Through a month-long pilgrimage (November 2023) from the Himalayas, walking along the River Ganges we visited indigenous youth & community-led initiatives, sacred temples, and community leaders.
It was an awesome experience to see how much the Indian government has invested in opportunities for Indigenous youth and women to connect with their land, languages, and cultures, and strengthen and deepen their relationships within and across Indigenous communities, facilitating and supporting the transmission of cultural practices and knowledge to future generations. Local governments offer grants to youth groups and grassroots organizations based on important and current issues: Healing the Land, Racial Justice and Youth Mental Health Awareness, Consent Culture, Disability Justice, Election Mobilization and Civic Engagement, etc.
It was worth noting also impact investments from companies and international development agencies are present to generate social and environmental impact alongside financial returns.
In the last decade, there’s been significant growth in cottage industry related to organic agriculture with traditional institutions entering the space bringing in some capital into the regenerative agriculture market. Despite its huge population India is daring to embark on a regenerative agricultural revolution and is going organic and many are watching to see how that succeeds in a capitalist extractive system.
This was my first visit to India, moving from the Himalayas to where the River Ganges empties itself into the Ocean.
I was moved to see how Nature regulates Humankind instead of the other way around.
Throughout the pilgrimage, I learned where Africa is going wrong and I developed a contingency plan for Better World Cameroon.
Attending the 2nd World Water Conclave International Conference on Defending the Sacred for Sustainable Development of Nature and Humankind and visiting the Great City Lakes of Udaipur was very rich for me!
One can almost write a book using the example of Udaipur as a rich tapestry and model for shaping resilient and equitable sustainable Tourism for the future.
The India Water Pilgrimage was for me a laboratory for incubating my water conservation consciousness as a global water professional.
I was privileged to give the keynote address of the closing ceremony, calling on an Africa-India Partnership in water conservation and regenerative agriculture.
My Higher purpose since coming back to Portugal is to make meaning of fruitful conservations with indigenous leaders and regeneration knowledge by establishing a community-university partnerships program through African Way to serve youth exchange between Cameroon, Portugal, and India using the African Peace Village as a green bridge model and prototype of sustainable tourism and regeneration in the world.
From all the water bodies I visited in India, I learned from sustainable practices where young people and women learn together to co-create, innovate, and apply hands-on sustainable methods of living from ecological and ancestral wisdom on how to honor water as a living entity nourishing all life and helping them tend to their inner landscapes.
My conclusion is that despite the crisis India is grappling with its huge population, India should be regarded in the world as the regenerative leadership center when it comes to water conservation.
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