Our surroundings are very important for our survival and good health; it must be kept neat, well balanced and protected. The writer of this article said that it is not merely the duty of our leaders nor is the Government, however, we all responsible to support and encourage the positive idea to safe our environment which is degrading. Read this article to know more about the importance of being a responsible citizen.
THE ENVIRONMENT WHERE WE LIVE
By Syuhlo Beichakhei Mara, Hyderabad.
“We should realize that if human beings should be removed from the Earth, the Earth could probably heal itself and become once again a planet where Oceans are clear, the air pure, and forests green and full of Wild life. Remember, the Earth, its plants and animals can survive without us. We cannot survive without them.”
- Albert Baez
Staring at the wonderful creation of our civilized world; the scientific achievements like communication technology or fashions and a great number of transportation systems, etc., makes life magnificent and brighter. Meanwhile, international conflicts and internal security problems, terrorism, economic, health and family welfare problems engulfing the whole world. Despite of all these, our valuable environmental condition is gradually leading us into a total destruction on Earth. Therefore, if we continue to be foolish, we all would perish.
Environment is the sum of the circumstances and conditions that surrounded an organism or group of organisms besides understanding the social and cultural conditions that affects individual organisms or communities.
It has been one of the major issues that attracted the global attention in recent decades. It is the most valuable creation, which support biotic and abiotic forms on Earth. It is the environment, which served and plays an important role in our daily life. It blesses us with various wonders of natural and artificial phenomena.
According to the US. Office of Technology Assessment(1987) biological diversity is “the variety and variability among living organisms and the ecological in which they occur”.
Since bio-diversity has become part of our daily life. It has direct consumptive value in agriculture, medicine and industry. The natural and agricultural products have been increasingly exchanged in the market. Gene technology has been helping in generating economic and health benefits from biodiversity. Biological processes are being used for industrial production and cleaning up of the environment itself. A forest is very important from the viewpoint of ecological balance, agriculture, environment, habitat for large number of plant and animal species and is a natural prevention for soil erosion. Many plants are used for valuable medicines to cure various diseases. Indian medicines can be traced to very ancient times. The aromatic plants which impart pleasant odour provides essential oils, which are used in preparing perfumes, cosmetics, medicines paints, varnishes etc. It prevents green house effect as well as global warming and natural disasters. A large number of our daily energetic and developmental resources are totally depending on the environmental conditions.
However, as we develop and transform our resources there has emerged many unavoidable problems on our world. In fact, the development of agriculture and industrial lies at the heart of every nation, for a nation to progress socially, economically as well as politically development processes in different fields are very necessary. The impact of agriculture, industry and mining had led to the degradation of land, forest, water, air and biological diversity by releasing toxic chemicals and other factors. Pollution has many undesirable changes in the physical and biological characteristics of the environment due to natural causes or human activities. Therefore, any development process is bound to have its impact on the environment.
The effects of carbon dioxide resemble the conditions that exist in a green house. The products of energy from renewable and non-renewable sources also have many adverse impacts on the environment problems. Thermal power plants use Coal, petroleum and natural gas to produce thermal electricity. They are exhaustible and polluting. Nuclear power plans have leads hazardous impact for plants and animals. The nuclear accident of Chernobyl in 1986 testifies that the people of Soviet and European countries are exposed to significant levels of radiation. The recent earthquake in Iran and the one which occurred in 2001 in Gujarat takes a toll of 30 thousand people. Toxic chemicals like DDT and Mercury are not easily degradable by biological means. They are highly poisonous and if contacted or consume by plants or animals, it can prove fatal. The world’s worst industrial disaster occurred in 1984 when 60 tons of methyl isocyanides (MIC) leaked out of the Union Carbide Factory in Bhopal, killing over eight thousand people. Many other still suffer with multiple health complications even 20 years later, not receiving adequate health care. This tragedy is a typical example of a factory polluting the environment. In fact, the unpleasant sound dumped into the atmosphere by vehicles leading to health hazards with one of the most dangerous pollutants of man’s environment. But noise has become a permanent part of our lives these days by whether family, religious or cultural festivals. In Himalayan region that Pine monoculture has caused much damage to the eco-system. We are contributing pollutions to environment and global warming by consuming more energy. Therefore, we must work out to save our valuable environment from all angles.
The health of the people does not depend on the number of doctors and hospitals only, but also on clean environment. Ecology contributes to understanding of diseases in several ways. There are certain changes in the human environment that increase the incidence of man disease. For instance, urbanization and industrial stress, population stress and others ultimately bring about changes in the human environment, making it a paradise for infectious agents. Such stress on environment contaminates our air, water, food etc. thus affecting our health.
A beneficial effect of bio diversity is that it is likely to reduce global warming and thus bringing favourable climate change. Therefore, the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) process has been implemented in many industrialized countries like USA, Canada, Japan, Australia, Netherlands, and Thailand including India.
