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Margarita

"Micro organisms for macro problems"

 

While working for Coca-Cola in South America for 7 years as a plant manager, Colombian-born Aurovilian Margarita Correa became interested in microbiology, with special emphasis on the possibility of making high grade compost out of city garbage. In 1997 she came to India, where she began working with Auroville's Pitchandikulam Bio-Resource Centre, joining Auroville in 1998.

Vision

In 1999 she began research into the use of EM ('effective microorganisms', a range of naturally available, eco-friendly bacteria) in a variety of environmental and agricultural situations.
In 2001 Margarita took a trip to the Mata Amritanandamayi Math in Kerala, where, in course of solving a problem the Ashram was having with odiferous toilets and cow houses, she met Sri Mata Amritanandamayi popularly known as Amma. Amma'ji gave her the vision of helping India's 700 million small-scale farmers as well as doing other important environmental work, and from that time Margarita has never looked back.


Potential of major transformative effect

To quote Margarita, "EM is a tool with widespread potential applications. It could have a major transformative effect here in India, where adequate solid and liquid waste treatment facilities are often lacking, and there is widespread pollution (India is the world's largest producer of basic chemical pesticides, and 6th in the users' league), though its use is naturally being resisted by certain industries with vested interests, such as pesticide manufacturers."

Dynamic EM ambassador

As awareness of EM and its tremendous potential grows, Margarita - whose work is being supported by international backers like the UN's Environmental Programme, the Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO), the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), BAIF (an Indian NGO concerned with agricultural issues) and the International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements (IFOAM), and spiritually through her association with M.A.Math, Ramakrishna Mission, Vivekananda Kendra and Auroville - is finding herself in increasing demand for consultation, hands-on coordination work, lectures, conferences & seminars, training & workshops, and for interviews. It is not unusual for her to find herself in several major cities in the course of one week, addressing audiences of several hundred people or meeting with Board Directors of top companies, Government officers, wildlife conservationists, major estate managers and the like; though her compassionate nature makes her specially enjoy interacting with and helping local people like village farmers, tribals and self-help groups.

Remarkable woman

Margarita is a remarkable woman doing a remarkable work, but it should never be forgotten that the joint heroes of her story are the EM micro-organisms themselves. What she and her micro-allies are doing is a good reminder that humanity can benefit so much more from working with nature than from assaulting and confronting it.


Contact: margarita@auroville.org.in

 

 

Adapted from an article in AV Outreach Newsletter

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