This Is What True Sustainable Living Is About- Meet Dr.Hema Sane

Sustainable Living - Mongoose


Can you imagine your life without electricity ? Would you be able to live without your smartphone and social networking?

Quite unimaginable in the current day and time isn’t it ? Yet, there is one such person right here in Pune who has been living without any of these creature comforts that most of us are used to…

Meet Dr Hema Sane, 75, former Head of Department of Botany, Garware College for whom life without electricity is just normal !

For the past 60 years she has been living without electricity and out of choice. There are no bulbs or tube lights to fans in her house, leave alone the modern day gadgets like a microwave, refrigerator, mixer, water heater or a washing machine. 

Her only source of artificial light is an oil lamp and two solar lights that were gifted to her recently.

Sustainable Living - Solar Lamp

Her philosophy in life is to save the planet, save the environment. She believes that sustainable development is the key to a better world.

”From the beginning of the 19th century, the world saw industrial development. However, such development has disturbed the environment. But nature sometimes takes its revenge through its own fury,” says Sane.

I believe in education and science, but I do not try to change my life.

Dr Sane has completed her B.A, M.A and M. Phil from the Tilak Maharashtra Vidyapeeth and worked in Garware College from 1962 to 2000 before she retired.

She has written 30 books and her latest book “Sustainable Development” will be released on June 22.

“When you talk about Gross Domestic Product, you are using some natural resources.

So when you increase GDP, it causes a decrease in natural resources.

So, these are two sides of one coin,” Dr Sane said that on the subject of Sustainable Development.

Sustainable Living - trees

“We cannot borrow resources from other planets. The only thing we can source is energy from the sun.

Otherwise, we have to use whatever is here on earth and also reuse them since these resources are limited and non-replaceable.

“You cannot replace air, water, fertile soil. That means our capital remains the same and we have to regenerate it, or use it in such a way that it will not be harm our future generations.

“When we talk about the Sustainable Development, why do we always talk only about it being for humans? There are other animals, plants and things too which get affected,” she added.

Remember the Six ‘R’sSix 'R's of Environment Sustainable Living - Well

Around Sane’s house, there are birds such as magpies, robins, warblers and fantail flycatchers. The area around also plays host to snakes and mongoose.

Just behind her home is a well with abundant fresh water, proven by the presence of a huge Umbar tree which grows only where there is fresh water.

On the Pune Smart City initiative, Dr Sane said, ”We must strike a balance between development and environment. If you see the condition of the roads is really very bad.

You are just widening the roads, but vehicles are increasing day by day.

So the traffic and pollution problem is increasing. We want solutions on these matters first,” Sane added.


Ruturaj Mogali

Ruturaj Mogali

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Ruturaj Mogali