Sustainable development has become a popular catchphrase in contemporary development discourse.
However, despite its pervasiveness and massive popularity over the years, the concept remains unclear to many people who continue to ask what sustainable development means.
Situated amidst nature's beauty, among the marshlands of Salvador Do Mundo, surrounded by the wilderness sits a centre for sustainability which goes by the name Sensible Earth.
Sensible Earth is both a retreat as well as a workshop place founded by Sanjiv Khandelwal back in 2019. It seeks to be a space for ideation, connection and productive growth pertaining to Goa’s landscape and its ecosystem.
Speaking to the founder of Sensible Earth Sanjiv Khandelwal, we learn that in the last three and a half years he has narrowed their focus to two areas; one being food acquired from the local harvest and livelihood, and the second venture being the reduction of plastic waste.
This year the Sensible Earth team ventures into another project which is a teacher fellowship programme, where they have worked with around 450 young learners in the area of circularity of understanding sustainability through fun learning ways.
Sensible Earth's aim and motive are to work and promote the local markets in Goa since only 6% of produce is locally sourced and the remaining 94% comes from other states. The Zero Posro venture is to enable and encourage the locals to grow more produce and consume locally.
The Maka Naka Plastic is another venture where Sensible Earth is trying to eradicate the excessive use of plastic and plastic bags and to come up with a sustainable and replicable solution.
That is where Sanjiv mentions that they use the old textile material to create bags, and in the bargain, they create livelihoods for the locals. Currently, they have around 62 women who make these bags from marginalised communities across Goa.
During the Corona pandemic, Sensible Earth enabled a citizen initiative to help supply groceries.
Both centres of the Sensible Earth were converted into food banks from where they would source food supplies. This initiative was possible due to the large number of volunteers that joined in to help.
Sanjiv Khandelwal’s ultimate goal for Sensible Earth is to encourage the younger generation to become involved and make the venture itself completely redundant so as to become a more by-the-community, for-the-community effort.