Mandela

When I first wrote this, in June this year, Nelson Mandela was lying seriously ill in a hospital bed in Pretoria…

Although nobody wants to say it, we are all thinking that this may be the end. The spectre of death prompts reflections on  life, and like millions of others around the world, I am reflecting on what a profound effect this man has had on mine.

His words, “Overcoming poverty is not a gesture of charity, it is an act of justice” are the strapline to my blog. It’s a profound truth that took me decades to understand, and once I had, Mandela’s words expressed it perfectly. The best teacher phrases the important things in a way you cannot forget.

Looking around me now, I notice that Mandela has infiltrated my world in many other ways too. A post-it reminding me that “you have the same number of hours in your day as Nelson Mandela” (source unknown). Some pieces of jagged, black rock that I picked up on Robben Island (which prick my conscience). A postcard with his curiously child-like grandfather-face gazing seriously out at me. And of course, Long Walk to Freedom taking up four ordinary books’ widths on my bookshelf.

One of my deepest regrets was not getting on the bus taking a group of colleagues to hear him address the Make Poverty History rally in Trafalgar Square in 2005. It turned out to be his last public appearance. I don’t even remember now what petty administrative task I prioritised over seeing and hearing the great man in person. Another lesson learned: recognise – and then seize – the moment.

Since then I’ve been daydreaming about ways of manipulating the six degrees of separation to put me in the same room as him (the theory goes that each of us is linked via just six people to every other individual on the planet). Which six stand between me and Nelson Mandela? I got as close as the pew behind Mandela’s fellow anti-apartheid  warrior, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, in Cape Town… and now sadly, I’m beginning to accept that that’s probably as close as I’ll ever get.

Me and Desmond Tutu

I suspect he’d hate this fawning celebrity-hunter attitude towards him. So why does he have this effect on people? It’s similar to the power that the Dalai Lama has. I think it is a combination of innate leadership – he was born and educated in a royal household – with a deep and utterly sincere humility.  Martin Kalungu Banda relates the story of an industry official visiting Mandela. When they sat down to eat, Mandela asked “Weren’t there two of you?” The official said “No, I came on my own”. Mandela got up, went out to the car and insisted that the visitor’s driver join them for the meal.

This chimes deeply with me because I was brought up in a privileged household being waited on by the less privileged (and compared to those with no jobs or backbreaking, pittance-paid labour, even they were relatively privileged). As kids, when we were driven to a party, we never gave the driver a thought all the time we were having fun, until we were ready to go home again and needed him. That stabs my conscience now. I’ve been trying to atone for it ever since.

For me, what burns through all that this extraordinary man has achieved, is his revulsion at the idea of one human being tolerating the humiliation or suffering of another. Shirley du Boulay in her biography of Archbishop Desmond Tutu quotes an interview between the Archbishop and Colin Morris in 1995. Mandela was then President of South Africa and F. W. de Klerk, one of the men who had kept him in prison – and his people oppressed – for decades, was Deputy. Morris asks Tutu “Where has this extraordinary magnanimity and forgiveness come from – on the black side?” Tutu replies that it is partly from Christianity, but “before that, something called ubuntu – the essence of being human – which places a great premium on solidarity, on social harmony. Anything that undermines that is bad…”

This is how Mandela describes ubuntu: “In the old days… a traveller through a country would stop at a village and he didn’t have to ask for food or for water. Once he stops the people give him food, entertain him. That is one aspect of ubuntu. Ubuntu does not mean that people should not enrich themselves. The question, therefore, is are you going to do so in order to enable the community around you to improve? These are the important things in life.”

It was in this spirit that he forgave, and went on to work with, the instigators of the brutal injustice of apartheid. And it is also in this spirit that he approaches the equally brutal injustice of poverty. In 2004, he wrote to the group that had campaigned successfully for Oxford to become a Fairtrade City, saying:

 “I again rejoice and congratulate you on your continuing work to promote social justice and development in our world.  Fair trade offers producers in developing countries a just return for their labour and an opportunity to help their communities to grow and develop with the proceeds they receive… This is an important step forward.  We must continue on this path, to build real opportunities and freedom for all”. 

No matter how many hours I have in my day, I could never hope to fill them as productively as Mandela. I don’t have a fraction of the courage, stamina, humility and wisdom of that frail old man in a Pretoria hospital bed. But I do share his humanity. And I can learn from him the lesson of ubuntu, respecting the humanity of others in deed, as well as thought.

