A quivering and trembling voice of a teen girl resonated with the crowns of the world leaders at the United Nations. “How dare you ?” as she asked them, it awakened the limited time consciousness of the people around the globe including our nation.
There were several retweets, Facebook posts, Instagram Stories, placards, and people on the streets. (Placards of paper and plastics which will be in dustbin soon and people creating noise pollution as they say). But a nation which was once ‘World Leader’ or ‘Vishwa Guru’ needs endorsements, movements, and hashtags from the West to wake up their conscience is something which hard to fathom.
Especially for this generation to understand their duties towards the environment and actual realization to bring those habits into their lifestyle shouldn’t be so difficult. We were introduced to Environmental Studies while we were in class 5th or 6th of our school lives. Right? The compromises and adjustments which everyone needs to make in their lives seem good for a week or two. But after that, everything gets archived with the Instagram stories. Indians still have one of the lowest per capita emission of carbon dioxide i.e. 1.84 tonnes compared to other preachers. You may argue that it’s low due to 1.3 billion of us. In that case, China has a per capita emission of 6.98 tonnes and they are well ahead of us in terms of population. A country with 1.3 billion can make a difference in the entire globe. But that seems bigger. Right? How many of us make our beds after waking up in the morning? Leave. How many of us even wash our plates or even garments after we bathe?
No one is here for giving any lecture on that to anyone. There are some points to make. Climate change is the biggest threat right now for the globe and we need to remember our own previous habits to tackle it, we even had a pipe system for our drainage that too thousands of years back. We had Environmental protection in our habits. Clothes of cotton & khadi by self-production without polluting air, water, and soil. Medicines by Ayurveda using plantation not by chemical plants and dumping discharges into rivers and oceans. We used animal wastage for fertilizers. We didn’t use mechanised fertilizers before the preachers enlightened us about that. We had a rich culture of agriculture and plantation not a dumping site of electronic wastes from Globe. For eating too, we had plates of leaves and water-holders of clay. We had mats, bags, ropes of jute. Our people who preach to us started the industrial revolution or industrial pollution. We were 24% of the World’s GDP till the Britishers arrived. But we are the first nation which proudly destroyed our own eco-friendly mindset and environment protecting nature forcibly during slavery and by getting influenced after that.
We need to look at our heroes from our own nation with familiar conditions and difficulties we face, they paved ways for positive changes like Thimakka Saalumarada who planted 385 banyan trees and 8000+ other trees to awaken our conscience, Afroz Shah who cleaned Versova beach, The Great Sunder Lal Bahuguna, etc. But these are few names, but for revolutionary reversal of negative impacts of Climate Change, we need institutional and structured reforms applicable to all in form of laws or rules. We don’t need to give much importance to warnings & lectures from nations whose own economics thrived on Industrial Revolutions of the 18th & 19th centuries.
We do need great leaders but more than that we need great citizens. We don’t need pointing fingers towards each other, we need introspection. Planting a tree is a more important contribution than sharing a post, tweet, or story. Changing ourselves, our habits and our society will bring change automatically. Believe it, success follows. Please no more hollow steps, we need implementations and effective execution of plans more than that.
A young Civil Engineer with great passion and love for Environmental Studies & Engineering. State-level Debate Winner, an optimistic writer & a poet reciting poems for change. Loves Exploring India through traveling and his travelogues.