Today is 5th June, 2020. Every year, this day is celebrated (designated) as the World Environment day. I see so many people post pictures on Facebook and Instagram talking about the need to act, which is great, but there is a need to look at the mirror and ask ourselves: Are you responsible enough?
In this blog, I will just re-write something that I had written way back in 2014. We were in Mumbai at the time and were going to Goa for the New Year celebration. We took the train from Mumbai to Goa. The train passes by Ratnagiri, a city somewhere midway of the journey. The train made a stop before the main station and I noticed that the view from the window looked so beautiful. There was greenery everywhere. There were trees and bushes, covered with beautiful flowers. We were just discussing about how good the location is when someone from a family sitting on the other side of the train threw a plastic bottle out of the window. They were having breakfast and later they also threw the plastic wrappers and other things out of the moving train. We were so disheartened to see this. We did not confront the family as we were just the two and they were a family of 8 to 9 people. People are not always appreciative of your criticism and we did not want to turn the situation into a verbal spat as we had to cover the rest of the journey with them.
However, I felt very agitated and had to vent my frustration somehow and that is when I decided to write it down on a piece of paper. What follows next is what I wrote down at that time in the train from Mumbai to Goa, somewhere near Ratnagiri on 29th December, 2014. No edits. Just what I felt at the moment.
Are you Responsible Enough?
Be the change you want to see in the world. Well, there is a change, though small, that I want to see in the world. I want that the Earth, our Mother, should be kept clean, of all things. Being born in a beautiful hill station, Nainital, I have seen nature at its very best. The cold breeze, the blue sky, a sweet touch of sunshine and a clean and green stretch all around. What else a person, in search of peace, could demand. But such pleasure can’t be enjoyed without some responsibilities. If one enjoys the perks of being in such a beautiful place, it is one’s own duty to maintain the cleanliness and beauty of the place. Being a part of this beautiful hill station has bestowed upon me the habit of not littering the place and trying to keep it clean. But my domain of responsibility does not extend only to my birthplace. Being a child of Mother Earth, it becomes my duty to keep everywhere I go, clean. I want to make sure that the planet is kept clean and enjoyed in the way it was meant to be. But me alone cannot change much, as the world is vast. Oh yes, I can always spread the word of awareness among my friends and family. But that is not enough too. This change can only be brought about if everyone, as individuals, start respecting the beauty of the Earth and take up their part of responsibility on a serious note. I pledge today to be more responsible towards the cleanliness of my Mother Earth and hope the same from you. Are you responsible enough?
Lokesh Verma “Loku”
My idea at the time of writing this was simple. There are a thousand things that we can (and must) do to help our Mother Earth, but the simplest and easiest thing that we can do is to not litter. Make it a habit to keep your plastic wrappers, bottles and all other waste with you and throw it only in the dustbin. If you can avoid using plastic at the first place, that would be 10 bonus points!
I hope you can relate to what I wrote that day. I have tried my best to keep up to my pledge. If you read this, then there is just one question for you: Are you responsible enough?
Oh, I forgot, HAPPY WORLD ENVIRONMENT DAY.