(Rishitha Jaladi, Journalist)Vijayawada: Wake up early in the morning and look at the horizon, just after the sun has lifted away from it, but is nearby. You will see a brownish haze. The thicker it is, the more air pollution there is! Try this out and it isn’t a surprise if you find it as think as a brick. 

In the words of Shri Bankim Chandra Chatterji, we have natures bounties in the form of:

Vande Mataram

Sujalam, Suphalam, Malayajasitalam

Sasyashyamalam Mataram!

In the rapid pace of development, we have inflicted serious damage to the natural resources and consequently, we are now faced with questions as to where is that Sujalam(Clean water), where is that Suphalam(Healthy crop), and where is that Malayajasitalam(Refreshing air)? These questions have given rise to a process of serious thinking to safeguard the environment and the quality of natural resources for sustainability.

It’s June 5th and we are celebrating “World Environment Day”. Let’s start by acknowledging the elephant in the room, we are in a global Crisis named “COVID-19”. It is pandemic, it is unprecedented. All our plans got blurred. We are all in this together: governments, social activists, militants, public of all economic strata- the whole human race.

The uncanny resemblance of this unrivalled situation with the most recent film ‘Contagion’ leaves us in awe. Now, if it is to be believed that literature is the mirror of life then we have missed this clue.

On the contrary of the situation, the earth seems to be rejoicing the break from humans. Our home (Earth) is happier without us. This is bigger than only a hint. It is a slap across our face! Science, Literature, Fiction has captured the severity of the deadliness of climate change for decades now. We have ignored it.

Our ancestors never celebrated World environment day. They had abundant resources at their disposal, still, they used all the natural resources to the minimum. They were stingy in using the free resources. They have conserved, recycled and reused without any big banners or slogans. They treated Water, Air, Soil, Trees, Animals and all other natural resources as God. They never abused the resources for their benefits. They never exploited. Whenever they cut the trees, they made sure that they cut old trees or branches. Every Day was World environment day for them.

The World once which was all green has turned out to be a big concrete jungle, all the freshwater resources have turned out to be lakes of industrial waste, sewage tanks, and in recent years water bodies have become dumping yards of plastics and other wastes. Increased use of vehicles, development of industries, thermal power stations and unplanned deforestation has increased air pollution.

pollution, in turn, increases global warming and leads to climate change. Reduces photosynthesis and growth of plants, causes acid rains, acidify the oceans and reduces biodiversity. I know we live in the so-called highly evolved faced-paced world. But we can definitely try and do what our ancestors have done already! 

On this World environment day, let’s concede our ignorance and promise to Reimagine, Recreate, Restore and Rethink keeping aside our convenience. We must stretch out our hands not for more profit or possession but in compassion and cooperation to make our planet a better home. All of us are celebrating this special day in lockdown but there is much you can still do as an individual and contribute to the sustainability of planet earth. Here is the list of few things you can do:

  1. Plant a sapling
  2. Say “No” to plastic
  3. Bicycle to places nearby
  4. Carpooling
  5. Conserve energy by switching off lights & fans when not in use
  6. Stop wasting water, every drop counts!
  7.  Follow the 3R Principle
  8. Talk to people about this and educate them

“You are the last, best hope of Earth. We ask you to protect it. Or we, and all living things we cherish, are history.”

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