Today is going to be one of the most memorable days for Indians: a day when we celebrate the peaceful festival of Ramzan Eid (Eid-ul-Fitr), a day when India plays South Africa in its first match in the ICC World Cup and last but not the least, today is World Environment Day.
Although most hands will celebrate and contribute today to the environment by texting, tweeting and taking selfies, it has fortunately been a different experience for me.
Thanks to the Mega Cleaning and Plantation Drive at the 120-year-old Powai Lake by Abhyuday, IIT Bombay (http://www.abhyudayiitb.org/) and Nisarg Swasthya Sansthan (http://nisargswasthya.org/), Powai, I could experience something which triggered a series of questions in my mind.
After all the volunteers were divided into multiple teams by 7 a.m., we began our work with an oath to keep our surrounding clean, followed by the National Anthem. The presence of newly elected MP, Shri. Manoj Kotak was a welcome sight.
Here's the treasure that our teams uncovered from the shore: hundreds (yes, not an exaggeration!) of booze and cold drink glass bottles, food wrappers, plastic bottles, knives, birthday cracker candles, tags, confetti and spoons, cigarette packets, supari and other intoxicant sachets, heaps of clothes, plastic sacks, contraceptives, dozens of frames of gods and goddess, religious idols and casts. Apologies if I missed something! Most of it seems to have been dumped since months, as roots of trees had almost covered it. Beyond all the cry about water hyacinth infestation in the lake, who would have imagined this plight of the water body which is a home to several wetland birds and crocodiles?
What did this drive do for me? In addition to making new friends, it made me realise that all we fall short of is being sensitive to life around us. Before we, as earth, return to earth, let's not forget to treat the elements that make us who we are with respect. After all, it's not Nature vs Us. We are nature.
Before leaving, glimpse through the lives of some green warriors of India.
- Ketaki Ghate and Manasi Karandikar
- The 107 year old, 'Vriksha Mathe (Mother of Trees)', Saalumarada Thimmakka
- Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev: 25 million trees and counting
- Jadav Payeng: Forest Man of India
- Waterman of India: Rajendra Singh
Did I miss someone? Share a link to their work as comments below.
- The Last Nomad