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Environment needs protection

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Wasil Tariq Shah
14-year old boy, Faaz was a great lover of nature. He would love the view of massive mountains full of magnificent green gold (forests) from the view of his window. Everytime at the magical dawn which’s serene and calm, he used to lift the curtains of his window, to breathe in the fresh air deeply which would relax him and remove all his worries and anxieties.
He used to love the pleasant smell of soil after rain. He would love walking on the green velvet grass .The sight of clear bluish sky would bring in him calmness and the melodious gushing river with a crystal clear water, flowing nearby his home would soothe his soul.
He was in love with the chirping of birds on the tallest tree near his home beneath the shade of which, he used to play and do his homework. On Sundays, he used to go for a boat ride across Dal Lake with his family. He also used to watch the beautiful Hanguls jumping happily and roaming freely which would bring a smile on his face. This pulchritudinous natural environment surrounding him made him feel his home was in an area, no less than the heaven.
But with increasing years, Faaz grew up and so did the population of his area, thus changing the environment completely with every single day. Now he cannot even remember the last time when he had enjoyed the view from his window because the atmosphere is too polluted to even open the window completely, let alone taking deep breaths at the dawn and looking out from it, only to witness the dark grey, smoke evolving from the chimney of newly set factory near his home. He just leaves a tiny gap of his window open to let at least some light enter his room because he doesn’t hate his lungs to let in the outside polluted air which has become toxic enough to infect his respiratory system in a matter of few days.
He isn’t able to focus on his studies because of the noise of the machines of the nearby factory and traffic passing nearby his window. Faaz hates it when every time he is about to recapitulate the exact formula while solving a Physics numerical and suddenly a loud noisy horn “Pumm” shifts out his focus and he forgets it all.
His place has now been a total chaos which makes him feel anxious and depressed daily. Whenever he goes to the garden to escape from depression and feel somewhat calm, the scorching heat of the sun forces him to go back and sit inside his room.
Unfortunately not even a one single tree is left where he could enjoy shade or melodious chirping sounds of colorful birds. Whenever he wants to quench his thirst, he has to use water from” Pure it” rather than from the river which flows even today but only to be used as the waste bin of his area.
Last time, there was a marriage function in Faaz’s neighborhood. The marriage was celebrated with zest and fever, streets were cleaned, not even a single wrapper was left out and it really looked beautiful. But the very next day, a huge pile of rotten food, water bottles, cans and other trash items could be seen on the same street, some were thrown in the river. Dogs, eagles and filthy flies were enjoying their party on this pile and the atmosphere was unbearable filled with foul smell.
It is difficult to pass by that road even now because that pile is still there, left untouched by people. Dogs have outnumbered the area and children are afraid to walk on the road alone. Last time, Faaz had a narrow escape from a dog who was about to bite him. He is really thankful to the boys standing there at that instant.
They somehow managed to kick the dog out otherwise Faaz would’ve become a ‘Rabies pati’ area. Every time any friend of his visits Faaz, he has no other choice but listen patiently to list of complaints his friend makes regarding his pure turned filthy area.
Whenever alone, Faaz still longs for the area he used to live in when he was a child. His lungs crave for the clean and fresh air of the dawn. He just wants to hear the chirping of birds and the melodious sound of river with crystal clear water again. He truly wishes to have the pleasant, scenic view from the window of his room.
He again wants to ride boat in the crystal clear waters of Dal lake (which isn’t any more clean). He wants to enjoy freedom of Hanguls’ again and experience the serenity and calmness once again but Alas! he cannot.
The Almighty Allah had gifted us, humans with this amazingly beautiful earth and it’s alluring environment full of numerous resources including air, water, land and forests so that we could benefit ourselves and pass them to our upcoming generations, in the same way as did our ancestors but today we’ve become too selfish and greedy to even think of our fellow human folks and share our resources with them, let alone caring for the future generations who are even yet to come.
We’ve devastated our environment totally, destroying it’s lush green forests, which were even more precious than any wealth or treasure. Due to reckless deforestation, we have a large number of area left barren resulting in great risk of heavy landslides, floods and storms, decreased rainfalls, droughts and famines. Also after destroying large hectares of forests which are natural habitats of wild fauna.
Due to this, their moments’ now become unpredictable as they’re left homeless. All this can lead to a more thickening of red data book which records endangered organisms who are on the verge of extinction and are hustling to survive. The movements of these homeless wild beasts have become unpredictable. Now they can often be spotted wandering in the cities, causing fear and havoc among people, even attacking humans. Recently a leopard killed a little four -year old girl in a village of Budgam leaving people in shock. Who pushed these wild beasts to come to populated areas are none other than we humans. This disturbed natural balance in the environment.
