Goonj Founder Cautions against External Interference in Rebuilding Kerala


Kochi: While rebuilding Kerala after the deluge, it is vital to ensure that the ecological demands of the State are met without allowing the interference of external forces that seek to impose their designs, said Anshu Gupta, Founder of Goonj, a leading NGO that focuses on humanitarian and community development works.

“After the floods it is the rebuilding phase in Kerala. Hence, make sure that there is no interference of any external forces to enforce their designs on the State and that it meets its own ecological demands during the course of its reconstruction,” Gupta said while addressing the ‘MeetupCafe’ of the Kerala Startup Mission (KSUM) here the other day.

The theme of the session, held at KINFRA Hi-Tech Park, Kalamassery, was ‘Rebuilding Kerala – Lessons from Flood’, which was conceived as a platform for exchanging ideas, fostering partnerships and building beneficial networks to help the State devastated by the recent floods.

“When outsiders like us reach this state and try to force their agenda, make sure that we are stopped from that endeavour. Other states like Uttarakhand, Jammu & Kashmir, and Bihar have also seen floods in recent times. Unfortunately, the reconstruction carried out in these states blatantly defied the ecological demands. Many multi-storey buildings have cropped up in no time. Hence, make sure that a state like Kerala, renowned for its architectural style and tradition, did not fall into this trap,” he said.

Since a lot of construction is going to happen across the State, it is important to ensure that we do not play with the environment any further, he observed. “It is a misconception that it would take another 70 or 100 years for another natural calamity to occur. In reality, our ecosystem has become highly fragile,” he said.

Jayaram Subramanian, Coordinator, Anbodu Kochi and Hari Krishnan, volunteer, Compassionate Keralam, spoke about their experience during the floods.

Gopinathan Parayil, Co-founder of Chekkutty dolls, a social initiative; John Mathew,  Arun Gopi and Jofin Joseph,  representing the startups  Riafy Technologies, QKopy and Profoundis which have come up with various technologies to support the rescue operations and rebuilding the State, also spoke on the occasion.