable means to ensure a resilient access to resources that are necessary and sufficient to fulfill the 9 basic needs of all its inhabitants.
After one year of blending into the village, I apprenticed with one of the poorest families in the village for 2.5 years during which the family grew from Rs 7500 per annum to a steady Rs 14,000 per month, built a hand-made wind turbine that generates 500W, and got used to growing most of what it eats. We consider this one unit of Abundance.
In 2014, we began work on building the prototype of an abundant rural community.
How you can help
We are demonstrating natural farming by setting up a model farm of 4 acres within Protovillage. Protovillage is currently in need of funding to support the earthworks on the model farm. The earthworks enhance the water holding capacity of the land, and allow intensely productive bio-diversity to thrive. As with everything else at ProtoVillage, the purpose of the model farm is to demonstrate methods that are earth friendly and keep the knowledge open. Villagers will be trained free of cost in these practices and this will improve their health along with providing healthy food for customers.
The glamorization of urban life is robbing the villages off their youth. The rich traditional knowledge suddenly has no takers, and the keepers of the same are dying. Stuck in the current paradigms of consumption driven growth, rural India is getting dangerously close to becoming intellectually bankrupt... The loss of this knowledge is reducing the self-reliant “providers” into helpless “consumers”.
On the other hand, Abundance is a steady state of resilience that breaks away from the paradigm of limitless economic growth. It requires that we adopt a lifestyle that is more respectful of all life around us.
Attempts to tinker the existing systems and paradigms will need methods that dissipate a lot of energy (Confrontation, Activism etc). We chose the methods of the noble elders who got us our independence - To DEMONSTRATE a new possibility, and trust the collective intelligence to take it forward... To be the change we wish to see.
We therefore are working on building the prototype of a community based on what we deem to be the traditions for the future.
Initially, I was shocked and saddened to know that there were 440 million people below that line. That meant, 440 million people in India were not capable of spending $1.25 a day!!! As I thought more and more, it all summed up into a couple of observations that helped me find a direction:
The idea of poverty eradication in such terms seemed to me like trying to do a world trip, but on a treadmill.
Not interested in poverty eradication - Let's instead Create Abundance!
I spent close to 10 months in the tribal belt that extends from Kuchchh in the far west all the way to the Sunderbans in the east. I was inspired to see that these people (supposed to be the underdeveloped and backward communities) were living the answers to many questions we ought to ask, but haven't even begun to ask. They were living in what I began to call "Abundance" that owed little of itself to material riches.
I found the idea of CREATING ABUNDANCE more inspiring and empowering than that of ERADICATING POVERTY.