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Strive: Toward a more just, sustainable future
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Strive: Toward a more just, sustainable future

Author: IPS Inter Press Service

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Existing models and approaches are not leading to progress. Strive seeks out new voices to talk about fresh ideas to create a more just and sustainable world. By IPS News.
5 Episodes
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Welcome to Strive, a podcast by IPS News. My name is Marty Logan. The illicit trade in idols and other historical treasures looted from temples, archaeological digs and various sites globally has been estimated at $100 billion a year. A more telling figure might be the nearly 18,000 villagers in India’s Tamil Nadu state who turned out to welcome home a god figure stolen from one of their temples. More revealing still is the image of a single villager who, seeing a stolen god displayed in a Singapore Museum, falls to the ground and starts to pray. Vijay Kumar accompanied that villager to the museum, and has witnessed idols lovingly replaced to their ages-old spots in Tamil Nadu temples. For 16 years he has been working to repatriate gods and goddesses looted from India over the years, and the challenges remain huge, he tells us in today’s episode. For example, in 2020, police seized 19,000 stolen artefacts in an international art trafficking crackdown. 101 suspects were arrested with treasures from around the world, including Colombian and Roman antiquities. One activist estimates that in France alone there are 116,000 African objects that should be returned.But Vijay is encouraged by the successes of citizen-led movements like his own, which began with a blog, Poetry in Stone, then the launch of the group India Pride Project. Success can be measured in the growing number of artefacts returned to India: 19, from 1970-2000; 0, from 2000-2013; but 300+ after 2013. That includes roughly 250 items valued at about $15 million, which were repatriated in October, among the treasures looted by disgraced art dealer Subhash Kapoor, the subject of Vijay’s book, The Idol Thief. Today’s conversation is packed with information, including Vijay’s opinion that countries like India and Nepal, where idols are part of the living heritage and still prayed to daily, should be treated differently than countries whose artefacts are looted from buried remains. He also has advice for would-be activists — in the murky world of art repatriation, be very, very wary about accepting money from anyone.ResourcesThe Idol ThiefUnited Nations convention on cultural propertyReport: Facebook's black market in antiquitiesVijay Kumar on TwitterStrive on TwitterStrive on FacebookIPS News
Welcome to Strive, a podcast by IPS News. My name is Marty Logan. Today we’re talking about the aftermath of the horrendous murder of George Floyd in 2020 and the protests that ensued. But first, this is the fourth episode of the show, and we’d really like to hear what you think of it. So could you please take a minute to rate and review us on Apple Podcasts. Thank you!The brutal murder of George Floyd on May 25, 2020 horrified people around the world. The weeks of massive demonstrations that followed, and the often violent response by police, left many of us captivated and inspired others worldwide to take to the streets in solidarity. Racial justice activist and organizer Larry Dean would normally have been leading people onto the streets of Chicago, as he had been doing for a decade—but this killing struck him to his core. Instead he went back to his family home to try to tune out the world. Today, Dean looks back on those dark days and can identify some shafts of light in the movement for racial justice and equality in the United States. But are they bright enough to reveal a path to autonomy and freedom for Black people, one that can overcome a biased justice system, impoverished schools, police budgets that are still ballooning in many cities and many other barriers? Listen now to my conversation with Larry Dean to find out. ResourcesBYP100Strive on TwitterStrive on FacebookIPS News
Welcome to Strive: Toward a more just, sustainable future, a new podcast by IPS News. My name is Marty Logan. 2020 was a year of tremendous upheaval. The murder of George Floyd, followed by global Black Lives Matter protests, Covid-19 and the stark light that the pandemic shone on inequality within countries and between the global north and south, protests and brutal repression after elections in Belarus, ongoing demonstrations for climate action led by youth around the world, to name just a few. Civil society, that is all sectors of our lives that are not family, government or for-profit, played a central role in all of these movements. But are those actions leading to positive results that will change people’s lives for the better? Today’s guest, Lysa John, Secretary General of CIVICUS, a global alliance of civil society groups, responds unequivocally yes. She points to past examples like the campaigns to recognize women’s right to vote and for legal recognition of gay rights. In these tumultuous times, she argues, what civil society must do better is channel the energy of the movements on the streets into medium and long-term projects to build alternatives to existing structures.Please listen now to my interview with Lysa John. If you enjoyed the conversation, make sure that you follow, favourite or like Strive on your podcast player. If you thought it was great, why don’t you give us a review on Apple podcasts? It will help to raise our profile so more people can hear what we’re doing. Between episodes you can catch up with us on Twitter and Facebook at ipsnews. My name is Marty Logan. I’ll be back soon. Strive is a production of IPS News. ResourcesCIVICUS websiteStrive on TwitterStrive on FacebookIPS News
Do you think it’s possible to transform communities that are stagnating from a lack of currency into places where people’s income-generating activities create a vibrant, self-sustaining circular economy?  It is in parts of Kenya that are using the community currency Sarafu, according to today’s guest.  Shaila Agha is Director of Grassroots Economics, which developed Sarafu. She tells us how coupling the currency—which is traded via wallets on mobile phones—with a development initiative, like more sustainable farming techniques, can transform communities. They go from places where a shortage of Kenya shillings can squelch economic activity to being communities where each person is given an equal chance to participate and is rewarded for being an active member. This is such an intriguing initiative and seems so full of promise. That probably explains why the number of users has jumped 500% since January 2020, and why Sarafu could soon be expanding from Kenya into Cameroon. A bonus is that the currency works on blockchain technology, making it fully transparent, a feature that attracted a recent investment from UNICEF’s Innovation Centre.If you enjoyed this episode of Strive, please help spread the word by rating or reviewing the show on Apple podcasts. You can also subscribe, follow or favourite Strive on any podcast app. Stay up-to-date with us between episodes on Twitter and Facebook, at IPS News. You can email me at mlogan@ipsnews.net. ResourcesGrassroots EconomicsStrive on TwitterStrive on Facebook
Footage of flames engulfing bodies at makeshift funeral pyres and stories of people dying in cars as drivers desperately raced from hospital to hospital seeking a bed. These scenes marked the second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic in India just months ago. Nepal was similarly walloped: staff turned away people at intensive care units and patients attached to oxygen cylinders were being treated in parking lots. Other South Asian countries were less affected but overall Covid-19 has officially killed 450,000 people in the region since 2020. With vaccines expected to arrive painfully slowly in coming months—India for example has fully vaccinated just 6% of its population, Nepal 4% and Pakistan 2%—mask wearing needs to be the priority, says the guest on today’s episode of Strive. Maha Rehman is Policy Director at the Mahbub ul Haq Research Centre at Lahore University of Management Sciences, in Pakistan. She is also a leader of the NORM mask-wearing intervention taking place in four countries in the region, and beyond. She describes NORM’s early success in Bangladesh and how finding a way to embed the programme in local communities in each of these very different countries will be key. If you enjoyed this first episode of Strive, please help spread the word by rating or reviewing the show on Apple podcasts. You can also subscribe, follow or favourite Strive on any podcast app. Stay up-to-date with us between episodes on Twitter and Facebook. If you have something to say to me directly email me at mlogan@ipsnews.net. ResourcesNORM mask initiativeStrive on TwitterStrive on Facebook
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