Why western sustainability plans don’t work for India

Mitti Ke Rang
3 min readNov 25, 2020

Sustainable development is the development that doesn’t hamper the resources for future generations. Each country has been trying to adopt SDG and trying to implement it with the conditions and attributes that govern the specific country. India, like in many other attributes has been trying to implement plans that have worked in other countries, but in India, the western sustainability norms and plans don’t work properly. The reason being the consequences of implementing the proper strategies in India.

There are many causes one for example being quality of education not properly imparted in India. For example, the sustainable goal of Health and Education cannot be achieved as per the records. Clean drinking water which is extracted from the tube well and hand pumps are considered clean. But on the contrary, the groundwater is being polluted at the source due to improper waste disposal methodologies.

Photo by ev on Unsplash

As per a study, to implement SDGs in India by 2030 will cost $14.4 billion. But 1/3rd of the population that is 1.2 billion people are below the poverty line not even making it to pay taxes making it furthermore difficult to implement the SDGs in India.

While the sustainability plans that are well researched and proven to work are capitalistic driven, and the Indian subcontinent is a mixture of the world’s richest and the world’s poor. Hence it is essential to understand the ecology and the environmental practices adopted by them all and then be used accordingly. For example, the coastal regions of Mangalore have been designed to enhance tourism development while the plan doesn’t include fishermen, the locals whose livelihood depends on the coastal region. In the same way, earlier on the sides of roads, we used to plant mango trees, peepal trees, banyan trees, tamarind trees that had a sacred value, and were also fruit-bearing and had other uses, while now we have ornamental plants and trees that are adapted from the west just for the aesthetics of it. Like these, various examples can be quoted that are being implemented without understanding the needs and other attributes that are directly and indirectly affected by the plans and policies.

Though research and monitoring is going on that measures the progress of the country on all aspects, the record-keeping of the same is either improper or not done at all which further hampers the path to achieving SDGs. However, there cannot be universal sustainable plans because the priority of every country is based on its climatic conditions, industrial regulations, accessibility to resources, and various other factors. For example, war-torn countries’ priority is to have competent arms and ammunitions. Hence, individual planning of the SDGs by individual countries has to be done. The economic, environmental, financial, legal, and political factors vary in each country.

Contributed by Anjeela content writer at Mitti Ke Rang

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