That’s why I choose to join thousands of others working to end the injustice of poverty. People in developing countries making things for people in the privileged world to buy usually can’t earn enough to eat well, send their children to school and get care when they’re sick.

Maybe one day this will be as unthinkable as black South Africans who serve the privileged whites being forced by law to live in poverty and to get no education and substandard healthcare.

As Mandela said in the Trafalgar Square speech that I missed: “Like slavery and apartheid, poverty is not natural. It is man-made and it can be overcome and eradicated by the actions of human beings.” 

Amen to that. R.I.P. Nelson Mandela – Madiba December 5th 2013

Why I refuse to hate the EDL

Bernie Boston photo George Harris Pentagon 1967
Bernie Boston photo George Harris Pentagon 1967

Drummer Lee Rigby’s brutally misguided killers used his death to make a spurious religious and political point. (as related by passerby, Ingrid Loyau-Kenett) Since then, extremist organisations like the EDL have also tried to use his murder to make their own points. They are accused of capitalising on the sense of outrage and fear that the killing generated in British people to promote their cause. 

This has triggered anti-fascist organisations and individuals to oppose, ridicule and revile them in social networks and on the streets. This ominous pendulum is now set to swing back and forth, from far right to far left, with no hope of anyone from either side ever finding common ground or agreeing on anything.

But of course, finding common ground is not, in fact, the purpose of the exercise. The purpose is for members of each extreme to reinforce their identity, for each tribe to stake its territory. Sadly, the effect of this will be to drive each extreme further apart, and more sadly, those who were moderate will be driven further towards extremism.

When I was at university I got involved, through a boyfriend, with an animal rights group. Naively, I thought that they were kind animal lovers who just wanted to expose and try to end cruelty to animals. But when we arrived at the secret location of the meeting, I found a group of angry and aggressive young people with a strong sense of persecution. They showed videos of animals being tortured in laboratories, which got us all emotional and hyped up. Then a woman rushed in yelling that one of the group had been arrested for kicking a dustbin. “You’re allowed to kick animals in this country, but not dustbins” she spat in indignant rage – and there were angry murmurings around the room as our hatred was turned up one notch higher. The experience scared me so much I never went back.

But I never once saw that boyfriend stroke a cat or pat a dog. And his demeanour towards human beings was not exactly warm either.  What was important, exciting, for him and his group was the feeling of being morally right and using that feeling to justify illegal and aggressive acts. And then feeling further justified in their fight when those acts were opposed or punished. He could just as easily have been an EDL supporter. Or a militant Islamist. Or a violent anti-fascist. These are the natural extremists – which extreme hardly matters. But there are also ordinary people who get drawn towards these extremes through reasonable levels of concern and fear.

A Facebook page called ‘I Love Immigrants’ usually posts gentle, positive profiles of people who have migrated to Britain and contributed to society. But since Woolwich their posts have focused on the EDL, describing them and their actions as “disgusting”, “nonsense”, “bad form”, “feeble” and “moronic”.

Meanwhile, a UKIP official has included Drummer Rigby’s family in a statement calling those who think the EDL is fascist “idiots”. The EDL’s leader, “Tommy Robinson”, Tweeted that he would “stick 2 fingers up at political correctness” when the charity Help for Heroes, whose tshirt Drummer Rigby was wearing when he was killed, refused donations collected by Robinson.

Watching the TV footage of the EDL and anti-fascist marches, it was hard to tell the expressions in the EDL marchers’ faces apart from those of the anti-fascist protestors.  “Racist scum! Racist scum!”, they screamed, jabbing raised, accusatory fingers in the air – a gesture chillingly reminiscent of the EDL’s Nazi salutes. I am wholeheartedly anti-fascist, but I wonder what effect the chants and finger-stabbing would have had on, say, a Woolwich housewife who might have joined the EDL march because she was terrified by what had happened to Lee Rigby and believed the EDL’s public rhetoric that they were fighting to protect her and her children?

Lee Rigby’s killers were terrorists in the sense that their actions have created terror among British people. At the same time, a spokesperson for the charity Faith Matters said after the killing;  “Muslims at this moment are feeling a real and pervasive sense of fear”. The incidence of attacks on Muslims reported to the charity has increased tenfold since May 22nd, mosques are being firebombed and sprayed with graffiti, Muslim men are being attacked and women having their veils ripped off.  And they are also, of course, as vulnerable to terrorist attacks as the rest of us.

