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Challenges to Environment Worldwide and in India
Environment is the world around us – humans – which is the foundation of our existence since the inception of Mankind. Our Planet Earth is our only home and it is our only Environment. But this Environment belongs not only to humans – rather it belongs to every other living creature of this Planet like animals, birds, fish, trees, insects, organisms, etc. Environment also belongs to non-living forms like the river, sea, mountain, valley, etc. and they are as integral part of the Ecosystem as the living creatures, if not more. Since among all the variance of life and non-life forms mentioned above only human beings has the ability to safeguard, augment and harness the stupendous power and resources of the Environment, the onus of its proper protection and upkeep also rest with them.
Sadly a large section of the human population of the whole world has been as irresponsible as possible in protecting and maintaining the proper equilibrium of the Environment, to the degree of callousness, transcending the boundaries of offence at many times. Urbanization, Modernization, Metropolitanization, Globalization, etc. are new parlance of civilization of the ever-altering human world, that has come at the cost of Environmental interest and more so deliberately. Be it small factories, big multinational corporations or other small scale industry, everyone has done their dirty bit to ravage the Environment across the world. Common civilians are no less absolved of this offence either, however minuscule it might be, as all hurts add up at the end of the day.
Air pollution, water pollution, garbage dumping, toxic factory waste release, rampant deforestation, usurping of non-renewable resources, commercialization of natural wildlife habitats, rising carbon dioxide emissions causing global warming, etc. are only a few of the various ways Environment is violated on a daily basis worldwide. Many reasons work to fuel the fire of such degree of insensitivity – greed, callousness, irresponsibility or pure ignorance. Whatever the reasons might be the ill-effects are pretty much visible right now as this kind of nonsense goes on unabated still despite the desperate efforts of creating awareness among the masses and the classes by Environmental Activists around the World. Landslides, floods, hurricanes, cyclones, earthquakes, tornadoes and tsunamis, without prior rhyme or reason has now become the order of the day, after the Environment has been pushed to the brink. The grim result is that millions of people, mostly poor, around the world suffer due to such natural devastations every year.
The challenges faced by the Environment due to human callousness worldwide vary in nature from one region to another. While the developed nations might face certain specific type of Environmental destruction hazards to deal with, the challenges faced by the developing and mostly under-developed nations would be completely in contrast. Many-a-times they are inter-related with the lives of common people inhabiting that stretch of affected area or region and needs to be taken into account to get a more clearer picture of the problem before beginning to start dealing with it. A person or group who does have thorough knowledge and understanding of the of the issues involved, the way they are intertwined with the lives of local people, clear vision of the probable solutions will only be in a position to help save the Environment. Thus one should educate him or her first aptly and efficiently before stepping one’s foot towards the long arduous never-ending journey of saving the Environment from human destruction, dilapidation and decay. It is not an easy task at all but one can overpower the mental fatigue of fighting long battles by overcoming smaller goals that would work as impetus for larger fights and also work as a buffer to digest the setbacks and move on.
India is one such developing country that according to a recent study – done by researchers in Harvard, Princeton, Adelaide University and University of Singapore – of 179 countries, ranks as seventh most environmentally hazardous nation in the world. Several factors are taken into account in this thorough study, which includes pollution of all possible kinds, focusing on the more damaging ones like water and air pollution, to reach a concrete conclusion. These startling results only vindicate the facts and the scale of destruction, insensitivity and ignorance related to environment and environmental matters that reign supreme in this ever-bulging populous nation of Asia – over which environmental activists in and outside India has been crying hoarse for a long time – only if anybody who matters in the government was listening with real intent! As the cities and towns continue to grow by the day in India, more polluting vehicles start plying down the road, more toxic-fume emitting and waste-dumping industries are setup, more wetlands are filled up to raise mansions and plazas, more blaring loudspeakers and honking horns mount up the deafening decibels, more deforestation continue in the name of development, more unsuspected natural disasters wipe out the impoverished while the actual miscreants are never held accountable.
Since public awareness related to various types of Environmental Pollution and issues arising from it are at a very abysmal shape, therefore the challenges that lie before the environmental activists, NGOs dedicated to the cause of saving the environment, as well as the real sincere people in various state governments and central ministry of environment in India is colossal. Those not only include educating and sensitizing the otherwise lackadaisical and mostly ignorant common people, finding ways to save the precious natural resources – like water for example, which is really pushed to the brink – safeguarding the wildlife habitats from destruction, taking the livelihood of affected people due to environmental issues into consideration; but also dealing with a slew of negative forces out to ravish the environment for their never-ending greed, which begins with small scale errant industries and end up with giant multinational corporations – who flout all possible environmental norms, ethics and guidelines with impunity on a daily basis, but somehow get away due to their financial and political clout or through the lacunae in the legal system.
So basically saving the environment in India from further deterioration has to be a multi-pronged approach by collegiums of all stakeholders – safeguarding, restoring and rehabilitating the present shape of the environment, educating the inhabitants or other common people involved or could make a difference and taking stern punitive action and legal recourse against the offenders. The problems are actually so intertwined that no aspect can be dealt separately; rather they are to be dealt in a holistic manner, addressing every challenge and taking things into perspective while having a proper knowledge and vision of what is expected and desired for the well-being of the environment. Since corruption is very high in India, hence the errant industries are not the only ones in the dock; rather they are enjoying a cosy unholy nexus with corrupt politicians, corrupt government officials, bureaucrats, police and other authorities involved, local toughs, etc. So taking them on, trying to stop them having their gleeful rapacious nibble at the booty generated by leeching the environment, will be like venturing in the lion’s den, certainly not for the faint-hearted!
But when did brave people ever give up fighting in this world owing to fear of persecution from the devious forces. Only it saddens every right thinking citizen of this country when the persecutions are being watched mutely by others who could have certainly helped the cause, as well as their conscience. Still rather than whining it is time to put our hands up to be part of this long arduous battle that is not gonna end anytime soon, to see our beloved environment in all green smiles again!