Reciprocity Fest 2017

The World Bank estimates the current combined annual spend of all nations as US Dollars 4.5 trillion to build and maintain sustainable cities, and predicts it will take 30 more years with a similar outlay before every city becomes sustainable. This approximates to a budget of Rupees 300 lakh crores every year till 2050! Such mind numbing numbers compels people to abjectly throw up their hands and question if an individual’s effort towards sustainability will ever matter.

Reciprocity Fest was an event of the Reciprocity Foundation, which has been founded by Architect & Urban Designer Sheila Sri Prakash. According to her, holistic sustainability or “reciprocity,” will emerge as the new paradigm for Urban Design and Architecture. The motto of the Foundation is “Engage. Network. Move.

The Reciprocity Foundation hopes to inspire grassroots citizens’ participation to find holistically sustainable solutions for problems of city living and lifestyles; to bring together experts, business leaders, administrators, NGOs and prominent citizens to share knowledge and best practices that enhance responses towards preserving the planet and humanity; and to create public awareness among ordinary citizens about the serious challenges posed by the imminent breaching of planetary boundaries. Towards these objectives The Reciprocity Foundation conducted The Reciprocity Fest in celebration of Earth Day (22nd & 23rd April 2017). Nearly 6000 people attended the two-day fest which included Musical performances, Town Hall Meetings, Workshops, Art and Exhibitions the highlights of which are captured by the following quotes of participants:

“It is an honor to be associated with the Reciprocity Foundation for a cause which is close to my heart.  I feel that music has to be played as a service to the community and not otherwise.  It is wonderful to play the piano with 100 children singing… students are the future and I am happy to perform with them to celebrate Earth Day”. – Anil Srinivasan, Pianist  Anil Srinivasan 2
Anil Srinivasan
 Karthik 1
“This is going to be a small contribution from my end for our planet. It is fantastic to be part of this event and earliest in the chain playing at the Reciprocity Fest.  I look forward to singing again next year in this fantastic fest & venue.” – Karthik, Light Music & Playback Singer 



  • Town Hall meetings on the topics Role of Communities in Sustainable Cities and Reclaim Nature for Sustainability at 4:00 PM on both 22nd & 23rd April 2017
  • Eco-Fair showcasing sustainable products and eco-friendly living ideas
  • 15 Workshops on various topics on environmental sustainability for children and eco-sensitive living for public education and empowerment
  • Art Displays on Sustainability by renowned artists with scrap materials and waste

The festival beneath the beautiful canopy of trees is essentially for the citizens of Chennai, with special focus on children and youth. Corporate Sponsors, Professionals, Musicians and Artists who share the passion and commitment to Sustainability and Healthy living collaborated with their financial support, products and services. One of the first “ZERO Waste initiatives” in the city, the Reciprocity Fest worked with Chennai Trekking Club (CTC) and TrashGaadi to collect, segregate and responsibly recycle the waste.  Attention was paid to reduce waste in every element of the fest from decorative lights using jute enclosures to hand-painted wooden & cloth signage, bagasse plates, bio bowls, wooden spoons, reusable steel cups for sugarcane juice and “matkas” for drinking water stored in a Mud Pot. Free Saplings were distributed by NewGen CSR as part of their efforts to increase the green cover in the city. Hotel Raintree sponsored the “Adopt a Bag” campaign, where the public could exchange 5 plastic grocery bags for a Reusable Cloth Shopping Tote/Bag. The plastic bags that were collected will be responsibly recycled and made into napkins, cups and other products.

Special recognition to the CTCians who were on their toes both days to ensure nothing goes waste while constantly educating people to keep waste separate. The awareness created in a such an event with 6000+ footfalls is well worth the hard labor of the volunteers, especially in the intense heat of Chennai!!

Some statistics:


  • Green waste – 50 kgs (Food and bio-degradable plates, spoons)


  • Plastic, paper – 30 kgs
  • Soiled paper, cups, tissues – 10 kgs

To shredder at Adyar Corp office – 280 Kgs (cloth bag exchange program)

  • Redirected for reuse at Srinivasapuram – 5 kgs


  • Almost nil – Thanks to TrashGaadi which would process even soiled paper, tissue and cups.

The Global Commons or poromboke are the ecosystems, biomes and processes which regulate the stability and resilience of planet Earth, besides flagging the holistic sustainability of cities. These foundations of world economies and modern societies face over-exploitation and rapid degradation. Strategies to preserve Global Commons will require focused micro efforts to check and manage mega transformations. A bottom-up ground swell propelled by citizens’ involvement will synergize deep changes when combined with top down mandates of governments. Institutions may frame policies for smart cities, but only with wholesome participation of people can these initiatives succeed.

The Foundation supports initiatives to design and curate programs of the government and institutions, so as to disseminate information about the benefits of public participation to build sustainable cities of the future in ways similar to the programs in the Reciprocity Fest.


Please “like” our Facebook page and stay in touch with us for updates:

Reciprocity Foundation Video: Shilpa Arch Channel on Youtube

*Click the links or copy & paste the link on your browser.

For further information, please contact:  Program Office of Reciprocity Foundation at +91 99625 04155 or