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Building Resilient Communities and Ecosystems

January 20, 2016

To paraphrase what Andrew Zolli says in his book 'Resilience' – Even with the perfect knowledge one can't escape the nagging suspicion that we are ballroom dancing in the middle of a minefield.

 

As I hear about the Rohith Vemula suicide, somewhere the hope is lost and I realise how we as a society have failed to create resilient ecosystems. Every student suicide is a reminder that University campuses have failed to create safety nets and how our social, political, cultural realities consume the life of young people. As a society we can't sideline the reality that political and cultural undercurrents impact the way a student relates to the world. Sometimes in the absence of purpose, there is a disillusionment that takes over as students struggle to believe. 

 

A suicide goes beyond just being a mental health concern, our responsibility as a society is to work at a macro level. As the book 'Resilience' points out, we must remember that even the Tortilla riots in Mexico (2007) were related to Hurricane Katrina (2005).

 

Our answers lie in a space where the communities learn to understand the linkages and bolster processes of support. Building sensitivity towards differing world views, breaking the web of our stereotypes, prejudices and greater awareness, peer mentors, counsellors, sensitising the professors and opportunities where voices of dissent can be heard.

 

If we cannot control the volatile times of change, we can learn to build better boats

- Resilience, Andrew Zolli. 

 

Let's work towards creating ecosystems of hope and change along with our work at a micro level. Read the book, if it interests you.

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