Thursday, June 21, 2007
I can still remember my early school days (in St. Joseph’s College, Allahabad). As much as us, the eagles perched on top of the tall school buildings used to wait for the lunch break. Our mothers’ kitchens served the hungry eagles during the day. We saw the amazing creature making magnificent calculated dives to pick up the litter that we created on the play ground. Coming back to home was not just bicycling through the heavy traffic that has made an exponential rise; it was coming back to the sound of sparrows that always found a safe nestling place in my garden. The mother sparrow’s relentless efforts to feed the yelling babies were both music to ears and a nature lover’s paradise.
Things have changed drastically in the recent times. I went to my old school only to find that like my old teachers the eagles have also taken retirement. The only difference is that unlike the teachers my old friends have not been replaced by their new offspring. I had never imagined that the eagles which outnumbered the students of my school would one day become endangered. The monsters to be blamed for wiping out the existence of these wonderful creatures are pollution, unabated urbanization and unobstructed cutting of trees on the pretext of development. This is ironical for a city like Allahabad which is called a ‘dead city’ considering the slow pace of development here.
My father had put up a small bird house for the sparrows a year back which is yet to find inhabitants. Like other big cities the sparrow song has evaded our ears for some years now!
There is a need to take up the cause of environment preservation (resurrection now) in a big way. We have harmed our planet to such an extent now that individual resolutions may not be enough. A strong political will has become the need of the hour. Governments around the world need to take into consideration the fact that economy of the future world would depend on how well we manage our ecosystem. There are very few examples of a political success which had the environment angle to their campaign and policies. The convincing win of congress in the Goa assembly elections is a clear indication that when it comes to choosing a government we still vote without taking into account the past atrocities that were committed on the environment around us.