P.S: This was written a few months back. But still thought i’d share it up here!
Climate change in India- Challenges and Solutions
Few months back as I was scrolling through my Facebook account I happened to know about an essay competition and I eagerly went through it. But when I saw that the topic was related to climatic change and stuff I thought what do I have to write on it? Humph! pretty much nothing I guess! For almost all of us know of climate change and agree that we are the ones causing it and that it is happening NOW!! This happened while I was in India. Now I am in Kuwait city. Yes! Two weeks back I took my first trip out of the nation and now I am definitely having a change of my mind on leaving the country and settling abroad. Stepping out of the airport, my exact words to my mom were “I don’t like this place” and she asked me “why?” I replied “I can’t find anything green here!! Everything is so dry!! And good lord its freaking hot!” Now sitting in this flat all I can do is to watch the travel and lifestyle channels on television and be amazed at the beauty of my nation, my home country; India. The India that foreigners die for, the greenery, the astonishing hills and valleys that many of us natives take for granted. Now, I think ‘What are we doing to this beautiful place?? What if our country were also to become like here??” Well, me for one, would never want to be stuck in a place so dry!
If still anyone has any doubt on what I am talking about, try comparing the satellite views of our country and another foreign/gulf country. Clearly you would understand the difference. While our country is filled with blues and greens, you would find the majority of the rest to be brown! See. That is the amount of difference. Definitely the problem of climate change is something to be looked upon!
My next efforts were on finding out the exact problems we face and never the less my search led me to terms like global warming, greenhouse effect and acid rains and so on. No, that’s not what I want for such terms would imply nothing to many, just some terms that ran out of the Science text books of Grade 5 and on. What we need is a more localised look into the matter and so I decided to take a closer approach. What are the major differences that I felt or my parents felt (to get a larger time scale) on the environmental side.
Our climate is changing. There is no greater evidence to prove it but for the disasters occurring across our country day in and day out. While states like Mumbai and Kerala complain of floods, Rajasthan and Gujarat complain of droughts and still up north they complain of earthquakes. Those states that recorded the heaviest rainfalls are now facing from droughts and vice versa. Things are going downhill. Yes yes its all the accumulated result of actions happening globally but that does not give us the right to sit still.
We, humans; take in oxygen and release carbon dioxide in the process of respiration while plants take in carbon dioxide and release oxygen in the process of photosynthesis. And thus the earth’s atmosphere remains at complete balance. Bas! This was all that was to be learnt. A major complication solved by Mother Nature with absolute simplification. I thought oxygen and carbon dioxide to be two coincidental friends and plants as the mighty saviour. Well, I believe taking into consideration the modern ‘developments’ a change of above statement is in order. We humans take in oxygen for breathing and release carbon dioxide while respiring, driving, burning fossil fuels, making furniture and constructing building and the plants take in carbon dioxide and release oxygen in the process of photosynthesis. And thus the earth’s atmosphere would have been balanced. But wait “Did I say plants?? Hmm! Where did all of the plants go all of a sudden!?” Why! We have cut them all out!
This is our number one problem. Deforestation. And it comes up with the simplest solution. Afforestation. By the way it is high time that we realise that afforestation does not mean planting a sapling on environment day. I remember when I was in school the chief guest used to plant a sapling on June 5 every year. What happens after say June 7? The sapling got washed off in the heavy rain that followed. Instead of planting a new sapling every year why don’t we make sure that the sapling planted last year still remained healthy. That would be a change. Special awards must be organised by schools, colleges and offices for individuals who does that!
As an Indian , I have always felt ashamed at the state of cleanliness of our country. People dump waste, spit and urinate on even our roads. Do they take our roads as public toilets or what? Not just the roads. The pollution in the amazing rivers of India is yet another unspoken evidence of our not so clean habits. What if people stopped spitting on roads? What if they stopped dumping wastes? Believe me when I say a clean India would be like heaven described in the holy books! So start cleaning up. Pick up every bit of plastic. Every bit of waste. Stop dumping your wastes in other people’s fields. Perhaps here the government can do its bit. Separate waste bins for degradable and biodegradable wastes must be kept by the municipality at each houses and wastes must must collected daily without fail. Such wastes that have been collected from each house can then be sorted out and given proper waste management and disposed. True pollution can never be fully eliminated; It can only be converted from one form to the other. But definitely the magnitude of the problem caused can be greatly reduced.
Ask any child or grownups what is the one thing that our country lacks and I am sure that about 90% would give the answer as ‘roads’!; which is obviously true. How many international roads do we have? Scratch that. How many roads in India are devoid of potholes? The lack of a good and convenient road network leads to frequent traffic blocks that stretch for more than a couple of hours. Believe me when I say it is not just our time and patience and money that is lost here my friend but also a little something called “fossil fuels”! All the rest can be obtained again but this little something is finite. Once over BAM! That’s it! Providing a good road network can definitely reduce fuel usage to a large extent. And of course switching to bio gas for cooking would a great thing to do at the moment. In our house we have been using bio gas for cooking for about the past ten years and we have not encountered any problems so far.
Did you know that the air that we breathe may be the same as the one that people of Hiroshima breathed on the 6th of August 1945? For air too is circulated on our planet. No new air is being formed! So do any of out there think it is wise to continue with the nuclear bombings and terrorist attacks. Stop fighting! In the name of religion or national boundaries or money. Please stop turning every stone into god and fight for it! For right now we definitely have more pressing matters to be dealt with. By more pressing matters I definitely did not mean having more environmental conventions.
So has the article triggered anything in anyone? Maybe yes but it would end in a few hours after complaing the systems, the government, rules, norms and what not. I am sure only a few would have thought Oh my God I’ve been such a git! See that’s always the biggest challenge that our country face! Reluctance to do our bit. People think what difference would their little actions create? When actually in reality there is NO limit to what AN INDIVIDUAL can do. Little actions can do wonders on this Earth.
Above are listed certain little things that as an individual on this planet anyone can do that too without giving up anything. Do not let the future generation lose their hope on this planet. Do NOT create a situation where we would have to say SORRY to our kids and grandkids! Unless all are ready to do at least this much I must say the planet would become unsuitable for habitation within a few decades. Well it’s a great things we are now entering other planets such as Mars. As they say some place is always better than no place! A great visionary , a marvellous scientist and one of our most honourable Presidents Dr. A P J Abdul Kalam left us a few weeks back. He died while teaching, while creating awareness among the youth of this country. Even in his last moments he was trying to fulfil his VISION 2020. Please. Let us not let him die in vain.