IRSHAD SALIM – Last week, I watched three different videos shared at three different WhatsApp forums I’m privileged to be a member of. Together they characterize –in my view, the lead/lag syndrome between problem-solving and solution finding. When there’s a disconnect between the bottom-up and the top-bottom, such as is the case in Karachi, ‘paralysis of analysis’ is the dessert on the dinner table.
Not that the top-down responsibilities traditionally embedded in city governance ought to be or can be or should be written off at all.
Here’s a bottom-up responsibility: The zero waste colony in New Delhi — one of the slivers of bottom-up solutions which takes the sheen off the ‘disconnect’ and the ‘paralysis of analysis’ syndrome.
Bottom-up and top-down yin yang go hand-in-hand though, in order to build up the idea of clean and healthy streets, neighborhoods, towns, cities, mega cities, etc.
In other words, when things don’t work, and the problem needs to be resolved — undisruptionally, some level of imagineering at grass-root albeit street level is helpful. This is bottom-up approach.
At times, and sometime most of the time I would say, solutions are us, within ourselves. Here’s a candid one (below). It was WhatsApped to me in 2020, when in a chat with a gentleman, he realized that I was a resident of Karachi also, but decades ago.
Fast forward, this video clip (below) — two clips curated together and edited for clarity purposes, is a candid ‘solutions are us, within ourselves’ short:
Years ago, one of my supervisors overseas once said: “Salim, you need three things in you to succeed: You have to be a dreamer of course, and a hard/smart worker to turn ideas into reality, but a son of a g**n” to make it.” This probably fits the handling of the waste issue also.
Every problem is like the waste, and every waste is like a problem –just like the two sides of a coin. Adopting the ‘heads I win, tail you lose’ mantra, I take it, the ‘son-of-a-gun’ thing my supervisor had said decades back, may be IS THE coin!