THERE IS NO PLANET B. HOW CAN YOUTH BRING CHANGE IN THIS WORLD.
“What’s the use of a fine house if you don’t have a tolerable planet to put it on”. This quote by Henry David Thoreau has more to it than visible to the naked eye . Just like the famous saying : “What’s the use of studying when you can’t gain knowledge”. Our planet , Earth is the most beautiful planet and is the only life sustaining planet in our solar system bearing weight of 8 billion people and trillions of other organisms. It provides us with essential resources to survive and prosper. Mother Earth has always been there for us but are we there for her? The answer is big no. We are not able to pay off her kindness.
Everyday we produce tons of degradable and non-degradable waste and throw it anywhere recklessly. Waste like plastic and other non degradable material like insecticides, fertilisers can degrade the soil quality , kill microorganisms and decomposers. Pollution is another biggest problem of the modern time .The increase in level of carbon-dioxide due to deforestation, burning of fossil fuels , unnecessary use of electricity, emission of CFLs from refrigerators etc. and increase in emission of methane is leading to Global warming . It has become the most worrying threat for earths atmosphere as it is reducing life possible. Due to global warming the heat is trapped causing icecaps to melt resulting in increase in sea level which may further bring floods in the coastal areas . It is also depleting the ozone layer and increasing our exposure to harmful UV rays of Sun leading to various problems like skin diseases , cataract etc. Not only air pollution but water pollution and noise pollution is also degrading our planet . Despite of huge noise by our jumbo population itself we use loudspeakers for our entertainment purpose. This leads to many problems like insomnia, heart diseases and other psychological problems. The dumping of industrial and agriculture waste, immersing of idols and cremating corpses near the bank of river contributes to water pollution.Have you ever thought who is responsible for turning the sacred river Ganga into a runnel? It is the human who have scripted their own destruction by doing so . The establishment of nuclear reactors have an adverse effect on nature. Atomic energy can be used for constructive as well as for destructive purposes but humans have used for latter . Burning of coal, sulphur dioxide and nitrogen oxides are released into the atmosphere where they rise up and accumulate in the clouds until the clouds become saturated and rain acid, causing havoc on the ground beneath. It was believed that resources are free gifts of nature . As a result human beings have indiscriminately used them in order to fulfil their selfish motives. “There is sufficient in the world for man’s need but not for man’s greed”. This inspirational thought from the father of nation Mahatma Gandhi should ring a bell in everyone’s head.
The association of man and nature is since the day the man is born . The irony is very little time we spend thinking and caring about importing issues . We are more concerned about irrelevant things rather then doing something for our environment without which we can’t imagine our life. Solutions have to be found which have global scope . The nations youth have special responsibility in relation to protection of environment . This is due to the fact that young people have to live for more years than others . Youth is the hope of tomorrow . The term is often associated with enthusiasm , passion and joyfulness . They are the backbone of nation. They can play an active role in protecting and improving the environment. They can change their lifestyle and adopt environment friendly methods . By engaging youth in environment protection itwill not only change their thinking but it will also change attitude of their parents , relatives and gradually the whole world . Right mindset, ability and passion in what you do is essential for progress .
Unfortunately today’s youth is more interested in other things . They spend most of their time partying , taking drugs , playing video games. Most of the youth is at home and becomingcouch potato instead of going out for work or bettering themselves. They have no vision and even if they have dreams they do not have the drive to make any attempt at achieving them.A quote by Franklin D. Roosevelt perfectly fit here: “We cannot build the future for our youth , but we can build our youth for the future”.
Youth participation starts from home . Child learnstheirfirst lesson at home so it’s the responsibility of parents and family to inculcate good habits and teach them wise use of natural resources such as water , electricity etc.School and Universities can play an important role towards environmental sustainability and should give more importance to environment education.It’s high time and need of the hour for youth to realise their priorities. We have plenty of resources. But the demand is increasing day by day. It is the responsibility of the youth to manage it efficiently. Governments and youth organisations should initiate programmes to promote participation in planting trees, forestry, recycling and other environment practices . The participation of young people and their organisations in such programmes can provide good training and encourage awareness and action.
Youth are increasingly using the power of their collective voice to advocate and lead campaigns towards adopting environment friendly methods . As more youth is growing up in the world of advanced technologies and information sharing, many are using this opportunity to create innovative, sustainable environmental solutions. More youth continue to adopt both conventional and unconventional methods to contribute for environment protection. Youth have already begun mobilising their peers on social media to discuss, debate and advocate for better environmental protection. Youth efforts range from local initiatives to international campaigns, some influential enough to reach policymakers and national leaders. As more youth connect they are also using virtual platforms to educate, raise awareness, expand outreach and share knowledge.
One of the example of youth participation was in Peterborough Ontario, when a group of school students defended their environmental rights by making demands to their government to tackle climate change. “Our environmental rights need to be protected, they're important to us," said Hannah Grills, a Grade 11 student from Holy Cross.This call was made as part of the Climate Strikes that have taken the world by storm in the past year.It was started by then 15-year-old Greta Thunberg in Sweden, the strikes have spread to include thousands of children, hundreds of demonstrations and scores of countries. Demanding immediate and meaningful action to fight climate change, these strikes are organised and championed by children under banners such as: #FridaysforFuture #YouthStrike4Climate #SchoolStrike4Climate #ClimateStrike.
In March 2019, at least 1.4 million young people took part in a climate rally. And on 24 May 2019, climate rallies were held in over 130 countries.Fuelling these strikes is an understanding that the youth have a voice and that it should be heard and considered in decision-making on environmental matters. These strikes are a powerful exercise in fighting for the right to public participation in environmental matters.The youth taking part in these strikes and other demonstrations dread the version of the planet that awaits them if inaction continues, and so they are demanding that their right to a healthy environment be met, now and in the future.
Another example is the clean up the world campaign that inspires more than 40 million volunteers in over 100 countries each year to take action to improve their local environment. These volunteers include millions of young people, and the campaign represents a practical way for youth to take responsibility for their immediate environment in a voluntary setting.
In India also Beach warriors is a Team based in Mumbai formed under Khushiyaan Foundation by Chinu Kwatra.Chinu Kwatri is 29 years old who have been working for the society since last 5 years. He believes in 360 degree development programs so have founded other projects like Roti Ghar which feeds 1000+ kids everyday since last 2 yrs, MARD- which manufacturers and distributed 5000 eco friendly sanitary napkins every month to less privileged ladies ,Project pathshala which focuses on the extra curricular activities for less privileged kids & Home for paws which is a shelter home for Abandon & Stray dogs.His Team Beach Warriors clean 9 beaches in Mumbai every weekend since last 2+ yrs. The team also have been recognised by Limca Book of Records, UN Environment, Earth Day Network, NDTV Swachh Hero etc.Till date team has removed 2100 tonnes of Garbage in Mumbai and have recently started Yamuna River Cleanup at Kalindi Kunj Ghat.Chinu has inspired 40000+ citizens in Mumbai to keep the city clean and following the similar plan in other cities too.
Commonwealth is also doing a lot for the participation of youth under its various programs. Commonwealth youth award itself is a proof that how youth are aware of the social, environmental and global issues and are taking actions and bringing positive change in the world.Today we are hearing such stories daily how youths are contributing towards environmental protection and sustainable development in many ways and bringing positive change in the world. We should acknowledge their efforts and encourage them.
A quote by Helen Keller sums it up beautifully: "Alone we can do so little, together we can do so much".
Dhaula Kuan, Delhi