We have polluted all the water bodies, filled them with trash and toxicity to our Dal Lake isn’t any exception. Wastes from house boats, boats of vegetable hawkers, chemicals from hospitals & factories all goes inside these water bodies, fertilizers from farm lands all get washed off into these water bodies thus polluting them and killing the fish and other water organism. Diseases like Cholera, Hepatitus-B and diarrheal infections. Also there is already a water crisis and shortage of fresh water at many places of world like Beijing, Jakarta and many others.
The atmosphere too has become completely lethargic full of lethal gases of Carbon monoxide, C.F.C’s ,Methane ,dust particles and smoke evolved from vehicles, factories and industries all over the globe. More and more people are suffering from Asthama, a common respiratory problem, chest infections and from other severe pulmonary diseases. The green house effect has increased causing melting of glaciers and ice caps and destruction of Ozone layer largely.
The peace and calmness has, as if vanished from this globe which is replaced by noise and chaos all around thus increasing the heart diseases, hypertension and anxiety.
In a nutshell, we humans have intervened the environment, crossing all the limits have given open invitations to all the catastrophes and are even facing them repeatedly be it in the form of diseases, floods, droughts, famines, land slides, storms. These catastrophes are destroying us and if we won’t mend our ways, then the day isn’t much far when all our resources will become exhausted and this will ultimately wipe off the human population will be wiped off in a large number because “environment reacts”! Its reaction will be the tremendous destruction for human kind.
Before we reach to this dangerous level, we need to save our environment from getting destructed. We should not take any resource for granted. As is said, the lost thing is valued the most. So we should realise the value of our environment before we lose it and would’ve nothing left in our hands but regret just like Faaz.
World Environmental day is celebrated on 5th June of every year to awaken our conscience for the environment and it’s resources. Throughout the week, environmental programs are conducted to let the world know why and how to protect our environmental resources.
We should try minimizing the use of vehicles as they emit harmful, air-polluting gases from them which eventually deteriorate the quality of air. We should promote public transport usage and using vehicles which run on gas. Using bicycle as a means of transport, even should be normalised. Electronic vehicles should be made developed in the whole world. Also we should prevent smoking as it risks both our health as well as our environment.
We should set up factories in regions which are away from populated areas and should ensure that the smoke coming out from their chimneys is properly filtered and the waste is properly discarded. We should fit silencers in our vehicles, factories, industries, vehicles and increase afforestation as it prevents noise.
We should judiciously use water. Water plants should be increased so that they’ll purify the dirty water and bring that back to its utilizable form. Taps should be tightly closed and water leakage in pipes should be repaired immediately once detected. We should properly discovered toxic materials from waste coming from hospitals from throwing them into water bodies. Constructions along the banks of water bodies should be demolished if they try to degrade quality of water. Water logging should be prevented.
We should try our best to reuse and recycle our worn out materials before throwing them out. Plastic bags should be banned totally as they’re chemically inert to soil. Instead cloth bags and paper bags should be used. A fully functional drainage system needs to be built.
We should stop wasting paper as it is obtained after cutting trees. This can be done by promoting usage of e-newspapers, e-magazines and e-calenders. Using e-books should be encouraged.
A yearly lockdown throughout the world should be imposed every at least for a week in order to give earth a break, to let it heal itself but in that meantime, everything should continue through online mode. But daily essential services should be offline.
Fossil fuels should be minimised as they are a great source of air pollution. Instead we should bring hydro energy, solar energy for usage for electricity purposes. We should use energy saving appliances instead of high energy consuming ones.
Wild flora and fauna should be ensured maximum safety. Poaching should totally be banned and a high amount of fine should be imposed for the one who, in any way harms the environment. We should try to attain the natural balance in environment back.
Natural fertilizers should be used which are animal wastes or manures’ instead of chemical fertilizers. A separate land should be made available at every place for dumping waste materials. Also there should be dustbins with lids in all the localities. Solid waste and liquid waste should be well separated.
Rain water harvesting system should be developed. Sprinkle irrigation and drip irrigation should be made into usage often. To prevent floods, landslides and soil erosion at hilly areas, terrace farming should be practiced. Over grazing in fields should be monitored.
We should try to develop empathy inside ourselves and put ourselves in the shoes of upcoming generation. What if we exploit every resource, so they won’t be able to survive for much long and this’ll extinct human race. Development of this mindset will stop us from over exploiting resources and conserve them for future generations. This is called practicing sustainable development which really is essential and need of the hour for environmental protection.
The most important thing which we can do is to create awareness regarding savage of our environment by uploading posts about it on social media platforms (Facebook, Twitter and Instagram etc).We should write about it so that everyone gets aware of importance for protecting environment and it’s resources for ourselves and for ones to come ,or else we would be left with no other option other than regretting upon our flaws and careless nature but it would have been already too late to change anything.
(The author is an Honours student from ICSC department of Zoological Science)

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