Environment at YMC
Yusuf Meherally Centre runs various project to protect environment in nearby the centre.
|The Yusuf Meherally Centre took up an afforestation programme on a large scale during the years 1984-1990. The Centre had received a generous grant of Rs.11.00 lakhs from NWDB
( National Wastelands Development Board). The Forest Department allotted to the Centre 11 acres of land for tree planting in its project area at Tara and around. The Centre had had also involved students of nearby schools and farmers, who were given saplings free of charge. It sold 18,000 saplings to the Nava Sheva Project for tree planting, which they undertook. The Centre planted trees in its own lands in Tara and the Veena Kishen Mehta Smriti van. In all, about 8,50,000 saplings were planted during the period.
As far as the Centre is concerned, the tree planting is a continuing programme inasmuch as its schools continued to plant trees on special occasions like Environment Day and August 15 to make the children conscious of the need to replenish the ever decreasing tree cover. World Wide Fund for Nature, Nature Club of Wilson College, NCC Students of SNDT College, Nature Club of Bhavan’s College – all from Mumbai – have been regularly visiting us for several years for planting trees in our area. They continue to return to our campus for camps, meetings, recreation and, often, simply for the love of nature.
|Organic farming and vermiculture:
The Centre has, among other things, an experimental organic farm with a dairy. The latter is called the ‘ten guntha experiment’. This is an important activity of ours. The late Prof. S.A.Dabholkar, a mathematician turned agricultural expert, claimed that a family of five could live above poverty line on ten guntha (a quarter acre) if they follow certain agricultural practices. In this no tilling and digging are required and no fertilizers and pesticides are used. This is a low external input agriculture, utilizing cow dung and urine from the dairy and biomass. And no chemical fertilizers and pesticides are needed. This, if accepted and popularized, can be a boon to marginal farmers. The Centre is replicating this ‘experiment’ on different farms and is also preparing a manual and conducting training classes off and on.
Fight against pollution in the Patalganga river:
Patalganga Water Partnership:
As part of Global Water Partnership, South East Asia Water Partnership and the Indian Water Partnership, the work on Patalganga Water Partnership was started in 2002 with the Indian Water Work Association and was completed in 2007. During the period, the Indian Water Works Association was the host agency. Yusuf Meherally Centre has been associated with this activity right from the beginning. At a meeting of the Patalganga Water Partnership, which was held at Nagpur on June 2007, Yusuf Meherally Centre was nominated as the host organization for future implementation of the programmes in this regard from 2007 to 2025.
Transfer of rural technology:
Bhabha Atomic Research Centre ( BARC) Mumbai has developed certain simple technology which are easily transferable to rural areas, which in turn could improve the economic condition of the beneficiaries. The package is called “Advance Knowledge Technology Implementation (AKRUTI)”. The Centre proposes to take up this, for implementation with the technical inputs of the BARC. Once this is done, it could be popularized not only in and around our Tara Project Centre, but the whole of Konkan area comprising of Raigad, Thane, Sindhudurg and Ratnagiri districts and beyond.
The programme and its Implementation pattern:
AKRUTI as developed by the BARC has the following technologies for demonstration and experimentation:
i) NISARGRUNA – Biogas plant for biodegradable solid waste.
The Centre will develop these technology units, which are eco-friendly, with the technical help of BARC and convert them as an extension center too. We have since started working out the implementation of NISARGRUNA- Biogas plant for biodegradable solid waste that will trap methane which can be used as a fuel source.
Dissemination of Technology developed by Indian Institute of Technology Powai (IIT-Bombay) Mumbai, ,to make diesel oil from waste of edible oil manufacturing, used cooking oil and non-edible oils:
|Indian Institute of Technology Powai (IIT-Bombay), Mumbai, has developed a technology to make diesel oil from multiple raw materials such as waste of edible oil manufacture, used cooking oil and non-edible oils. Conversion of these oils will meet the requirements of the philosophy of the Yusuf Meherally Centre of recycling to create wealth out of waste. Conventional sources like non-edible oils from Jethropha and Karanjia can also be used as raw materials in this plant. The Bio-diesel generated will be used for running the Diesel Generator set as well as vehicles of YMC in B-20 mode.. The success of this endeavour could go some way in helping the country reduce its dependence on imported petroleum fuels.
A team of researchers from IIT Bombay has designed and helped install the plant at YMC-Tara. The necessary infrastructure is created by the Centre on its land at Tara, Raigad District. This will be a pilot project. It was inaugurated on December 17, 2008. The Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC) funded the non-recurring cost of the plant. The plant will be run by the experts of IIT Mumbai for three months before being handed over to the Centre to be operated by its staff. Initially, it will use edible oil waste collected from hotels as the raw material.
Our project area has a sizeable tribal population and other backward classes who belong to Below Poverty Level categories. They are primarily marginal farmers and farm labourers who would be the immediate beneficiaries. The project will eventually be extended to cover the whole of the Konkan region that has a total population of 1.30 crore, including 14.93 lakhs tribals and 4.60 lakhs schedule castes.