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Change. It’s never pleasant and many would say that it has become a tendency for us to resist it. There is a trio of macro aspects- ‘The Green Three’ as I like to call them-large scale shift towards clean energy and electric vehicles, massive reduction or total elimination of plastic use and efficient management of waste (solid and water). This also comprises of sustainability quotient (SQ).

Pedestrians trying to cross the road in bustling traffic.
Caught in the middle.

In my humble opinion could make all the difference in how our bustling cities of today shape up for tomorrow and define our quality of lives, especially in large cities.

Climate Emergency (yes, not Climate Change) can be a great equalizer. Mother Nature does not recognize you any of the trappings that we have chosen to bind ourselves to-a billionaire and a daily wage worker both will eventually meet the same fate if there is a lack of basics that a human needs-breathable air, drinkable water and by extension, eatable food. 

The Electric Vehicle ecosystem continued to gain momentum in globally during the year gone by, despite naysayers of many sizes and hues who continue to take great pain to undermine the Energy+Mobility Transformation or The Fourth Industrial Revolution -yes it would not be incorrect to call it so.

A volunteer holds a placard which reads "We will make a pollution free city" at a traffic intersection usually congested, on the first day of a two-week experiment to reduce the number of cars to fight pollution in New Delhi, India, Friday, Jan. 1, 2016.
A volunteer holds a placard which reads “We will make a pollution-free city” at a traffic intersection usually congested, on the first day of a two-week experiment to reduce the number of cars to fight pollution in New Delhi, India, Friday, Jan. 1, 2016. (AP Photo/Altaf Qadri)

Most of us in India are aware of the positive benefits that a large-scale shift to EVs could bring in terms of a better environment which is beyond doubt and many claim that financially too, EVs make sense in the long run. But there are many underlying benefits to adopting and embracing this change-disruptive as it may be-it’s ripple effects have the possibility to have far-reaching societal benefits that are not so obvious.

Having had the opportunity of being a part of the EV ecosystem for a while now, I recall one particular day where I found myself contemplating-not for the first time-on the inherent goodness and intelligence of the common man in India.

As part of my experience, I witnessed an acceptance, curiosity to know more and willingness to actively move towards EVs-across a wide socio-economic cross-section: right from the humble shop attendant with little to no education to a well-placed software executive.

Their honest feedback was something that was personally rewarding beyond any monetary fulfilment and made me realise that they knew what is good for them but more importantly, they also knew what was good for their city and the country to a point where this awareness would translate into actionable steps when it came to embracing the changes needed.

Cities are Maze. Credit : Pexel

‘Market forces’ is a term often used typically by those in the banking and finance sectors but any analyst or manager worth his/her salt will agree if you told them that when the masses generate demand for something that is the biggest market force. And it is this kind of demand that makes the high and mighty sit up and take notice and we start seeing changes that would otherwise be in limbo for a plethora of reasons because India along with being a beautiful mix of amazing and good things, is also complicated.

The other aspect that could possibly reduce stress levels induced by commuting or driving in any form-is the noise pollution. It has been shown that almost all major cities in India have an average decibel level that is significantly above permissible levels. And with change in mobility choices-it could well be the case that you go through the daily grind with a decrease in mental and physical exhaustion.

Safe, Affordable and Clean Commute should probably be declared as a basic right-then maybe it would not be the struggle that it is-unknowingly taking a toll on so many people and thus the society-& country.

Lastly, in a larger sense, it is of utmost importance that we work on developing a good amount of SQ-Sustainability Quotient-because while IQ and EQ are established parameters for judging a person’s abilities, it is a healthy dose of SQ that will enable us to live well while respecting our planet.

To that end, we need to take steps now, right this moment-start from your own home-be wise with the way you consume electricity and water to start with and you will see, once you start thinking of it-there will be a lot you will want to do and well, there is a lot to do.

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