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Dewendra Dookna : Environmentalist Activist Keen on Promoting Natural Methods 

Dewendra Dookna : Environmentalist Activist Keen on Promoting Natural Methods
yogic farming
Yogic farming Practical demonstration on the preparation of eco-fertilisers.

Dewendra, also popularly known as Vikram, is extremely passionate about the environment. His love for environment has pushed him towards conducting deeper research and he came forward with a variety of interesting as well as innovative solutions for a greener world. 

A senior Medical Laboratory Technologist, Vikram is well known for his contribution towards the environment. This love emerged when he joined the Brahma Kumaris in 1994, where he was fascinated by the link that our mind has over the environment. This led him to search more on environmental issues. Since then, there was no looking back. 

He started to participate in symposiums here. “My involvement with the United Nations Association of Mauritius has led me to be more involved in environmental issues since 2005. Being the president of the youth wing of the Brahma Kumaris – Global Peace House, I coordinated the first International Coastal Cleanup Day organized on the third Saturday of September each year around the world. It was a first of its kind, two regional youth councils were involved, Pamplemousses and Flacq, the District Council of Flacq, the National Youth Council, the Beach Authority, the National Coast Guard and the Forestry services. We collected over 100 kg of debris scattered on the public beach of Palmar with more than 100 youth volunteers on that day.

Parabolic cooker.
Parabolic cooker.
Tasting is also allowed on the spot to happy visitors.
Tasting is also allowed on the spot to happy visitors.

Moreover, Vikram came forward with other innovative awareness programmes. One of them is solar cooking demonstration and awareness. “I was able to carry our several awareness and demonstration sessions in the country to show the use of solar energy in cooking. The proposed kit consists of a solar cooker box which uses the principle of greenhouse effect to slowly cook the food. It has the advantage of being low cost, low maintenance, user friendly, portable and has a healthy cooking technology. You can even build your own solar cooker box by using simple materials. I even did some demonstrations in Rodrigues, where the people were fascinated.”

His other marvelous contribution includes recycling of paper, collection of used paper, collection of used cooking oil, composting, use of photovoltaic system and rain water harvesting. “My aim is to bring people to realise that we are all interconnected and interrelated by one supreme consciousness. Even nature, animals and humans are one whole. So, if we are harming our environment or animals, we are harming ourselves: The very reason I chose to be a vegan.” 

Dolar cooking demo at Gymkhana during World Environment Day.
Dolar cooking demo at Gymkhana during World Environment Day.

Sustainable yogic agriculture 

He reveals that one of his main initiatives has been sustainable yogic agriculture. “It is the first initiative done in Mauritius to sensitise planters and the public in general about the importance of reverting to natural methods of farming with the support of environment friendly fertilisers and pest controls products.” 

Yogic farm.
Yogic farm.

He explains that special emphasis is laid upon the impact of positive thoughts on plants and bio diversity. “It is a way of practicing agriculture whereby meditation is practiced in the field before planting your seeds till harvesting. Farmers are also taught how to prepare homemade natural fertilisers and insecticides. This technique was first introduced in Mauritius in 2013 by a delegation of the Rural Wing of the Brahma Kumaris World Spiritual University from India. They were invited to visit Mauritius by the local branch of the Brahma Kumaris and this event was coordinated by me. The AREU, now FAREI, collaborated fully in this initiative and organised awareness sessions for planters throughout the island.” 

However, the passionate environmental activist finds it hard to make the world greener. “The mindset of people has not changed. They think more about their personal interests. No wonder if we need to bring a greener society, we need to address the question of our education. Rather on developing skills only, we should develop our emotional skills as well. Understanding our environment requires the use of our heart rather than our head.” 

Yogic farming overseas guests with organisers.
Yogic farming overseas guests with organisers.