World can learn from India how to build sustainable future amid Covid crisis: Prince Charles

Addressing the India Global Week, Prince Charles said it was time that the world learnt ancient wisdom from India as it seeks to revive itself from the coronavirus crisis.

Britain’s Prince Charles. (Photo: Reuters)

Prince Charles on Friday hailed India’s ‘sustainable’ way of life as he advocated that people should look at rebuilding the world in the current crisis by putting “people” and “planet” at the heart of their economy.

Speaking at India Global Week through a virtual link from London, the Prince of Wales said, “As we rebuild in the current crisis, we have an unparalleled opportunity to put people and planet at the heart of global value creation, and to move towards sustainable markets that generate long-term value through the balance of natural, social, human and physical capital. Investments in all four forms of capital can increase living standards and wellbeing in a sustainable way everywhere, particularly to the poorest people.”

Prince Charles also said he spoke to Prime Minister Modi on the importance of “sustainable living”. Speaking about the ancient yogic concept of ‘Aparigraha’, Prince Charles said it was time that the world learnt these ancient wisdom from India as it seeks to revive itself.

“India has always understood this. Its philosophy and values have emphasised the sustainable way of life and a harmonious relationship between humanity and nature. For example, the yogic principle of ‘Aparigraha’ (the virtue of non-possessiveness, non-grasping or non-greediness) encourages us to keep only that which is necessary at a certain stage of life. We could all perhaps learn from such examples of ancient wisdom,” he said.

“As we look to rebuild our economic model in a world that is made greener and equitable, it is vital that we prioritise those things that are absolutely vital,” he said.

Speaking at a forum that is focused on the theme ‘Be The Revival’, Prince Charles advocated for building a “circular bio-economy”.

“Looking forward, new employment opportunities, new industries and markets rooted in genuine sustainability are within our grasp with the potential for unprecedented economic activity built around a circular bio-economy that places nature and bio-diversity at its heart,” he said.

UK and India are also cooperating on the social front where the Indian diaspora has been working on the use of ‘social finance’ with British Asian Trust and other agencies to be able to provide quality educational and healthcare in India.

“In my many discussions with many members of the Indian diaspora community in the United Kingdom, I’m always so greatly encouraged by their ambition for India’s role in building a sustainable future”, he said.

He ended his brief speech by drawing inspiration from India when he said, “Having had the pleasure of visiting India so many times, I’ve always been struck by her extraordinary diversity and the deep well of creativity and ingenuity and resilience upon which she draws. This is a source of great inspiration to me personally.”

“Now as we deal with current crisis, I am more convinced that it has much to teach us all,” Prince Charles said.

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