17 Monday
December 2018
What have you done for your earth today?

The earth has been in existence for 4.543 billion years; Humans came into existence 66 million years back.We people think we are the masters of the universe. We have built satellites to go into space, nuclear weapons to destroy humanity, we have encroached on acres of forest land to build buildings and homes and cities and factories ; we have destroyed more than 90% of the wild life species so that we can inherit the earth.We are nothing but a little blimp in the spectrum of the earth’s existence and all the earth needs is to give a series of severe quakes and all of us could perish within seconds.

There is nothing we as a species have done to conserve the earth and its resources for our future generations. Everyday we find incidents of deforestation, plastic invading into our waters, chemicals leaching into the soil, polar ice caps melting, wildlife species disappearing from the face of the earth, climate change, global warming, ozone holes, water depletion ,desertification and rising pollution.

Instead of spending our energies wondering how much wrong is happening I wish every day we could spend a little bit of our energy into doing something for our Earth. Today start with simply switching off the lights, fans and AC when they are not in use. Install a solar panel on your property and see if we can reduce our thermal power usage in any manner whatsoever.

Do not put any E-waste into regular dust bins. E-waste is anything that runs on a battery or electricity that means bulbs,tubes,cell phones,cell phone batteries,chargers, cables, mixie and any electronic item in the house that’s beyond repair. These contain heavy metals like manganese, cadmium, zinc, lead which if burnt introduce toxic fumes into the air and if they go into the landfill dumps, they leach into the soil poisoning the soil as well as the water table. Either way it is going to come back and hurt us and our children’s health. In India at present only 15% of the e-waste is segregated and disposed off responsibly while 85% continues to go into garbage heaps and to the Kabaddi wala. 158 companies in India, and 17 in Haryana have been given permission for organised e-waste disposal. Please find out the one closest to you, and join a group of condominiums and communities which are doing the same.

Any time you see a tap dripping please shut it. If there is a tap leaking in your house please call a plumber today and get it fixed. Every drop of water that is going to the drain is a loss from our precious resources. Water is a very important commodity and there are horror stories of people standing in queues or waking up at 2 a.m. to ensure they have water in their homes. The levels of ground water are depleting and it’s the duty of all of us to ensure that not a single drop of water is wasted; we must have water harvesting in our respective homes. It is not enough that we ask government to do these things,as citizens we must ensure that water harvesting is carried out not only in letter but also in spirit.

India is the noisiest country in the world. Vehicular noise, industrial noise and construction noise create a cacophony leading to the highest numbers of irreversible deafness and tinnitus. I’m requesting you to please help reduce noise pollution in the air. Could you try driving without honking, slow down at corners instead of blowing the horn; use the brake instead of honking as a reflex action? Show a little bit of patience and kindness to your fellow drivers, pedestrians, fellow human beings. People all over the world drive without honking, except in India where honking is an epidemic. I Hope and pray that you would decide to drive without unnecessary honking.

Car pooling for office and school travel, cycling and walking instead of driving are suggestions, maybe you could incorporate them once a week? Unless the government improves public transport, last mile connectivity from metro stations and bus stops, it would be difficult to expect most people to move into the domain of public transport. 15% people own all the cars in India, and unfortunately, majority of the infrastructure budget is spent on building better roads, not on public transport network. Unless the government wakes up to its responsibility of reducing pollution, decongesting roads and making renewable energy power plants, we are a long way from becoming a cleaner nation.

But to remain indifferent, and not do our bit, would make us as guilty. Let us try to be a part of the solution, not the problem. Become champions in your own community. Take ownership of the pollution issue: air, water and noise.Let us keep doing something everyday to make the Earth a better place.

Jai Hind.
Dr.Sarika Verma
ENT Surgeon & Allergy Specialist