For sustainable development, looting of natural resources must stop, H. Sudarshan, Director of Karuna Trust and Vivekananda Girijana Kalyana Kendra (VGKK), Bangalore, has said.

He was speaking at Samprathi, a two-day seminar on “Sustainable development towards a self-reliant India”, organised by the Department of Masters in Social Work (MSW) of St Aloysius College and the Karnataka Regional Organisation for Social Service (KROSS) in the college on Tuesday.

He said illegal mining of iron ore and other minerals must stop. Corruption was ubiquitous. It was related to sustainable development and inequities. Because of inequitable distribution of resources, the political system had people with no concern for mother earth.

Mr. Sudarshan said that equity issues in the economy had to be looked at as the percolation theory was not working. “There is no evidence to show percolation (of development) to those living below the poverty line (BPL) and the masses,” he said. Organisations had a big role to play to ensure that the gap between the rich and the poor was bridged. There were inequities such as caste, regional and gender discrimination to be addressed (in India), he said. “Use nature's resources in a limited way, do not leave carbon footprint, do not use fossil fuels for daily needs, and live in harmony with nature,” Mr. Sudarshan said.

Joseph Ignatius Rodrigues, rector, St. Aloysius College, and Swebert D'Silva, principal, St. Aloysius College, spoke.

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