Climate Change, lipstick, puberty, e-commerce, HIV, meditation- do they have anything in common? For you and me, reading them in one phrase looks a little absurd. The inter-connection within all of them was very obvious to many of the speakers who spoke in length today at a discussion/seminar/consultation/workshop themed ‘Climate Change- Mitigation and Adaptation, Women’s Perspective’ hosted by Karnataka Pollution Control Board in their premises Parisar Bhavana, Church Street, Bangalore. Who’s who of NGO world were invited there to speak. The event began ‘as usual’ with Ganesha Vandana – rendering hymns dedicated to Hindu God Ganesha. Strange ways of ‘Secular Republic’ called India.
Later in the open discussion, according to worthy panelists- changes in global temperature are leading to hormonal changes in girls, thereby they hit puberty age earlier than usual. Parallels between high temperature and higher number of HIV cases were drawn by those who spoke. It was suggested that e-commerce can be solution to decrease the vulnerability of women. Self appreciation was recommended as an important mitigation measure. On the whole everything of everything was discussed except the gender dimensions of climate crisis. More than anything it was the confidence with which these suggestions were made amazed me the most.
Few panelists tried to touch upon the issues like vulnerability of women to climate variability, the role they can play in adaptation and mitigation. Sadly they were just two or three; the rest weren’t interested at all in the given discourse as they were all busy making notes of their own scientific insights which they shared later with everyone by speaking from the podium with overflowing confidence and conviction. To add to it, in his concluding remarks Karnataka Pollution Control Board official suggested that usage of lipstick by women should be reduced for mitigation purposes.
Well! The discussion was organized to have the inputs of civil society and common citizenry on the emerging issues faced by women in the era of climate emergency and ways to mitigate their concerns. We were informed that the outcomes of the given discussion/workshop will be published in the form of roadmap for state of Karnataka to implement its state action plan on climate change. Imagine the scale of misunderstanding, and how it will be reflected in the final document.
Yeah, what else is expected from the countrymen lead by a Premier who claims that Yoga mitigates climate change in United Nations General Assembly, and gets a standing ovation from Indian delegation in a largely empty hall? Considering that we are struggling with an emergency which is ocean like in its scale and has a potential of wiping out entire humanity, these discussions make you pessimist and hopeless. God save mankind!