Sacredness
Photographs courtesy Pulkti Sehgal and Vastu Shilpa Foundation

Aspiration and Love

Value vs. Greed

Prof BV Doshi is our 17th anniversary issue Guest Editor!

Here’s what’s trending, according to BV Doshi, our Guest Editor

by Prof BV Doshi, as told to Sneha Ullal Goel Dec 15, 2017
In tune with the issue theme, Prof BV Doshi takes a precise shot at predicting the wellness needs of the new year, only to advise the importance of a self-empowered community, a currently endangered value.

Trend 1: Sacredness
In this instance, Sacredness has a different connotation. If an object feels sacred to me, my instinct will let me preserve it or stow it away in a careful place. But do we treat other beings, our environment, resources, time and energy in the same vein? 

In my belief, Sacredness has been isolated as an independent value, rather than for long term use. Why is this an important trend? Take the example of Aranya housing complex in Indore, whose residents previously had no home or belongings of their own. The state government provided each family with a plinth of land along with water, electricity and a toilet – equal allocation to all, and not on the basis of religion, caste or income. This complex presented an opportunity for them to feel empowered, to use their full initiatives to build their own home and discover additional incomes along the way. They gradually created an identity, and transitioned towards self-employment. Their home evolved too, from ordinary tin roofs and mud wall, to a pucca house with defined rooms, including a kitchen.

A self-sustaining society lives without strife, with maximum use of resources and time, where people have a place for work, for leisure, for living. And for this it needs to be independent and industrious.

Trend 2: Aspiration and Love
Like opportunity and survival, aspiration and love dwell hand in hand. You survive because you are exposed to opportunities that motivate and encourage you to live in the present. Take for instance, the Bhungas (traditional mud homes) of Kutch, a region prone to terrible earthquakes, sandstorms and cyclonic winds. It took only 40 days to distribute the land amongst the villagers equally and each family built their own bhunga. In 40 days, they completely rehabilitated themselves! 

So if you create opportunities for them to use their way of development, the chances of creating an ideal community is possible. If they are not given the initiative, they separate, leading to isolation. Our traditions had always guided us on a path to sustenance – where our dwellings have to be flexible to expand or modify. Dharavi is another apt example of a seamlessly functioning corporation that you won’t find anywhere else in the world. The residents here live, earn and survive in the same place – they share resources, out of mutual love and respect because it’s an inherent part of their culture.

Trend 3: Value vs. Greed
An individual who owns nothing has no greed. However, a person who prides on his possessions will always see the need for more. The more space you have, the more you want, and you will never be satisfied. I think this is how developers function – feeding on this greed, they build without thinking about sharing space and resources. This is the battle of business versus survival – while the former leads to greed, needless competition and isolation, survival leads to cooperation, mutual understanding and support.

Prof BV Doshi is our 17th anniversary issue Guest Editor!