Saturday, November 14, 2015

Endangered & Extinct, Who Cares?

“Saving just one specie won’t change the world; but it will surely change the world for that specie”… Anon.
If the words can move the world then surely above words have that power as I don’t know who said it but it’s worth reading any time. Why I remembered this quote is consecutively a particular topic come in the news papers & it’s about endangered species of the birds. That way sometimes I really admire & at the same time pity the media as poor fellows keeps writing about such topics when people are interested in politics or sports or who is dating who types affairs yet the media does spend time & their precious space for news such as endangered birds’ species! That means media is fool or there are still few fools left around who do read such news, sure I am one of such bunch! Here again there are category of such fools who read the news such as endangered species may it be birds or frogs or even some butterfly. One is who reads because it’s been printed in paper, like my dad who reads every word of the news paper including advertises too. Then there are who goes by the headline of photograph along with news. Few just read such news & leave it saying “kahi honar nahi” i.e. nothing will improve in this country. Then there are few who read it & share of discuss furiously about it in their friends circle & next day there will be news for discussion! But there are very very few who will read news about specie in danger & sit back, think about what can be done & one or two of such lot will actually act on what they think! I think the above quote has been written by such soul!

Let’s see what’s common city people’s reaction to this, when I spoke at many platforms about extinct or endangered species of birds or animals, the first reaction is, most of the people does understand meaning of the terms like endangered species or any specie getting extinct but what impact it’s going to make on our day to day things, is they are not aware or bothered of! If it’s earlier thing then its ok as you can make aware to someone but the later part is more of concern i.e. they are not bothered with any specie getting extinct or endangered! As I have came across many educated so called intellectual men who says what’s so much fuss about it, even the tiger as what it matters if there are hardly three thousand of them left in the world! The world was same when there were some fifty thousands of tigers & its same with their present count, isn’t it? We have so many day to day issues to survive right from petrol rates to commodity rates & water crisis as well traffic & affordable homes; isn’t it more important to have roof on every human beings head than caring for some three thousand animals who any way lives in jungle & hunts for itself? Well, there certain is some logic in these questions but the same people wonder or get even irritated that sparrows are not being seen in the city & thinks its cause of concern. On the top of it every builder advertises his projects as nature friendly & wake up in the sounds of not horns of the vehicles but chirping of the birds. And so does many our day to day products who appeals us to go closer to the nature by using them, right from tooth pastes to air conditioners to bottled water, every brand tries to cash in the nature & its biodiversity!. Even the current travel trends shows that more & more people wants to visit places which are natural treasures, may it be forests like kanha or tadoba or take the backwaters of kerala or even Himalayas; all these places are hot in demand than the usual shopping destinations! So it’s a clear indication that common man does wants nature around then why each day we have to read about species getting extinct? The answer lies in our ignorance in understanding the term nature is what I feel!

Take example of tigers, at present every forest safari in every national park is full the day forest bookings are open & every visitor wants to see the glimpse of the tiger or if he or she feels their money is wasted in visiting forest, this means they know importance of seeing the tiger live in forest but then they don’t want to take responsibility for its reducing count! Same is about people showing concern about reducing numbers of sparrows & birds like bulbul & maina from the cities! We just show concern & do nothing or think it somebody else’s responsibility to make the nature around a better thing for us! Because if we see all the sequence or say behavior pattern then most of us doesn’t do anything to conserve the nature by our own self is the fact. And for that we need to understand the nature in first place.

It’s a difficult question though, what is nature? I am no great philosopher or the academics in the field but by me, nature is biodiversity around & what’s biodiversity? It’s the verity of life we see around in every form which is nature in itself! For e.g. right from the butterflies to sparrow to big trees like rain tree to vultures to frogs to tiger, every species of birds, tree, grass, animal & even the fish represents biodiversity & they all together makes nature. Like we as human being needs some basic infrastructure to survive, every single species like grass & earth worm needs basic infrastructure to survive too! We call ourselves intelligent most developed specie on earth so we invented all possible machinery for making our life comfortable but at the same time every other specie has got right of comfort on earth, is what we conveniently forgot & there lays the problem for all other species than human being!

For years when we were not so called civilized as man was as natural as other species like birds or animals, till then there was no threat to the nature but then as shown in a so called mind freshener bubble gum advertise, an ancient man has been shown being friendly with a donkey & they used to search the food together & live together. But the man ate this bubble gum called “dimak ki batti jala de”, he gets an idea & invents that he can use machinery in form of wheels & he makes the donkey his slave! Agreed it’s a teaser ad yet it speaks the truth about human nature; the moment we know our capacity to get comfort then we don’t hesitate to consider every other creature our slave & behave like ruler. In this haste we forget that we are making others life not only miserable but we are putting them in danger to such extent that they are becoming extinct!