In India, the Central Ministry of Environment and Forestry issued a notification on January 27 1994 making EIA statutory for certain specific activities like industries, mining, irrigation, power, tourism and transport. In fact, the constitution of India also in its Article 51A provides “to protect and improve the natural environment including forests, lakes, rivers and wild life, and to have compassion for living creatures.’’ It is clear that any development process is interlinked with systematic protection of the environment. And the nature has its spiritual and aesthetic values that transcend economic value as well as adequate health.
Plantation or Forestation is one of the most important steps which can easily be practice by every citizen. It improves fresh air, maintains global warming and prevents natural disaster. Many Trees are easy to grow in its own region. Therefore, every native plant is more prefer to growth around us, as soil and climatic conditions are more suitable for them. These attract insects and Birds, besides being good shelter for Wild animals, and thereby providing fresh air for all. Fruit bearing trees are very beneficial for men and other animals. And flowering plants decorates nature and also beneficial for some insects and birds. They all are providing us a copious happiness. Whenever we drop in for giving water on our growing plants or trees at every morning or evening that we are contributing our own residential complexes with beautiful green forests and flowers. This will bring about a very good habit and will transform into a healthy mind and body. In fact, it is one of the most beautiful contributions for all the environmental components on earth.
If we really want to see green and healthy environment, then we must learn to control our desires of immediate gains or least the desire of deforestation. Although, it is the duty of every citizen to plant more and more trees, and should thus contribute towards forests and wild life conservations. The lone concentration of finance will never procure such radiant beams of hopes.
The systematic management on the harmful chemical is also very important. For instance, Chloro Fluoro Carbon (CFC) can probably affect green house in the atmosphere leading to global warming. Pesticides and herbicides, or chemical fertilizers when use for soil fertilization or prevention of insect attacking plants. Since plant gets mineral salt from the soil and we are also consuming such harmful chemicals. The solid waste discarded by industries, human settlements, mines and hotels etc. also causes environmental pollution. Actually some substances like plastic or glasses and chemicals like DDT are not easily dissolve and eliminate by biological means. Therefore, these substances must be properly handled according to degradable and non-degradable substances. And unnecessary use of such harmful chemicals on land must be avoid as much as possible.
Fertilization of soil could be improved by biological means by the introduction of green manures or farmyard manures. The wastes product from animals and plants can also considerably improve soil fertility. For instance, the waste discarded by Earthworm is very good for plants’ soil. That is why Earthworm is often described as ‘friend of the farmers’. On the contrary, the industrial factories should be equipped with all the big machines with noise reduction gadgets. Adequate restriction must be kept on unnecessary use of horns and vehicles playing without silencers to reduce noise pollution. Whenever our motor vehicles or machines like old cars, trucks, refrigerators, which usually causes pollutions of noise or air in the atmosphere conditions becomes an abnormal or damaged; we should immediately call those experts and repair or replace them by new ones. If it is walkable distance; we should walk; In fact, it is good exercise for our body health. Despite saves fuel, parts of vehicles and economically which support us to save the environment. It will prevent both noise and air pollution.
Residential complexes should be away from Airports, Railway stations and busy Industrial areas. Any project set up by Government as well as private must be carefully planed with adequate management and preventive measurement. Construction of quakeproof houses and space technology would might necessary at certain areas. Non renewable resources can be reduced by establishing renewable resources of energy with proper plan. Urban populations also need to be control by promoting rural development processes and cottage industries etc. Establishment of environmental education to all the schools and institutions of the country including disaster management training program is very important. Significant promotion of awareness about the dangers of environmental pollution as well as preventive measurement must be initiate by Non-governmental organization and the department of Government periodically. And whenever we are on tour; we must keep in mind that not to buy things which are produced from the skin of animal to defend wild life. Instead, we must spread the importance of conservation of plants and animals.
It is not merely the duty of our leaders nor is the Government, however, we all responsible to support and encourage the positive idea to safe our dismal environment. Though there might be several other valuable things much more important than what we have invented or implemented which are hiding by nature. “We should all be concern about our future, because we have to spent our life there `` said Charles F. Kettering.
Therefore we have to conserve our valuable environmental gifts, and these will be the only reliable source of sustenance for living beings. Though, it is the basic source of life and development. Former Prime Minister of India, A.B. Vajpayee says that `` we have to leave for our children what we have inherited. In fact, we should leave them enriched``. If man consider himself as supremacy that he must attempt to be deserve it so. Now let’s take interest to leave adequate health and prosperity for our youngsters. A respect for human life and human diversity is compatible with a respect for bio-diversity.
Note: This article is contributed by Syuhlo Beichakhei Mara, former General Secretary of Mara Students' Organisation (MSO), Hyderabad Branch; he is a student in Hyderabad, India. Many thanks to him for contributing this insightful article.