Written by Braja Kishore Pradhan, Founder-Aahwahan Foundation
We are in an age of modern advancement where we are racing towards development but somewhere amid all this what gets left behind is neglect towards our environment which eventually bears the brunt of it all.
Since ages advancement has come with its perils, largely being seen in our surroundings which is now impacting us as well, clear through climate change, agricultural output due to reduced farm sizes globally, endangered biodiversity, pollution of all kinds, and lastly ailments that constantly threaten our lives.
This negligence on all our parts now needs to be corrected with appropriate and result-driven measures if we want to live better and leave a better world for future generations.
The approach has to be multipronged- on a policy-making level, economic front, community front, and individual front.
If we all make small changes to our lifestyle and do our bit to protect our environment, it will go a long way in protecting the same.
On a political level, setting up policies and implementing them diligently at the grassroots needs to become a primary objective of any government in power.
Measures like deploying water harvesting systems, reuse of drainage water, using renewable energy resources, promoting hydroponics, educating, and providing money and other assistance to the farmers to employ multiple agricultural practices for better yield even in a small parcel of land and actively use technology to enhance available resources, etc.
While on the economic level, companies, and organizations need to become more aware of their consumption and become socially responsible by incorporating sustainable measures for business growth. A circular economy should be a way forward for growth trajectory.
An effort to minimize waste should become a corporate ethos. Businesses must learn to give back to society in conscious ways and mindless profit generation should be substituted with sustainable growth.
On a community level, a group of people needs to consciously work towards creating a safe and sustainable environment around them. A classic example of this was the Chipko movement and Sikkim becoming the first organic state in India.
Cleaning and conservation of water bodies, growing trees, generating employment and economic growth through self-sustaining measures, and making the community plastic-free, pollution free, and organic is a task that only a community-level mindset can bring about a difference.
Other measures like rainwater harvesting, wastewater reuse, sanitation measures, clean community, and tree plantation can bring about a real difference in the way of life.
On an individual level, small efforts can go a long way like educating one’s family in trying to avoid using plastics, reusing the same utensils to conserve water, using alternate methods to reuse kitchen waste like compost for plants at home, trying hydroponics at home to conserve soil depletion, use glass jars and bottles for storage rather than plastics, avoid bringing plastics home instead use cloth or paper bags for shopping, grow trees or saplings in nearby areas around home and at home, reduce wastage of water, electricity, keep the house and surroundings clean and hygienic to avoid diseases and bacterial, viral or fungal infestation.
As an organization, working in this domain we also understand the impact of climate change on agriculture which has phenomenally increased over the years. The increased heat waves impact crop growth and quality while erratic rains affect the yield and overall food production.
While we understand this symbiotic relationship between climate conditions and agriculture which has been there for years in our country, it is important to educate the farmers in multiple ways.
To begin with, is farming practices and crop yields. Our aim is to encourage them to grow crops that yield better income for them and have a relatively shorter cropping time.
Secondly, we ensure they learn how to use technology that can enable them to understand the quality of the soil what can be done to enhance it, and what crop will yield better output once sowed, the other is the knowledge of climate which has enormously
changed owing to climate change.
We believe arming them with knowledge of crops and agricultural patterns along with the use of technology can equip them better to deal with the shortcomings they face in agricultural output which traditionally has relied on the natural pattern of the climate.
Our little efforts at each level and earnest attempts can go a long way in bringing about a change, though the change may not be instant it will certainly bring about a change in mindset for all and eventually manifest as a lifestyle change.
Only once people become more aware and responsible for their actions towards the environment and society at large then only a change will be visible. Our actions need to become more result oriented and quick as we are faced with depleting resources and snarling threats to life.