Thursday, 11 June 2015

Has Celebration of World Environment Day Changed Our Mindset?


Since 1972, we have been celebrating World Environment Day. From local bodies to the highest decision-making level, our fellow citizens indulge in campaigning with a great voice that the resources are limited and we should not over use them. Have these persistent campaigns percolated to the ground?  Can we see the discernible change in the mindset of people? These are the vital questions we need to address if we have to preserve something for the future generations. The fact of the matter is that things have not changed much on the ground with environment disintegration happening everywhere.

world environment day

World Environment Day

As before, we had celebrated the World Environment Day with great pomp and gaiety on June 5, 2015. On that day, we had campaigned hard for maintaining order and utilizing the resources with great care. Many celebrities, including popular actors, came with their precious views on environment preservation. Every lakhs of rupees have been spent on the topic of looking after the environment. This year the theme is “Seven Million Dreams, One Planet, Consume with Care”. No doubt, the theme is well conceived and relevant in the present world where the over-exploitation is the order of the day in the name of cut-throat competition.

go green campaign

Response to World Environment Day

Some of the government departments such as Gurkha division of Indian Army went out of its barracks to clean the environment. In response to the Clean India campaign, the pet project of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, many people came out started cleaning the environment around them. When people saw the celebrities and functionaries on the street with a broom, they started coming out in large numbers. But the enthusiasm died down when the media glare was turned off. Many competitions were conducted for the benefit of children to let them know the importance of keeping the environment clean and intact.  Radio campaigns were aired with the slogans on environment preservation to target the distant villages that don’t have television sets.

people response

Reality Check

Despite the campaigns and sloganeering, nothing on the ground has changed. The forest cover is slowly diminishing due to the felling of trees. The only thing is that afforestation has picked up and people have become aware of the need of trees in cooling the environment. It has to pick up at the massive scale to offset the felling of trees, which is quite rampant in many parts of the country. The authorities have been turning a blind eye towards these destructive trends. As a result of this, the soil erosion and landslides have occurred in many parts of the country.  These environment indicators show that things are not in good shape. Unless things are done at a war-footing rate, the days are not that far off when desertification of land becomes quite fast. So, we need to pull up our sleeves and start doing whatever we can to save the environment from those people who want to exploit it in the name of commercialization.

reality check