Our Editor-In-Chief on what inspires our May 2020 issue


Our Editor-in-Chief on what inspired our May 2020 issue

"Sustainability has been a cause that is very close to ELLE’s heart, and we wanted to explore this idea at a time when we need to really come together"

By Supriya Dravid  May 8th, 2020

If at all this pandemic has taught us something, it is resilience. Against all odds. Adapting to the new normal meant rearranging our lives to adjust to the lockdown to curb the spread of Covid-19. But one of the many joys was the improved air quality, so much so that people in Punjab could see the Himalayas from their rooftops.

How do we make the blue skies last? Surely, we didn’t need a pandemic to do so. Despite the alarm bells ringing and screeching calls for action all through last year, it has taken a world-wide lockdown for us to hear the birds chirp again.

All of this got us thinking about what we ought to focus on in this issue—now more than ever. Sustainability has been a cause that is very close to ELLE’s heart, and we wanted to explore this idea at a time when we need to really come together. To support the longstanding players who have been at it, we focused on ecoinitiatives led by Vandana Shiva, Sunita Narain, Karuna Singh, Amla Ruia, Roshni Nadar Malhotra, Tarini Jindal Handa and Dia Mirza.

 

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But the real treat was the unique opportunity to have Dr Jane Goodall, DBE on our cover. She was interviewed by Livia Firth of Eco-Age, the sustainability consultancy that develops strategies to align with environmental and social needs.

 

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Dr Goodall continues to lead an extraordinary life on her own terms, which is what makes her an inspiration. In 1960, she travelled from England (with little more than a notebook, binoculars and a love for wildlife) to Tanzania, to venture into the little known world of wild chimpanzees. She chose to experience their ecosystem as a neighbour rather than a distant observer, by viewing them not just as a species but as individuals with emotions and bonds. In fact, her seminal research at Gombe has helped redefine our very own relationship between humans and animals.

Today, she travels the world as a UN Messenger of Peace, speaking about the threats to the environment. In fact, she was planning to embark on a trip to India before the pandemic broke out. At 86, Dr Goodall was game to be photographed and interviewed over Zoom. Seeing her on that screen has been a career highlight for me.

 

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When Livia asked Dr Goodall before the interview if she was happy to not be travelling for a while, pat came the reply, “I can’t wait to go back on the road! I miss travelling and people so much!” Dr Goodall talks about the resilience of nature, hope in the indomitable human spirit and how this pandemic is an opportunity to reset ourselves. Amen.