There are so many examples of our such acts around, for e.g. take vultures which was common sight till  hardly twenty years back, but we not only encroached their habitats but we used chemicals to feed our domestic animals which was harmful to the vulture who actually were doing job of sweeper by eating the carcasses when these animals die. Result is the vultures are now endangered as there is no food or no habitat! Why vultures, even the frogs of many types are getting extinct as there are no more ponds or lakes near the cities, all of them are either encroached for our buildings or got polluted to such extent that they frogs are unable to live in those ponds; our so called river in Pune is classic example of killing of biodiversity by humans & same is the scene in all around State or Country! Then look at our way of celebrating; we use every sort of loud sound & smoke & fire in form of fire crackers driving every bird out of the city & we don’t think how they will survive in some other habitat? It’s not about against or for fire crackers but it’s high time to think that is there need of fire crackers in already polluted environment in which we live?? In countries like USA or in Europe it’s only once in a year use of fire crackers & they have very strong policies for pollution. We need to learn good things from all these countries while celebrating!! Today only in news paper I read that India is 105th in 145 nations when its giving i.e. charity or donating what we have, lets improve here by copying other countries than pointing their use of fire crackers! It’s about making others happy is what more important & in others even the birds also come! Friends, many people give examples of other countries using crackers & other things polluting environment they do, or even in our country we do such things & asks why only objection on Diwali fire crackers? 

Well, wiseness is in curtailing our wrong deeds & not justifying them because somebody else does worst is the way I always look at myself!! Unfortunately very few proudly say, “No guys I didn’t bought a single cracker this Diwali neither my most of friends or neighbors did, though I didn’t forced them to do so!!” As any ways in these days for any common family around us when basic living itself has become so costly, burning fire crackers is like burning our hard earned money is the fact!! Many even say does it mean our kids should not enjoy fire crackers? Yes it’s true but our enjoyments should not at the cost of others lives, especially species like birds which are getting endangered due to air & noise pollution!! Already there is so much pollution around so whatever we can reduce by our efforts individually is welcome! We only can teach out kids that excitements is in many other better things like visiting a orphanage n make them happy with sparing some time with those kids &sharing what we have with them!! So many such activities are there that’s need of the time is what I feel!!

There are many who say what Govt or forest department is doing about this? Are we not paying taxes, then why we should bother ourselves with the endangered birds & frogs, when it’s Govt’s job to look after it! Right, paying taxes is one thing but then it’s not the govt who is polluting rivers, cutting trees & burning fire crackers, but each of us only is some way or other involved in doing it! Govt is lacking no doubt about it as even if they are doing better things for maintaining biodiversity yet that’s not the job any single department can do; the govt needs to be proactive & involve people in this job. But somehow the scene is, there is a huge gap between the govt & common man on the front of conserving biodiversity. First the govt is unable to make people aware regarding importance of this aspect of life & second is make every person individually involve in the process of conservation. 

Here we can take help of NGO’s to act as a link between govt & common man. The NGO’s too at many places have their own agenda & interests & my personal experience is many NGO’s prefer to keep common man away from the system just to retain their importance in front of govt officials!

We can involve schools here especially the environment science staff & make Nature Club at every school or college level, through which we can percolate the importance of biodiversity to each family level & this is very much important at city or town level. Because in villages as most of the families live closer rather say dependent on nature so they do know the importance of the same. Here need is to make the villagers self sufficient on their day to day needs so they don’t encroach on nature for the same. But in cities, the common man as I mentioned at start have many other problems at hand than the nature so to make him aware about his role to conserve the nature is a tough job & that where we need the brains in the govt as well corporates & ngo’s come together & crack the nut. The in charge of forest dept at every district level should be given this job or as I have already stated there has to be an Environment Cadre formed nationwide like IAS or IPS; as this is a job of professionals! 

It’s high time now the environment which is other name of nature itself,  needs a full throttle support from all levels or else with the rate  with which each day more & more species are getting extinct, there won’t be left anything to save is what I fear! And then  at last only human being  will be there surviving proudly as most intelligent specie we are; but as in the 80’s movie of Big B, Mr. Natwarlal, the hero says to the kids “Ye jina bhi koi jina hai lalloo!” i.e. “Is this worth living, what you are calling as life?”. Imagine what will be the life with no tigers or no chirping of birds or no butterflies flying over the wild flowers & sounds of frogs making us aware about start of monsoon; I think I don’t want to live to see that day & it’s in my hands only to change my this dark future. If each of us understands this responsibility of ours individually then surely we can stop our future getting dark & then only we can be proud of being human or else we should be most ashamed specie for what we have done to other species & deserve the darkest of future, mind it friends!

Sanjay Deshpande 

Sanjeevani Dev.

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1 comment:

  1. All valid points. I think there is only one root cause to all the problems - over population. If you want I can go point by point to explain how each issue is linked directly or indirectly with the number of people in our country. I do not know how to fix the problem of over population, but unless that is resolved, a handful of people will keep trying to fix things, a bunch will keep blaming the government and the majority will continue to do what they are doing.


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