June was a momentous month for Greenpeace. This was the month that the Intelligence Bureau (IB) report targeting Greenpeace and other NGOs was leaked. This was the month that Greenpeace was accused of being anti-development and funded by foreign agencies. It was also the month that reinforced the enormous trust that our supporters in India place on us.
03 July 2014
Greenpeace fundraisers on the street.
Despite the controversy of the IB report, the percentage increase of new financial supporters in June was over 100%. This was the highest ever new financial supporter enrolment in a month in India for the organisation. This is a clear sign from the people of India that the work that Greenpeace does is essential and must be continued. The whole-hearted support that our work has received speaks volumes about our credibility and the relationship that Greenpeace has forged with the people of India. Greenpeace India has approximately 3 lakh individual financial supporters. These individuals contribute amounts ranging from a few hundred to a few thousand rupees on a monthly or annual basis to us.
The leaked report is undoubtedly an attempt to intimidate and silence dissent by organisations who are speaking up for voices that never get heard in a democracy such as ours. Greenpeace speaks up against projects that destroy lives and the livelihoods of thousands of villagers. We emphasise issues that might not be on the radar of the government or people and bring it to their notice. We work to prevent our country from being a dump yard for toxic e-waste. Keeping our oceans clean, preserving our wildlife and keeping genetically modified food out of the plates of all Indians are some of the issues that are on our agenda.
As for the accusation that Greenpeace is anti-development, it is ludicrous because Greenpeace is all for development - the sustainable kind. We don't just pursue environmental violations; we also suggest clean energy solutions. Greenpeace has worked with the government of Bihar to set up a micro-grid that provides electricity through solar power to a village that hasn't had electricity for the last 30 years. Our organisation has shown time and again that development does not have to be at the expense of the environment, at the expense of people losing their homes and livelihoods, and at the expense of destroying wildlife habitats. Isn't it evident that the national wealth that is our environment and all that it contains must be preserved for our future generations? Protecting our environment helps all Indians and is not just the prerogative of people from developed countries or the rich. As Chief Seattle has said, "Humankind has not woven the web of life. We are but one thread within it. Whatever we do to the web, we do to ourselves. All things are bound together... all things connect."
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