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Small Talk With Poonam Bir Kasturi

CHANGE leaders do great things, and often that is all we know about them. Here we want to get a different glimpse of the personalities that constitute the development space. Every month we get one leader to answer four questions, not necessarily about their work, but about themselves. This week we catch up with Poonam Bir Kasturi, the founder of Daily Dump

Daily Dump was launched in 2006 with a vision to constantly re-imagine humanity’s relationship with the earth, with each other and with urban spaces.

Integral to Daily Dump’s ethos is changing mindsets – about waste, about marginal livelihoods, about whose job it is to take care of waste and about how we can harm less. Daily Dump is a design-led brand – a pioneer in designing and building products and services for decentralized waste management in homes, communities, offices and public spaces.

© Daily Dump/Facebook

Small Change: What’s one self-improvement goal you are working on currently?

Poonam Bir Kasturi: I am seriously trying to build stamina in my body. It is a goal that is difficult for a person like me to reach. I am not an active outdoor kind of person so achieving some consistency in action is hard.

SC: Are you an introvert, extrovert or a combination of both? Do you think these labels are too limiting?

P.B.K: A bit of both I think. But as I grow older I find I like to be alone more.  

SC: One book you would recommend to someone who wanted to expand their mind. What’s inspiring about it?

P.B.K: The Human Age by Diane Ackerman. This is one book that helps us travel around the world meeting people who are redefining our relationship with nature. This pushes us to examine our definitions of being “human”. It makes our future accessible, it leaves us with unease and hope. This cocktail of mixed feelings urges us to think more deeply about what life means to each of us. I think that is what I found inspiring.

SC: What is the bravest thing you’ve done or said to a group of people?

P.B.K: The bravest thing I have done is to take my father to a hospital at 2AM when he was having a heart attack. This was at a time where there was no cell phone and I was in a new city, far away from anyone we knew and I was 21. I just had to pull every ounce of resilience from inside of me to reach him to a safe place on time. It left me with a real sense that being dependent on anything outside was not useful.

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