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A beautiful sunset at Marine Drive, Mumbai, where reclamation for the Coastal Road Project is taking place.

Do we feel guilty? Guilty for not recycling our trash. Guilty for giving away our data for free. Guilty for buying fast fashion. Guilty for owning leather. Guilty for working at a company with questionable ethics. Guilty for eating meat. Guilty for asking for help. Guilty for not fighting an injustice. Guilty for turning the other way. Guilty for not understanding someone’s struggle. Guilty for complaining. Guilty for not speaking out.

How guilty should we feel?

Much to their chagrin, I keep pestering my loved ones to ‘speak up’ about everything that’s going on in the world (the options are endless right now, to be honest). Their reactions range from “but what difference will it make” to “I don’t know what to say about all this” and often “what will people say? …

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At the #MahimBeachCleanup initiative in Mumbai. Photography by Aaryav Mitr.

Most people I know have never heard of the EIA, what it means and why it’s become such a hot topic recently. In fact, even I only recently heard about it and it terrified me. That’s probably because even though I’m interested in social issues, environmental causes and read the news regularly, mainstream media doesn’t cover such policy developments enough to make people really listen or question what’s going on.

I’m simplifying the situation to make it accessible to more people, especially my friends who I know would care about this if they felt like they were in a position to control or change what’s going on. …

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Many small businesses and independent brands take part in Dysco events. Photograph by Abodid Sahoo.

Everywhere you look today you’ll come across the phrase ‘support small businesses’ — in news articles, across influencers’ posts on social media and within brand campaigns too. Becoming ‘vocal for local’ has taken on new meaning thanks to the pandemic and the huge crisis in unemployment and falling consumer demand, both domestically and abroad.

But what does this really mean, and how can you truly support the people and companies that need it most right now?

How do we break past the risk of simply virtue signalling and letting this rally call from becoming just another social media trend? It begins with putting yourself in the shoes of those most impacted and thinking about what they really need right now. And in reality that goes much beyond using a sticker to give someone a shout out on Instagram (although that’s certainly valuable in it’s own right). …

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