Newsletter - December 2020

Read Coverting Letter
Dear Friends,

The Diderot Effect: Why We Want Things We Don’t Need
The famous French philosopher Denis Diderot lived nearly his entire life in poverty, but that all changed in 1765.
Diderot was 52 years old and his daughter was about to be married, but he could not afford to provide a dowry. Despite his lack of wealth, Diderot’s name was well-known because he was the co-founder and writer of Encyclopédie, one of the most comprehensive encyclopedias of the time.
When Catherine the Great, the Empress of Russia, heard of Diderot’s financial troubles she offered to buy his library from him for £1000 GBP, which is approximately $50,000 USD in 2015 dollars. Suddenly, Diderot had money to spare.
Shortly after this lucky sale, Diderot acquired a new scarlet robe. That's when everything went wrong.
Diderot’s scarlet robe was beautiful. So beautiful, in fact, that he immediately noticed how out of place it seemed when surrounded by the rest of his common possessions. In his words, there was “no more coordination, no more unity, no more beauty” between his robe and the rest of his items. The philosopher soon felt the urge to buy some new things to match the beauty of his robe.
He replaced his old rug with a new one from Damascus. He decorated his home with beautiful sculptures and a better kitchen table. He bought a new mirror to place above the mantle and his “straw chair was relegated to the antechamber by a leather chair.”
These reactive purchases have become known as the Diderot Effect.
The Diderot Effect states that obtaining a new possession often creates a spiral of consumption which leads you to acquire more new things. As a result, we end up buying things that our previous selves never needed to feel happy or fulfilled.
Green Resilient Rameswaran Project is also emphasising on frugal anscmption and insisting on a paradigm shift in our approach to development. Incidently Sustainable Development Goal 12 also says that we are burdening the mother earth by more consumption.

This month’s newsletter has the following highlights:
  • Dr. Sanjay Banerji in his blog writes about Sustainable Development Goal– 12 (Responsible Consumption and Production)
  • Shri.Rangarajan, Chennai writes on Thevaram related with Rameswaram.
  • Solid waste management work by - Hand in Hand Inclusive Development Services, Chennai.
  • Dr.A.Abirami, Programme Officer of C.P.R. Environmental Educational Center writes about the herbal plant – Gokshura (Nerinjil)
  • Revival and Renovation of Traditional water bodies – Ariya Nachiyar and Gaja Teerthams by Vivekananda Kendra - Nardep
  • Regular events for building Social capital and finally
  • 'Green Rameswaram newsletter’ by the students and for the students of Rameswaram.

With best wishes,

Editorial Team
Green Rameswaram Project
Mahabeer Dharmasala
Rameswaram - 623526
Ph: 04573 - 222296(office)
E-mail:This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Sustainable Development Goal - 12

Dr.Sanjay Banerji
Founder Director/Dean of Amrita School of Business

Dear Friends,

This month we shall discuss the 12th Sustainable Development Goal: Responsible Consumption and Production. In this blog, we shall try to explain:

  1. What it is and why is this relevant
  2. What are its indicators and targets
  3. Where do we stand in India
  4. What can we do to support the goal

Thirumurai/Thevaram songs on Rameswaram

C.Rangarajan, Chennai

Glory to Lord Siva, who is worshipped in southern region (தென்னாடுடைய சிவனே போற்றி!)

Saivite saint-poet Sri Thirunavakkarasu Perumaan has composed wonderful hymns on Rameswaram in lilting Tamil. This comes as part of the 4th canto of “Thirumurai”, a compendium of devotional songs on Lord Siva.

பாசமுங் கழிக்க கில்லா வரக்கரைப் படுத்துத் தக்க
வாசமிக் கலர்கள் கொண்டு மதியினான் மால்செய் கோயில்
நேசமிக் கன்பி னாலே நினைமினீர் நின்று நாளும்
தேசமிக் கானி ருந்த திருவிரா மேச்சு ரம்மே.

Solid Waste Management

Hand in Hand Inclusive Development and Services, Chennai

Provision of Sanitary Kit

Indian Red Cross Society, a humanitarian organization, provided sanitary kits comprising of masks and soaps on 1st December to 144 Green Friends and field staff. The event was held at the Municipal Office.

Health Screening

Due to COVID-19 pandemic, health screening of 144 Green Friends and field staff has been made mandatory in the MSWM project on Mondays and Thursdays every week. Team members’ body temperature, pulse and oxygen level are monitored using Infrared Thermometer and Pulse Oximeter. This practice ensures presence of healthy people in daily MSWM operations.

Herbal Garden (Muligai Vanam)

By Dr.A.Abirami
C.P.R. Environmental Education Center, Chennai

Distribution and Habitat

Tribulus terrestris L. is a dicotyledonous herbal plant of the Zygophyllaceae family.  It is found all over India up to 11,000 ft in Kashmir, Ceylon, and all warm regions of both hemispheres.  T. terrestris  is  a  common  weed  plant  with  divaricate spines  found  in  sandy  soil  and  waste  lands. It is a trailing perennial, hairy, and branched herb. Leaves are stipulate, opposite usually unequal and abruptly pinnate. Leaflets are 5-8 in pairs with length 0.5 - 1.3 cm. Flowers are yellow, solitary, axillary, 8-12 mm in diameter and appear during July-August. Fruits are globose and spinosus produced during autumn. It consists of 5-12 woody cocci, each with two pairs of hard sharp spines, one pair longer than the other. Each coccus contains several seeds with transverse partition between them.

Revival and Renovation of
Traditional Water Bodies

Vivekananda Kendra – Nardep

Ariyanaatchi Teertham Completion

Ariyanaatchi Teertham was completed during the month of December 2020.  We started the work just before Covid 19 Lock down and could complete only by December 2020.  The paints both white and kavi were supplied by our Chairman Shri.Ravi Sam through his paint company – Titan Paints and Chemical Ltd. In fact, we have used the paints supplied by him to all the 34 renovated Teerthas.


Social Capital

Green Rameswaram Trust

Bhagavad Geeta Jayanthi

On 25 December, 2020 Geeta Jayanthi was organised by Vivekananda Kendra NARDEP at Green Rameswaram Building. Many children participated in the programme.

Children participated in the cultural programme by dressing like Krishna, Radha and Aandaal etc.

Shri.Sarvathamananda from ISKON, Rameswaram was the chief guest. He gave a very nice talk on Karma yoga and advised the audience to surrender to Lord Krishna so that he will give strength to solve all the problems.


Green Rameswaram newsletter (Tamil)

For students….
From students ..

4th issue – December 2020