Indians and Environment
India, the world’s second-most populous country, has had a big impact on the globe. Its history is dynamic, spanning back to the beginning of human civilization. The history of India begins with the birth of the ‘Indus Valley Civilization’, more precisely known as ‘Harappan Valley Civilization’. It flourished around 2500 BCE. The Indus Valley Civilization was basically an urban civilization and the people lived in well planned and well-built towns. The highly civilized people knew the art of growing cereals, wheat, and barley which made up for their food requirements. The most remarkable fact is that despite living in urban areas, they had a deep respect for the nature around them. Their interest in wildlife can be seen in seals depicting images of rhinos, elephants, bulls, etc. Historically, the conservation of nature and natural resources was an innate aspect of the Indian psyche and faith, reflected in religious practices, folklore, art and culture permeating every aspect of the daily life of people.*
Hinduism, the world’s oldest religion, was born in India. The followers of Hinduism paid deep respect to the planet’s flora and fauna. It can be understood from the fact that Hinduism does not explicitly prohibit eating meat, yet the majority of Hindus are vegetarians. This is because they believe strongly in ‘ahimsa’(non-violence) and consider it morally wrong to harm any life-forms including animals. The plants and trees which provide us with fruits, herbs, and medicines are worshipped by the Hindus as a matter of gratitude. Cows are goddesses and nature’s elements are worshipped as gods like Indra(the king of gods) and Surya(the sun god).
To this day, Indians have shared a strong bond with nature. Indians have long treated Earth as a living being itself. And have considered its care and protection of their fundamental duty. It is not surprising that some of the world’s greatest eco-activists(people who work to address ecological problems and work to bring healthy ecological balance). To list a couple of them -
Sunderlal Bahuguna - Mr.Bahuguna has spent his entire life working to educate Indians villagers, protesting against ecological destruction. He is most famously known for the ‘Chipko Movement’ and the ‘Anti-Tehri Dam movement’. He has struggled for change in all of the areas using peaceful resistance.
Amrita Devi Bishnoi - Born in a small farming household in the Jodhpur district of Rajasthan, Amrita Devi Bishnoi was an incredible eco-activist. She fought various protests in order to protect trees and forests. In 1730, she sacrificed her life along with 363 Bishnois while protecting the sacred Khejri trees. The Amrita Devi Bishnoi National award is now awarded to environmentalists for their significant contribution in the field of wildlife protection.
Even though we have such a great history of being eco friendly. We have now certainly become one of the biggest polluter countries in the world. Some blame modernization, while others blame the British, but the truth is that all of us(normal people) are collectively responsible for the current predicament of nature. When hundreds of species of animals have been wiped out from the face of the Earth, the oceans and water bodies are choked with plastic and the air that we breathe in is filled with poisonous pollutants! All of this is not the doing of a single person, instead this is the result of all of our day to day choices that we make. We deforested trees for the sake of our comfort and luxury, we used plastic because it was cheap, and we burnt fossil fuels because it was an easier way of generating power. These all activities added to the declining health of our planet.
But now, in the year 2020, we stand a chance to rectify our mistakes. If we bring about eco-friendly changes in our daily lifestyle we might be able to regain Earth back to its full glory. We would thus be able to confront our future generations by not depriving them off what is rightfully theirs- ‘The planet Earth’.
Do you care about the environment? Wish to make a change? Have an idea to resolve issues? ELP is your chance.
We are excited to launch our first edition of the Ecochirp Launchpad program 2020 (ELP2020). ELP is the game-changer for all the budding enviropreneurs. It is a 12 weeks launchpad program for youth-led environmental solutions. This virtual launchpad program with weekly learning modules that includes webinars, mentoring sessions, and weekly tasks that will support you to launch your idea into a validated business plan.
Know more: https://www.ecochirp.org/events
About the Author: Aaditya is an inquisitive XII grade science student from Eastwood International School, Doomwali, Punjab. He is a nature lover. And has a youtube channel-'The Viking Show'.