BR #14 | Oxygen Manifesto | Atulya Misra | Rupa Publications | ★★★★

Book - Oxygen Manifesto
Author - Atulya Misra
Publisher - Rupa Publications
Rating - ★★★★

Author Bio: (from book) Atulya Misra is a senior officer of Indian Administrative Services; currently posted as the Principal Secretary, Revenue and Disaster Management Department in Government of Tamil Nadu. He has earlier worked as Principal Secretary in the departments of Industries, Environment & Forests, and Transport. He has also served as chairman of different organizations, including Chennai Port Trust, Tamil Nadu State Pollution Control Board, Titan and TNPL. Atulya Misra is an alumnus of Scindia School, Gwalior; Hindu College, University of Delhi; TERI University, Delhi; universities of Texas and Yale, USA; and Institute of Development Studies, Sussex, UK. He was awarded a doctorate by Anna University, Chennai, for his work on carbon footprint. He has written numerous papers for scientific journals. This is his first book.

Book Review: "Oxygen Manifesto" by Atulya Misra is a story based on environmental awareness among the masses. We find a beautiful narration by the author wherein the book is vaguely categorized into the problem, the effects, the measures, the solution and the opposition encountered in bringing about noble changes in society. It deals with the vital topic of global warming, pollution across the land, air, and sea, as well as tries to answer many remedies which can hopefully bring improvement.

The book begins with the narrator discovering a once sought after figure while on a vacation. Is he a hero or a fugitive? Wanting to know more about the intriguing past of our protagonist Ravi, the narrator embarks on a journey across India and some places around the world to learn more about Ravi. It takes him to varied geographical locations in North-East India, the Northern Himalayan States, South India and even to Afghanistan, Mongolia, and Europe where the narrator speaks with known acquaintances of Ravi to unearth more about the past career of this figure. He digs deeper into the life of Ravi who turns out to be an ex-bureaucrat who dedicated his life for an ecological balance in environmental development. This is a story of how people can triumph over the existing social hindrances and bring about change for a more balanced growth that is better sustained for Mother Nature over the years.

Overall it is a very informative read which talks at length in preserving our environment since Earth is the only planet we have and that economic and industrial progress should come under the subset of the environment. Our knowledge regarding the evolution of Indian bureaucracy over the years is deeply widened as we get a look into the working of the system through this book. Moreover, the pages throw light upon our inner selves, helping us to rediscover what it truly means by leadership in the battle for our environment!

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