We have seen enough tree-fells for widening of roads, carelessness on the part of the railways which has taken lives of innocent elephants in West Bengal and inability to take care of the crop fields during heavy rains. We are the cause of our own destruction. To state that ‘Man has become extremely foolish along with unquenched greed in the process of attaining better standards of living’ is not an overstating in any way. We rely on the natural resources for every need but we do not care if any exploitation has crossed the limit. What is the difference between us and the animals if we do not exhibit the so called ‘humanity’ that is only a special gift by God to human beings? Selfless service is becoming rare in these busy lives. We do not take care of the living beings around us anymore. This shall not continue.
Biodiversity is the greatest resource that has to be guarded and protected for it to support human life on earth. Everyone knows this fact and yet we have turned a deaf ear to it. If we think we are self-sustained in this world without the biodiversity around us, we are never more mistaken than now. Biodiversity in India is a very beautiful way of showing that we care for our country. We must take active part in protecting the flora and fauna around us. We have been hearing so many incidents about elephants being killed or injured badly to death in the train accidents. This situation has arisen because the wildlife has no place to go because we have started encroaching their habitat. We go to the forests and gather so much wood most of which is wasted. We do not need to exploit more of nature’s resources to live happily. The campaigns launched by several non-profit organizations come to no use if we do nothing to mobilize people and make them ‘work’. They must see the loss they incur by not protecting the environment around us.
It must be made compulsory, and by this I mean an act must be passed that states that every citizen in the country of India has to plant a tree on his/her birthday and nourish it year after year. If we take this campaign to all state governments and make them understand that this is not only feasible but also greatly beneficial for the future generations which would otherwise see no more floras around them. This drive and momentum to plant trees has to come up at a rapid pace in India and we inculcate the habit of being responsible; it is an essential quality for human beings in an aesthetic way also. The only difference I feel between India and other developed nations is that they take care of their environment equally well inspite of exploiting nature’s resources. For every tree cut they make thousands of their citizens use non-CFL bulbs in their houses. We see so much greenery and cleanliness in developed nations because of responsible citizens, who want their country green and clean. We lack this spirit and this leads to litters around the dustbins inspite of “Use Me”, litters in public places inspite of “Do not litter” boards.
India is a land of hard-working and intelligent people and there are lakhs of Graduates coming out of colleges each year. If each graduate makes it his/her duty to educate his/her family about the scheme of planting trees for every occasion/festival, it would reap a lot of benefits. The movement can become the second GREEN revolution in India. We have gained so much during our long period of study until graduation and are working in software companies which basically involve computers; if we dedicate some of our office hours explaining our colleagues about the kind of development that we can achieve when the surroundings look greener, it would be just about months’ time when everyone would follow the custom of planting trees. What we need is innovation from young people who can save this earth from the apocalypse caused by man. We need responsible human beings. We often see these statements in blogs, newspaper articles and such but a true and responsible citizen of a country would follow what he preaches and believes.
What we must learn is that development and change are essential in the growth of a nation but not at the cost of its natural resources. There must not be disproportion between what we use and what we foster. We know that animals have this sense of danger during natural calamities. Even during the Tsunami that struck the coast of India, most of the animals and zoos have sensed the danger of that approaching calamity and have moved to safe havens, away from the danger. Even when technology fails to predict such disasters, animals come to use. We can follow the patterns of animals if they are conserved. They must feel that humans are there to protect them. Leaving them in their natural habitat allows them to think so. Once we try to disturb the settings in which they flourish, they tend to lose their natural power of detection of approaching dangers. This is very important to humans because there is a lot of imbalance caused by man. India can become the savior for preserving wildlife if it takes necessary measures and prevents careless mistakes starting today. For example, how difficult would it be to fence the lining of the railway tracks near forest areas that have wildlife in them? We must prove that we care about wildlife by taking such necessary and important measures.
As the bulk of India’s biodiversity is in the forests, we must be careful and prevent poachers from taking lives of endangered species. Forest degradation is another serious problem afflicting the biodiversity in India. Industrialisation of nations is required, but the land for industrialization need not be derived from forest lands. Forest cover lost so far has to be restored. The mangroves of West Bengal are a great resource and are to be protected by the tribals who reside in the Sunderbans. Such Protected Areas have to be given more security against poachers, hunters and special men have to be deployed to monitor such anti-environmental activities. As a concluding note, I feel India’s future in Biodiversity will be safe if every citizen works towards this goal. Making the environment the way we want it to be is not the solution to the problem. Restoring it to the condition in which it was presented to us by nature would in some way reap benefits to human race, if it plans to exist for some more time. It is important to realize that biodiversity protection and conservation is also important for the economic development of a nation. Let’s make biodiversity a religion instead of cricket or football. Let’s start working towards betterment of our own surroundings. Feel for the cause of a better future, a better India, equipped with the correct tools to repair the damage caused.