Attacking random Muslims is wrong. And killing Lee Rigby was wrong. And killing innocent Afghans and Iraqis is wrong. And torturing animals is wrong. And tear-gassing protestors is wrong…but two (or more) wrongs, don’t make a right.

In a country that prides itself on an adversarial system of justice and an oppositional system of government, perhaps strident opposition seems like an appropriate response to violence and hatred. In a courtroom and in Parliament, there is agreement on either side to accept the judgement or vote that is delivered. But in post-Woolwich Britain there is no judge or jury to decide between the advocates of hatred and fear. Voters who have been made afraid by the actions of the killers are being offered a party to vote for… as Leanne Staven, who joined an EDL march after the killing, puts it “We need a voice… I think white British who have any concerns feel we can’t speak freely”.

However much you disagree with how each side expresses their opinions, there’s nothing you can do about the fact that they have them. Except acknowledge it. Like the carbon that turns into diamonds under intense pressure, the harder you oppose their views, the harder they get. And the more they oppose you, the harder your position will get.

The most courageous and effective response so far to this whole hideous mess has been that of the mosques that have invited their local communities, including EDL supporters, in for tea and biscuits. Quoted in the Huffington Post, mosque elder Professor Mohamed El-Gomati said, “If people sat down and talked, they may come to common, shared ground rather than shouting from a distance and not hearing what the other person is saying… Rather than have a shouting match outside we have invited people in to have a discussion and show solidarity over a cup of tea with us and see exactly what we are doing to dispel any myths. There is nothing better than knowledge.”

There are precedents for diffusing violence in surprising and gentle ways. The one that sticks in my mind is fictional – yet powerful; the scene in Anthony Minghella’s film, Truly, Madly, Deeply when a argument in a café that threatens to turn ugly is suddenly derailed by someone performing an impromptu conjuring trick. He throws a book into the air and it turns into a live pigeon that flies away.

But there was also the real life example of the Belfast policeman who stopped bottle-throwing youth in  their tracks by replacing his police car siren with the tune from an ice cream van, turning the angry yells into laughter. And then there was Flower Power when 100,000 protestors against the Vietnam war in 1967 met armed soldiers with flowers, some inserting them into the barrels of their guns. And there was Gandhi’s satyagraha – passive resistance – movement which perplexed the British who were ready to fight fire with fire.

The trouble with that approach is that what you end up with is just more fire. The more we drive each other to extremes, the more likely it is that Woolwich murder suspect Michael Adebowale’s wish will be granted, that there will be a war on the streets of Britain.

Let’s not choose that. Let’s choose to make tea, and conversation, not war.

Spotting a terrorist is easy. They look just like you.

This sign is common on London buses and trains. It seems the same can be said of terrorists. My latest blog on MIT’s CoLab Radio explores the shock of terrorism being committed on our streets – and the streets of Boston – by people who are, superficially at least, “one of us”.  >>read the full post.

NB Since publishing this post I received the following message from the person who was at high school with Dzokar Tsarnaev and whose prom photo I provide a link to in the post. He says:

“Good luck on your piece, but be sensitive to the fact that while he stands out in this picture, this is not an accurate representation of our entire “group of friends”, in reality we are far more diverse. And in a normal day to day setting, Jahar didn’t stand out from the group like he does here.” 

After my initial messages, I haven’t been able to find a way to publish a reply on your site, so if you are reading this, please accept my warmest thanks for your permission to link to the photograph you published on your site. I wish you and your friends a long life of peace and trust and hope that you will be able to find a way to make something – anything – good come out of the nightmare you’ve been through.

Sabita

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Who really killed Drummer Lee Rigby?

Yesterday afternoon Lee Rigby, a young, off-duty soldier was run over by a car and then hacked to death in Woolwich, 10 miles down the road from my home in London.

“The two alleged murderers made no attempt to escape capture by police,” said BBC security correspondent, Frank Gardner. “The investigators will want to know exactly who they are, who they know, and what their motive was for the attack.”

