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Monday, 4 June 2012

Our Children deserve a better future

Although Mumbai is my favorite city in the world, it fails me sometimes when it cannot keep itself clean.

It stinks.

Walk down any beach in Mumbai and it is filled with plastic bags and garbage. Sit in the auto rickshaw and you will see the auto fellow spit  bright red patch on the side walk, when he stops at the signal. Travel in the train and you will see the woman sitting opposite you munching on a snack, as soon as she has finished eating, the empty wrapper goes down on the railway tracks.

Are Mumbaikars dirty by nature? They get seriously annoyed if we point out their bad habits. How do we educate them?

The 5th June is the world environment day and the theme this year is green economy.

So what is green economy?

Green economy is having a good quality of life with less environment risk and is ecologically green

It is important to inculcate the good habits of caring for environment and keeping it clean from childhood itself.  A child who grows up in a clean environment at home develops the habit of showing such etiquettes in the society too.  Children pick up the habits from their parents and from their grown-up with whom they spend most of their time.

How do we train a child if we have not been able to understand this concept?

The area of the earth is not going to increase, we will always use the same square foot of the space on this earth, but what will change is the natural resources that is inversely proportional to the number of people using these resources. If we don’t use our resources intelligently, we will be depriving our children of good quality of life.

With the redevelopment mushrooming in all parts of Mumbai and sky scrapers dressing the sky-line, there will be shortage of water, electricity and greenery if we are not careful.

How many birds do we see in Mumbai?

There are only crows that spread garbage from one balcony to another; there are pigeons that spoil our window sill and fly into the empty homes through broken windows to raise a family. But we don’t normally see those pretty birds that we often saw when we were young, birds like sparrows, cuckoo, parrots and many more?  

The birds have disappeared and have gone away to look for trees, where they can build a home and care for their young ones.

In the concrete jungle of Mumbai, children can take a very active part in making their environment clean and green. It should be mandatory for every child of 5year-old to plant a tree on his birthday, the tree could be planted either in the building garden where he/she lives, or on the street outside his/her house or at the park closer to his/her house. The tree should belong to him/her; he/she should take care of it throughout his life.

Children should be taught to use electricity stingily.  Why do we need to watch TV and still have computer on to socialize with friends on Facebook/twitter during the promos, use AC for all 24 hours of the day, have too many lights on, in short why must we waste electricity?

Children should be given the responsibility of switching off the lights when leaving the room and saving electricity and water in the house. Incentives like extra pocket money can be given to a child when the monthly energy bill shows low consumption.

When we go for marketing, how many of us carry a cloth bag?

Most of the time we forget to take a bag with us and then we have to buy a plastic bag which the vendor will sell. If we don’t stop using plastic, children will learn to ape us too. We have to discourage our children from using plastic; we have to teach them to say ‘No’ to plastic.  No plastic plates, cups, straws, caps, bags, and water bottles. Plastic is very difficult to dispose and when it goes down the drain, it could choke the drain pipe, if dumped into the sea, it could harm the fishes and whales.


We have to make them aware that we need to maintain a green economy.

They must know how to recycle the waste and create something useful.  They can be encouraged in environmentally friendly activity like making some innovative product from used electronic waste, of creating re-cycled clothes for fashion and cultural shows., of creating films on saving the planet and putting on plays on topic of sustainability.

On this World environment day, let us be the responsible citizen and let us set an example that our children can ape.

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