We had a gracious presence of Dr. Ibrahim Abouleish from Kairo, Egypt, in Vishalakshi Mandap yesterday. Dr. Abouleish is winner of the Right Livelihood Award, often called as alternative nobel prize, for his 21st century business model which combines commercial success with social and cultural development.
In a documentary on the project, he explained how, in from the dessert a green township can be established. Looking at dessert, he says, it is not just a pile of sand, it has organisms in it, it can be cultivated for generating crops and trees.
Using compost fertilizers, organic farming and water from deep wells, he and his team on the SEKEM project created a green township out of a dessert place. He says, we need to give the land in the better form to our next generation, by cultivating it. It has given employment to over 2000 local people.
Sekem has integrated lots of environment friendly, culture preserving values. Every creature in the nature is given importance and revered, as it plays its own role in the ecology of the system. They have 50% female employees, unlike other organizations in that area. Their meetings start with a musical instrumental piece. They have side projects based on garments exports. In a way to cultivate holistic education of children, they have the tradition of shaking hand with each child as he/she enters the classroom, facilitating looking into the eyes of the child, and breaking any inhibitions between the child and the teacher. Starting from a barren land, Dr. Abouleish has developed the Sekem project with an excellent spirit of entrepreneurship.