Kaushal Kishore | Follow @HolyGanga
Report on Eco-Friendly Home that can sustain natural calamities like earthquake
Shri Nand Lal Gupta is a researcher associated with the Pine Research Institute, Solan Himachal Pradesh. Guptaji is 89 years old, who hails from the Himalayan region. He has started his career in the accounts department of the Punjab University. Later he had resigned that service to continue the research work in 1958. Since thereafter he is occupied in the research activities in Soalan. His works are associated with the utility of the plant like cactus, environment-friendly homes that can sustain the earthquakes, water-tanks, etc. Today in the ripe old age, he is occupied in the research on the issues related to ecology and environment in the Himalayas. His experiences are in the diversified fields of study that is a result of hard work of many decades.
The deaths in the Himalayas due to earthquake and landslide pained him to such an extent that he has started to study the 1905 earthquake of Kangara. The destruction was greater in the area occupied by the British due to the construction of concrete buildings. The destructions were reported least in the other regions. The old homes made of mud and soil was able to survive the natural calamities like earthquake. As such he got convinced to study the structure of the old houses made of mud and soil. The extraction of cellulose from the plant like cactus is another interesting feature of his study. He has used this organic chemical to make different types of long-lasting paints. As a result, the govt. of Australia invited him to share his experiences and work with them on the issue of cactus in 1972. Shri Gupta refused to accept the offer from Australia due to his love for the nation.
Shri Gupta came to know about the initiative known as South Asian Dialogues on Ecological Democracy, and wrote a letter to the SADED office. Consequently SADED invited him to visit its office and also advised to share his views in a couple of dialogues organised by the institutions of the SADED network. As a result of that he has shared his ideas at three different platforms while staying in Delhi for a few days. At this office, he has shared with the author of these lines on 31st December 2015. His research works are based on certain problems like the natural phenomenon of earthquake and ecological balance, especially in the Himalayan region. A couple of his colleagues also shared their views regarding his evolution and working style.
The Himalayas is one of the most seismic sensitive zones on our holy planet. According to news reports, in the year 2015 alone the shaking due to earthquakes occurred more than 400 times in this region. In this case the works done by Shri Gupta can prove to be a necessary tool to cope with the prevailing menace of the earthquake. The organic compounds that he has extracted from the nature may be useful in making houses for a large number of people, especially in Himalayan countries. That day he told me regarding the need of INR 25,000.00 (twenty-five thousand rupees) to finish the construction of a water-tank in the Himalayas. A few days after his return from Delhi, he has informed me again that someone arranged that funding so he is going to finish the tank construction. We have discussed how to build such homes while concluding the session that day.
Next day, Shri Gupta has delivered the talk in Apane Desh Ki Baat. I was present there to moderate this session on January 1, 2016. Advocate Ram Nivas Yadav chaired this session. After his speech pleasant reactions came to from every corner. IT consultant Vijay Pandey and engineer Bhadauria ji advised to form a team to visit the project sites in Solan and other parts of Himachal Pradesh in order to explore further details of his research. Dr. Vijay Kumar, the Vice President of Akhil Bharatiya Panchayati Raj Parishad advised to construct one of such sets of environment friendly houses made of mud and soil in Delhi as a pilot project. A few days later Shri Valmiki Singh, the President of Akhil Bharatiya Panchayati Raj Parishad called a meeting and decided to construct such eco-friendly mud house in their campus.
The cactus-based cellulose is used to make encrustation free paints. He has also established a manufacturing unit in Solan to produce such long-lasting paints. In this session he discussed about it to some extent.