Need to make our youngsters more aware.
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The most pertinent question vexing everyone these days is the question of environment and its protection. The question of global warming and greenhouse effects are on everyone’s mind these days. Thinking about it alone is not good enough. We should be taking actions to help in whatever way possible.
One of the most important things to do is to make our younger generation more aware of the environmental issues that are troubling the world at the moment. This should be done at a young age. At the moment this initiative is missing in India. There are no organisations or associations which try to get the message across to the kids and if at all there are such associations then they are too insignificant to make a difference.
In the west there are organisations like the nature detectives which help young kids to learn and observe the natural world around them. They then record their findings in a national database. This helps schoolchildren to learn everything from seasons to various species (plants and animals) and more importantly climate change and its impact on the environment. More information about them can be found at http://www.naturedetectives.org.uk/.
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Schools in India have a major role to play in inculcating this awareness in the next generation. They need to come up with programs that are both fun and educational to the kids. Outdoor activities like trekking, camping etc should be encouraged and facilities for the same made available. This would help the kids develop an affinity with nature and help them appreciate the environment a bit better.
When I look at the activities of most of the schools these days I am sad to see that most of them do not have such clubs or associations as NCC or the Boys Scouts and the Girls Guides. These associations help inculcate a sense of serving the society in some way or the other. They help the kids realise the importance of cleanliness and waste management. I am sure everyone of my generation who had the good fortune of being a part of such activities looks back at those days spent cleaning the neighbourhood, or volunteering for some good cause, or the trips taken to various camps with joy and pride. Let us not deny that to our kids as well.
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Spreading awareness should not be a job left to the adults alone. It can be taken up by teenagers and young adults as well. Thanks to the explosion of the internet in our country the educated urban youngsters now have various opportunities to learn and spread the message around the environment and the challenges our planet is facing. The best way to do so would be to make a post at least once in a while about environment in an environment blog or at least read these post when you come across them in a blog. Blogs have become the best way to put your ideas and thoughts across to the whole world. Can’t we then spare a thought for this planet that we live in?
There are many ways to make these topics interesting. You don’t have to always start off the topic using numbers and charts and graphs. Environment blogs could highlight the happenings in popular culture itself to keep the topic interesting. You could start off by talking about the latest hybrid car that some celebrity used to get to a red carpet event or the latest trend in natural cosmetics. You could discuss about the events depicted in a movie (even if it’s not a masterpiece) like ‘The day after tomorrow’ or about a novel like Michael Crichton’s ‘State of Fear’.
I remember that in my childhood I used to go to the neighbourhood shop at the junction in my bicycle. The shopkeeper would wrap the things I bought with an old newspaper and tie it with a thin rope made out of coir. I would put that in my bicycle carrier and I would ride back with it. We would then either burn the newspaper or give it for recycling. Now the bicycle is no more to be found; it has been replaced by motorbikes and mini-scooters. Shopkeepers use polythene covers and the old method has become outdated. But both these has amounted to air and land pollution.
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Kennedy once said “Our most basic common link is that we all inhabit this planet. We all breathe the same air. We all cherish our children's future. And we are all mortal.” Even though he said it in a different context it can be applied here as well. Let’s leave a planet that is inhabitable to our children and teach them how to take care of it, so that they can leave the same to their own children as well.