Mother Earth: Are We Safeguarding Our Planet?
Mother Earth, our mother earth…She is the one who gives us birth. The tree, soil, mountains and hills…
All are one by one getting killed. In the forests, we hear sweet birds chirp. Trees are being cut one by one.
But people on earth are planting none. Mother earth, our mother earth… Help us save our Mother Earth.
Dashavatara refers to the ten avatars of Vishnu, the Hindu god of preservation. Vishnu is said to descend on Mother Earth in form of various avatars to restore cosmic order. These ten avatars depicted the theory of evolution on the Earth in the Mahabharata.
Should we wait for God to take birth in another avatar or take charge ourselves in protecting our Mother Earth?
A recent report and analysis on climate change compiled by the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR) and the Belgian-based Centre for Research on the Epidemiology of Disasters (CRED) highlights that over the last twenty years, 90% of major disasters have been caused by floods, storms, heat-waves, droughts and other weather-related events. Weather-related disasters are becoming increasingly frequent, which has become relatively difficult for scientists across the country to arrive at a conclusion on identifying the exact cause of rise of this drastic climate change.
Does the recent devastating incident of forest fire at Uttarakhand, the earthquake at Ecuador or floods at Jammu strike your mind?
Yes, to me it does! One such example which comes to my mind is the sinking Sundarbans – which could have been a treasure for the country in the age of global warming. A research conducted by School of Oceanographic Studies and Jadavpur University (SOSJU) states that by 2022 a dozen more islands in the Sundarbans will go under the sea. The report also reveals some horrific plight of Sundarbans. The migrants are being allowed to set up their habitations quite close to the Bay of Bengal—in areas which are completely at the mercy of nature. But the most alarming aspect to look at is the increase in population. It is revealed that the large part of areas is being occupied by government for setting up a single village which is ultimately resulting in more destruction of forests.
Forests which cover almost 31% of the land area on our planet play a critical role in mitigating climate change. They help in producing vital oxygen and have been providing food, fresh water, clothing, traditional medicine and shelter to many lives. However, in recent times there has been an unusual spurt of forest fires in major parts of India. A data from Forest Survey of India shows that there has been a 65% rise in number of forest fires nationwide. Such things have given rise to Deforestation which has become one of the factors contributing largely to the global climate change too. It has contributed to 63% of total disaster in the last 20 years. And to some extent we human beings have been playing a major role in by not controlling on this activity.
With such incidents occurring rapidly, it is clear that we as an individual should come forward and take onus of protecting and safeguarding our Mother Earth. In a quest to protect our nature, the nation have decided that by 2020, marking the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, with a theme revolving around “Trees for the Earth”, each individual should plan to plant a tree as one of the initiative and a proactive step towards protecting our nature. This initiative also marks a significant step taken by India towards beginning the work on cutting down on greenhouse gas emissions.
In the recent Paris Agreement signed by India along with other countries, India has announced its plans to quadruple its renewable power capacity to 175 gigawatts by 2022 as part of the government’s plan to supply electricity to every household (175 gigawatts = 175000 megawatts). The country has also highlighted that the burden of fighting climate change will not be put on the shoulders of the poor alone but will be taken up eventually. To act immediately on the said plan, India has pledged to increase its solar power capacity by 100,000 megawatts and has also aimed to add 60,000 megawatts of wind power, 10,000 megawatts of biomass and 5,000 megawatts of hydroelectric projects by 2022.
While, the government is talking about developing the country by adding gigawatts of wind power, biomass and other hydro projects, not to forget, we must also look at having some precautionary measures to fight against the natural disasters which occur on every second day.
As parents and responsible citizens, I believe we have the responsibility to teach our kids to care for our world. And it is much easier than most people think. Here are some simple tips to make a difference & help conserve Mother Earth.
a. Take your family to the park and talk to them about the joy of being in green, clean, preserved places.
b. When you are outside, pick up your rubbish and teach your kids that, just as they do not litter at home, they should act the same in our “global home”.
c. If you have a garden, please teach your kids to care for the garden. If you live in an apartment building, have potted plants and take care of them.
d. Have a compost bin and put your organic waste in it. Separate your garbage and recycle.
e. Turn off the lights and taps when they are not needed.
f. Avoid long showers and install a “half flush” in your toilet,
g. Walk, ride a bike, use public transport if you can or car pool instead of driving.
h. Walk up the stairs instead of using the elevator (it will make you healthy too).
Mahatma Gandhi had said, “Be the change you want to see in the world”… Let us change, before we are forced to change!! Needless to add, this world is as precious as our Mother…let us treat her with the same respect!!!