The motive won’t take much searching for (although there are probably many psychological and social layers underlying it). An astonishingly courageous and cool-headed passer-by, Ingrid Loyau-Kennett, kept one of the killers talking to distract him from making further attacks. He told her, “I killed him because he kills Muslims over there and I am fed up that people kill Muslims in Iraq and Afghanistan.” His accomplice is caught on film by another passer-by explaining similar motives.

But finding out “exactly who they are”, will be easier said than done.

One of the attackers has been identified as 28-year old Michael Adebolajo.

But who is Adebolajo? What defines his identity? Is it his religion? If so, which religion? The one he was born into and of which he was a devout follower until he was 16 years old (Christianity)? Or the one he converted to twelve years ago (Islam)? Michael Adebolajo now goes by the name of Mujahid. And lest we leap to judgments about which of those religions is most violent, let us remember that one phrase he uses to explain his actions, “An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth,” is echoed in both the Bible and the Quran (and also in the Jewish Torah).

I read that the attackers had been described as being “of Muslim appearance”. I assumed that this meant that they wore the length of beard, and ‘modest’ (ie loose) clothing prescribed by Islam and favoured by many Middle Eastern and Asian Muslims in the UK and elsewhere. So I was somewhat surprised to see in the news footage, that the man brandishing a bloodied cleaver and knife was a clean-shaven black man wearing a tightly buttoned modern duffel jacket, jeans and a knitted hat. (Perhaps whoever described him as being “of Muslim appearance” had access to more intimate views of Adebolajo?).

Or is his identity defined by his country? If so, which country? The media is describing him as “a Briton of Nigerian descent.” Yet he says in the video ” “I apologise that women had to witness this today, but in our lands our women have to see the same.” It’s my emphasis, because the phrase leapt out at me, spoken as it was by a guy with an unequivocally London accent. Presumably he’s not talking about Nigeria.

Yet later he contradicts himself again by telling us to tell our politicians “to bring our troops back so you can all live in peace”. Again my emphasis. The blood of one of ‘our’ troops was not yet dry on his hands as he spoke these words.

Last night members of the English Defence League, the EDL, took to the streets and two men have been arrested in separate attempts to attack mosques. So clearly they’ve decided to define him by his religion. Not by his ethnicity, as has happened in the past when British cities have been rocked by black vs white ‘race riots’. (A spin-off identity crisis has hit the electricity company EDF which has had to respond to numerous Tweets denouncing – or praising – its participation in last night’s anti-Muslim demonstrations!).

It seems almost arbitrary what aspect of a killer will be chosen to define him; the Boston bombers’ Uncle Ruslan said they had “brought shame on their whole [Chechnyan] ethnicity”, while British Prime Minister, David Cameron, described yesterday’s murder as a ‘betrayal of Islam’. If they had been women, no doubt their gender would have been in the spotlight.

It’s tempting to try to reduce a horrific event like this down into something simple and understandable. Something we can neatly label and put in a box – like ‘Islamist extremists’. But the truth is always messier, more complex and full of contradictions.

Adebolajo has created a mythology for himself, he has clothed himself and his crime with multiple identities – Islamic jihadist, defender of women’s delicate sensibilities, messenger to British politicians, liberator of the British people. But these mythologies are just that, an attempt to give his crime a veneer of glamour.

So if we must reduce his identity to one comprehensible idea, maybe it should be that he is just a man guilty of a cruel and ultimately pointless murder – as cruel and pointless as the murder of an elderly Muslim man in Birmingham last month.

Click here to Save the World

save the world click hereMy Granny used to raise money for Mother Theresa‘s work with the destitute in Calcutta by running jumble sales and whatnot.  Then one day, to Granny’s deep chagrin, Mother T told her supporters that henceforth, simply running jumble sales was not enough. It was too easy. They should find ways of “giving till it hurts”.

How shocked she would be to discover that nowadays we can help simply  by pressing a button.

Granny was also one of the first to donate used clothes to Oxfam‘s (and the world’s) first ever charity shop in Oxford’s Broad Street. Charity, since then, has become big business. There are pros and cons to this. Oxfam at one point allegedly had more followers than the then ruling Labour party had members, and can therefore cause big (corporate) businesses to quake at the mere suggestion of a campaign.

Modern charities and campaigning organisations like these can harness the power of social media to make it easy – effortless even – for us to support their causes. Their healthy marketing budgets help them craft the sound bite that will most effectively push our emotional buttons so that we unquestioningly push their ‘donate’ buttons, or their ‘Sign the petition’ buttons.

