Miscelleneous : Environmental Legislation


With time air pollution of city is deteriorating. Do we have laws to protect the city?

WHO (World Health Organization) has estimated that the majority of five million children that die from diarrheal diseases in developing world are poor urban families [World Resource Institute (1996). The Urban Environment, Oxford University Press, New York].

No environmental legislation can save Indians until we eliminate 'Poverty pollution': An approach to combat the situation.

1. How many Indians live below the poverty line?

Number of poor (million) 1993-1994 1987-1988
Rural 244.03 231.80
Urban 76.34 75.17
Total 320.37 306.97

2. After fifty-three years of independence what have we achieved in the field of education?

Literacy : India's 424 million illiterates number more than the combined population of the USA, Canada and Japan
Primary education : 35 million children aged 6-10 do not attend primary school; 37% drop out before reaching class 5.
Tertiary education : Enrolment rate is only 6%
Education priorities : Amount allotted to elementary education has dropped from 56% in the First Plan to 29% in the Seventh.

Saint Ramakrishna had once said that pangs of hunger could be so acute that even youthful love becomes futile. Poverty vitiates the body and soul. A mother, who is a symbol of love and affection, is at times driven to sell her child because of poverty, and a young girl to sell her body. A country that can not provide the basic needs - food, clothing and shelter to its people cannot expect to improve its environment.

If the main string of the Sitar is not properly tuned, the other strings can hardly create any music. Similarly, the state of the environment will automatically improve in developing countries if we succeed in eliminating poverty.

Economic growth is closely related to education and education leads to a better environmental condition. So to improve our economy, we need better education. But who will bring about this change? Just as for Goddess Durga's worship even the soil from prostitute's house is needed and she uses her all ten hands to kills 'Asura', the evil sprit, millions of people from every walk of life, should come together to destroy the evil hands of poverty.

Even after 50 years of independence, India's over all socioeconomic condition and the level of education in villages, where the majority of people live, have not improved to the extent it should have. India's poor and poverty stricken villagers remain neglected. Poverty makes a country sick just as malnutrition becomes the principal causative factor to many diseases. As cancer cells destroy healthy cells, poverty acts as neoplasm to the country.

Still, there is a solution to the poverty-induced environmental crisis in India and many developing countries. The solution lies in treating the whole country as a single undivided family where all members work together for development and share responsibilities for the family's prosperity. Labor - no matter in what form - must be respected and this will ensure the country's prosperity by encouraging people's participation at every level.

Finally while making our environmental legislation / planning we should follow foot steps of natures own planning which has been established through thousands of years by natures own experiment. This statement may appear too simple but the truth is, there is 'truth' in it.