The late Winin Pereira designed India’s first nuclear reactor module but left the industry when he realised that this power was to be used for military purposes. After designing medical equipment, including a nationally used heart valve, he built up an NGO advising small farmers in rural Maharashtra for many years. He and Jeremy Seabrook then founded the Centre for Holistic Studies in Bandra, Bombay in 1991.
Four years later, having become an active member of CHS, a small Restitution Fund, UK was set up, sourced from teaching income/pension. This is administered jointly with Winin’s daughter and son-in-law, Herman and Vinita Rodrigues in Bandra, Mumbai. Part of it is used to fund one area of the centre’s work in India – researching the industrial, food and medicinal properties of Indian plants and disseminating the information to small cultivators.
This work now continues in Nashik directed by Subhash Sule who, for over twelve years, worked closely with Winin at the Centre for Holistic Studies in Bandra.
Regular support is also given to the dynamic work of the Centre for Environmental Research and Education (CERE) set up a few years ago by other colleagues, Rashneh Pardiwala and Kitayun Rustom. CERE ably organised rainwater harvesting projects in an urban location and five villages, largely financed by the fund.
However, despite India’s needs, Winin insisted that a larger proportion of the money available should be used to support change in Britain. He was excited when he read a book called Greening the North written by members of Germany’s Wuppertal Institute, one of whom – Wolfgang Sachs – had visited him some years ago. This book confirmed his belief that beneficial change in the industrialised countries – which were depleting resources and polluting the world at a greater rate than the Two Thirds World – was not only urgently needed but achievable.
To give some understanding of the funding intention, Mr Sachs readily agreed that we might use the title Greening the North – which he pointed out is now ‘part of the commons’ – for the name of that part of the fund used in Britain.