I am not (necessarily) questioning the good intentions of these organisations, but I think it is too easy to be swayed by the pull of a heartstring. In this age of information democratisation,  I think we have a responsibility not to take the easy path, but to look deeply and honestly at both sides of any argument presented to us, and make our own informed decisions.

I learned this lesson last year when, like many in Oxford, I was being frequently waylaid by campaigners to ‘Save Temple Cowley Pool‘. They would regale me, like so many yellow-tshirted Ancient Mariners, with tales of corrupt Oxford City Councillors trying to deprive them of their swimming pool for nefarious economic and political reasons and build it in Blackbird Leys, a low income housing estate on the outskirts of Oxford. They argued that Blackbird Leys residents were being tricked into losing their green spaces to car parks and having their gardens flooded.

Then an actual Blackbird Leys resident told me, quietly, “We would really like to have the pool here – it would be great for the kids – but those town ladies don’t want us to have it for some reason”.

Another friend, who worked for Oxford City Council, told me the campaign was doomed because the pool itself was; it had a structural fault which meant it would be impossible to keep it open. Now all of this could be – as the campaigners tried to convince me – scurrilous misinformation, but at the very least it shows that the story is more complex than they would have had us believe. I expect the truth is always more complex than anyone thinks.

That’s when I vowed never to sign another petition or make another donation without first checking the facts for myself as far as possible. So I have been steadfastly hardening my heart to pictures of cute, sad-eyed beagles who may or may not be being tortured in science labs, hesitating over emails urging me to ‘donate now to end the killing of garment workers‘ and even callously refusing to share a Facebook post informing people (wrongly) how to survive a heart attack when they are alone.

Before I do anything, I will check the facts.

It’s not easy. It takes time. It seems cynical. But it’s better than supporting a flawed cause, spreading misinformation that could actually cost someone’s life, or being used as an emotional cash machine by organisations that may or may not be able to achieve what they claim they can.

Even this wouldn’t be going far enough for Mother Theresa, but I think she would approve of the principle. (Sorry, Granny).

Can a $4 tshirt bring down a factory building?

with great power tshirt cropThe sight of Reshma Begum being pulled alive and uninjured from the wreckage of the collapsed Rana Plaza building in Bangladesh has sent a wave of joy and relief around the world. But on April 24th, when the world first woke to the news of the collapse of the eight-story factory crushing to death hundreds of men and women, we felt a tsunami of rage and immediately sought a culprit.

When it emerged that cut-price western brand name companies were sourcing from that factory, we sought no more. Multinational company = greed/evil/heartlessness. How could they possibly produce $4 t-shirts without exploiting workers and putting their lives at risk?

But can the price of a t-shirt really lead to a fatal crack in an eight-story building? In my latest blog for MIT’s CoLab Radio, I try to see the full picture. >>go to CoLab Radio

UPDATE: Top companies sign Accord on Fire and Buildling Safety in Bangladesh

Elma

Day of Action stall - ElmaThis morning I received an email saying that Elma, who I knew briefly through my time as a member of a FairTrade group, had died. I only met her a few times, but she was one of those people who made you instantly feel like a friend.  She will always be one of my heroes. Here’s why.

At my first FairTrade meeting, Elma sparkled with energy, ideas and sensible suggestions. It was only when the meeting ended and we all got up – all except Elma – that I realised she was in a wheelchair.

And that was almost the last time I noticed that she was in a wheelchair. The wheelchair was not what defined Elma, any more than the mobility of our legs is what defines the non-wheelchair bound among us.

Elma was a woman on a mission. With the help of her husband, Ian, and a group of volunteers, she supported the work of another incredible woman, Maryam Bibi, whose organisation Khwendo Kor, does many things, including setting up schools for girls and income generation projects for women… in Taliban territory in North West Pakistan. Needless to say, Maryam and her team suffer regular death threats and attempts on their lives – but they insist on carrying on their work.

It was the same dogged determination and insistence on doing what was right in the face of adversity that kept Elma attending meetings, organising fundraisers and manning stalls selling piles of colourful baskets made by Pakistani women.

