The phenomenal growth of population, poor industrialization and the growing use of private transport in our cities have put our infrastructure and natural resources under immense pressure. Public apathy and helplessness towards dirty surroundings and worsening living conditions have degraded our quality of life. Introduction of new technologies and a behavioral shift towards more efficient utilization of resources and conservation of the existing ones – are two possible solutions. In the face of Air and Water pollution, dwindling water resources and crumbling infrastructure, we (being a school) are working towards creating an Informed Citizenry for the cities of tomorrow and the world at large — whereby environmental considerations become part of our daily decision making process.
India, which embraced socialism after Independence, has now become a votary of the free market and “market environmentalism”. Efforts of NGOs to reverse this trend are handicapped by their heterogeneous class composition with different classes perceiving and reacting to issues differently. The difficulty in accepting the above views is that they leave little room for rational choice so much required in the real world. Staunch greens romanticize environment, no offence in itself but an act that flies in the face of ecological dynamics which involves constant exchange of energy and matter between the living and non-living components of the biosphere. There is no sin in harnessing nature without depredation for man’s good. In fact, the day is not far-off when social and economic organizations will be governed substantially by a green philosophy that values minimal use of energy and resources, recycling and zero waste. While the rest of the world has moved forward to explore how science and technology could play a great role in sustainable development, we, in India, seem to long for the simple, uncomplicated lifestyle and economic organization of a distant past. Concern for the environment is viewed by many as a rich-country luxury. It is not. Natural and man-made environmental resources – fresh water, clean air, forests, grasslands, marine resources, and agro-ecosystems – provide sustenance and a foundation for social and economic development. Today, the World Bank is one of the key promoters and financiers of environmental upgrading in the developing world.
Present Euphoria for rapid economic development has created enormous pressure on India’s natural resources. Forests are subjected to rapid degradation due to growing demand for forest-based inputs for industrial use. Rivers are becoming dumping grounds for industrial wastes, often with toxic materials. Construction of large dams is displacing millions of people from their age-old roots. The development projects are carried out for the prosperity of the poor and the marginalized; but the latter never get benefited by this. Their notion of development is different. They share a unique harmonious relationship with nature. In the present century environmental degradation has emerged as a major global concern for human survival. The situation is getting alarming day-by-day. It is for this reason environmental issue are intensely debated increasingly often. The law relating to the environment is rapidly growing as a complex regulatory mechanism which increasingly reflects public concern over vital issues such as clean water and air, conservation of forests and wildlife, increasing noise and depletion of other natural resources. Recent spate of legislations and policy formulations on environmental issues in India reveal sincere efforts of the Government to combat this stupendous problem. The environmental situation after coming into effect of the law and policy is not satisfactorily improving.
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