This article discusses the current state of environmental degradation and ecological imbalance caused by urbanization, excessive consumption, and neglect in India and around the world. It highlights the growing trend of people moving to cities and the environmental impact it has. It calls for a change in mindset towards sustainable living and environmental conservation to protect the planet.
The world is full of commotion nowadays. At present around 56% of the world population lives in the cities which is expected to rise much higher by 2050 if this present trend continues. The allurements of city life have always drawn people from villages and fur-flung areas to be its dwellers.Apart from better job prospects and livelihood,an instinctive predilection to be able to live in a big city or have a residence in it has also been a trait of human vanity.Then comes the mindless adaptation of the ways of city life .Lack of serenity and a lot of pretentious display of material possessions lead only to an unknown vacousness.More and more people thronging into big cities has caused immense degeneration to ecological balance. Environmental sustainability for future generations is at stake.People literally seem to be in an unending race to puff their mind affected with pomp. Following the imprudent elitist vogue to buy more number of cars than are actually needed for a medium sized family and excessive use of air conditioners have not only emitted large amount of carbons and greenhouse gases in the air but also have dwindled the savings of middle income groups. Achieving a good Air Quality Index(AQI), between 0-50, specially in big cities and metropolises during winter has become an impossible feat.Young and otherwise healthy individuals also suffer breathing related ailments for the polluted air they inhale on a regular basis.High altitude hill stations are also losing their ecological balance and the effect of golbal warming is crystalline in their rising temperature. Deforestation for the conceit of a plethoric construction of multi-lane roads and innumerable buildings in the hills which were once filled with lush green fields and trees and veiled with misty landscape has become a serious cause of concern and demands a change.
On the list of the Greenest Countries around the world, Sweeden tops the chart. It is the most sustainable country by several parameters of environment friendly policies the country has adopted and put into practice. Among Asian countries Japan appears to be by far the most environmentally sustainable country and holds the honour of being ranked as the fourth greenest country in the world. Switzerland, Denmark, Norway, Finland and some other countries too have shown great concern for environmental change and list among the top greenest countries in the world.What these countries have been doing judiciously is truly commendable. Implementation of efficient recycling system, maximum use of solar energy, utilising wind power through wind turbines, minimal carbon emissions with little use of fuelled cars and other such vehicles and encouraging fuel free bikes on roads, cleaning of rivers and oceans of pollutants and protection of woodland and wildlife are some of the most praiseworthy endeavours these countries have undertaken.They have set the precedence of putting into action pro-environment activities before the rest of the world.
It is high time we too in India did some real work on ground to protect the environment which has been impaled ruthlessly by negligence and absence of awareness among people. Recently in the month of May and June unprecedented rise in temperature in most of the states of our country has been witnessed.The issue at hand is not actually only lack of awareness, but reluctance to act and change the way we look at things as a whole. Luxury and extravagance in materialistic and transient things that harm mother earth has to be seen with contempt and not as something to be held with pride.When we have the discretionary power to decide what is actually good for us and future generations to whom we owe some responsibilities,why not bring a holistic change in our age old obsolete beliefs that many developed nations have already abandoned?Why should we hold onto some vainglory in possessing certain lavish objects and ignore the priceless beauty of intellect and righteousness in saving our planet from rendering any further impairment. Let’s change our mindset first and the rest will follow automatically.
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Anirban is an educationalist with a deep flair for writing. His articles are published in leading newspapers from Assam. His insightful observation of the human interactions and perceptions and his representation of the same featuring issues concerning human life and values is reflected in his writings and touches his readers.