She told me once about getting the chance to visit Khwendo Kor. The Foreign Office strongly advised against the visit to one of the most dangerous places in the world. But, laughing mischievously, Elma told me she refused to pass up the opportunity of a lifetime, and ignored the advice, making Ian drag her up and down the mountains! Ian still looked a bit shaken at the memory of it!

Attached to the email about Elma’s death, was a letter she had left her family. I hope they will forgive me for sharing it with you, and I hope you will be as inspired, amused and moved as I was by Elma’s no-nonsense appreciation of the good in her life and her refusal to succumb to self-pity or pride:

“Dear family,” it begins, “Bossy and interfering to the last, I thought you might like some suggestions for my funeral…”

After listing the hymns and readings she would like, she continues;

“… Above all, don’t let anyone go on about illness and suffering bravely borne! I should like someone to say that I was blessed beyond anyone I know, in the family I was born into, the countryside I grew up in, the friends I made, the husband I married and the children I had, and the sense I had of the enveloping love of God which followed me all the days of my life and would not let me go.”

Needless to say, instead of flowers for her funeral she has requested donations to Friends of Khwendo Kor

Horse Tales

Image: Catholic Herald 

Good old Billy Bragg was on the radio the other day promoting Tooth & Nail, his new album of love songs – a departure from his usual pared down, political and protest songs. When challenged by the presenter on his objection to a preponderance of public school alumni in the music charts (“That’s just the market, isn’t it?”), he said “Yeah, well you know what you get if you leave everything to the market, don’t you? You get horsemeat in your burgers.”

To us vegetarians one large, herbivorous animal’s flesh is pretty much as unpalatable as another, but the point, I suppose, is that if it says beef burger on the tin and what you’re actually getting is horse – you wonder what else could have been smuggled in there? It has raised the spectre in the British psyche of the labyrinthine Supply Chain; Supply Chains that link farms and abattoirs and agents and contractors and packers and exporters and retailers and processors – looping back and forth across Europe like so many steaming entrails, until traceability becomes all but impossible.

How tightly those dark and twisting entrails bind us to our European neigh(sorry)bours! Because as well as the content of your food, you may also be surprised to learn how it is being processed – and by whom. Oh, what tales are secreted along those British food industry Supply Chains! Tales of Lithuanians being trafficked into the UK  and driven up and down the country for weeks, forced to chase free-range chickens all night (…not quite sure why) and sleeping in the van by day. Tales of Romanian children picking strawberries on Worcestershire farms – a grim parody of the jolly family outings to pick-your-own farms we enjoyed when we were children. Tales of teenage Chinese cockle pickers dragged to their deaths by the freezing tides of Morecombe Bay… (here’s Christy Moore’s tribute song for them).

But for me, the most curious tale of all is where all this cheap horsemeat has suddenly appeared from; another sobering reminder of how intimately globalisation has bound us all together. A few years ago, Romania banned horse drawn carts from its roads, creating an embarrasse des cheveaux. Well, if you were an impoverished Romanian horse cart owner, what would you do? Hark the quiet clacking of global economic dominoes falling… it begins with a Romanian government transport official’s signature and ends in the burger between your buns.

I’m sorry, is this post getting too depressing? To cheer you up again, here’s a joke I heard the other day: “There will be fewer Romanians than we feared flooding into Britain when they join the EU next year… we’ve eaten all their transport”.*

If Billy Bragg’s not busy penning a musical response to the horsemeat scandal he darn well should be.

* More horsemeat jokes? Here you go – with apologies to Ikea and Tesco.

Human Rights for Santa’s Elves?

Today, December 10th is International Human Rights Day. Are the rights of Santa’s elves being respected as they toil to make your gifts?

I finished most of my Christmas shopping yesterday. But this year I felt less morally conflicted about spending so much money on frivolous gifts while so many others don’t even have enough for their basic needs. Because this year I’ve had a revelation, thanks to my new workplace: virtually everything we buy in the wealthy West is made not by elves, but by someone in a developing country… >>read more

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A beautiful solution to a natural problem

I was always embarrassed by sanitary towel adverts on telly – to my daughter’s disapproval. Then, in February this year, I went to India as part of a Pepal’s management development programme, and was allocated to a group looking at feminine hygiene. I discovered a fascinating world of cultural taboos, brave and ingenious entrepreneurs, ecological, social and economic dilemmas. My latest blog for MIT’s Colab Radio describes the problem, and some beautiful solutions.