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Fading Colours Of Our Mother Earth

Just look around your surroundings for a moment. How colorful and vibrant it is, isn't it? Just peep out of your window, that refreshing feel which the cool breeze gives us, the infinite blue sky that shields us, the vibrant orange color of the burning Sun which acts as the source of light throughout the day, the lavish green color of the trees that acts as soothing factor for our eyes and also acts as a supplier of free oxygen.

The subtle and magnificent grey color of our best friend Luna (the Moon) who never made us to feel alone in the dark nights with her twinkling family. The everlasting bond with the tides of the ocean, rain and white snow. How magical you are, Mother Earth! We are always grateful to you.

We, humans becoming more and more selfish?

We humans have become so selfish, greedy and ungrateful that we don't give the due respect to the Earth and other living beings. Our sole motive has become to earn money and lead luxurious life even if it is the cost of sacrificing or hurting various species. Poaching, hunting, trading the animals in caged boxes and torturing them to earn money through various shows, we humans have become so cruel and heartless without thinking for a moment from their perspective.

There are even many people who starve on a daily basis and live with insecurity without a roof on their top. Every hour of every day, 300 children die because of malnutrition. It's an underlying cause of more than a third of children's deaths 2.6 million every year. But it's not recorded on death certificates and, as a result, it's not effectively addressed. [1]

Many are suffering to get access to clean and drinking water. But some of us just waste water just like that while taking bath, washing vessels and even in restrooms. More than 650 million people are living without access to an 'improved' source of drinking water. [2]

We have already polluted our place of living and started to pollute the oceans and seas which are home to many aquatic organisms. Plastic is wreaking havoc in the ocean as it is non-biodegradable. About 150 million metric tons of plastics are in the ocean with a further eight million metric tons added annually. It was once thought that plastic could only be found along the coastline but it has been found in the Mariana Trench which is the deepest point in the ocean.[3]

Many mammals, sharks, exotic species of fishes, turtles, dolphins and coral reefs are becoming extinct. With all these damages been done already , the upcoming one will have adverse effect with this pandemic as a lot of gloves, masks and many medical wastes will be dumped in the oceans and landfills. Each and every animal and living being on the earth and in water has as much right to be here as you and me. We need to maintain the balance in order to attain sustainable environment.

We have not inherited an easy world. If developments like the Industrial revolution, which began here in England, and the gifts of science and technology have made life much easier for us, they have also made it more dangerous -- Ronald Reagan

Though industrialization is a boon to us as it increases economic growth of a country and provides employment and develops urbanization it is also a curse as it is definitely has harmful effects on our environment such as pollution which is basically a slow poison.

After the U.N. Conference on the Human Environment held at Stockholm, Sweden(1972), the Constitution of India was amended by the 42nd Amendment and the topic of 'ecology and environment' was incorporated for the very first time through Articles [48A] and [51A(g)].

Article 48-A: 'The State shall endeavor to protect and improve the environment and to safeguard the forests and wildlife of the country'.

Article 51-A(g): 'It shall be the duty of every citizen of India to protect and improve the natural environment including forests, lakes, rivers and wildlife and to have compassion for living creatures.'

Art.246 of the Constitution divides the subject areas of legislation between the Union and the States list. The Concurrent list (List III) (under which both State and the Union can legislate) includes forests, protection of wildlife, mines and minerals and development not covered in the Union List, population control and factories.

The Environment Protection Act 1986 defines environment as:

environment includes water, air and land and the inter-relationship which exists among and between water, air and land, and human beings, other living creatures, plants, micro organism and property.

Article 21: 'No person shall be deprived of his life or personal liberty except according to the procedure established by law.'

In Maneka Gandhi v Union of India, the Supreme Court while elucidating on the importance of the 'right to life' under Art. 21 held that the right to life is not confined to mere animal existence, but extends to the right to live with the basic human dignity (Bhagwati J.)

Article 19(1)(g) of the Constitution which allows citizens 'to practice any profession, or to carry on any occupation, trade or business.' This right is not an absolute one and is subject to certain reasonable restrictions. Environment regulation is also a restriction on this right.. any trade, occupation or business which adversely affects flora or fauna or human beings cannot be permitted to be carried on in the name of fundamental rights.

The Ganga Water Pollution case:

M C Mehta V. Union of India, AIR 1988, SC 1037; The owners of some tanneries near Kanpur were discharging their effluents from their factories in Ganga without setting up primary treatment plants. The Supreme Court held that the financial capacity of the tanneries should be considered as irrelevant while requiring them to establish primary treatment plants.

The Court directed to stop the running of these tanneries and also not to let out trade effluents from the tanneries either directly or indirectly into the river Ganga without subjecting the trade effluents to a permanent process by setting up primary treatment. while interpreting Art.21 in Ganga Pollution Case ,Justice Singh justified the closure of polluting tanneries observed: 'we are conscious that closure of tanneries may bring unemployment, loss of revenue, but life. Health and ecology have greater importance to the people.'

Some of the other legislation that protects environment:

  1. The National Green Tribunal Act, 2010
  2. The Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1981,To implement the decision taken in the Stockholm Conference, the Parliament enacted the Air Act under Article 253 which empowers Parliament to make laws implementing India's international obligations as well as any decision made at an international conference, association or other body.
  3. The Environment Protection Act, 1986 , In case of any non-compliance or contravention of the Environment Act, or of the rules or directions under the said Act, the violator will be punishable with imprisonment up to five years or with fine up to Rs 1,00,000, or with both. In case of continuation of such violation, an additional fine of up to Rs 5,000 for every day during which such failure or contravention continues after the conviction for the first such failure or contravention, will be levied. Further, if the violation continues beyond a period of one year after the date of conviction, the offender shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to seven years.
  4. The Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1974
  5. The Hazardous Waste Management Regulations
  6. Factories Act, 1948,
  7. the Public Liability Insurance Act, 1991,
  8. the National Environment Tribunal Act, 1995
  9. The Wildlife Protection Act, 1972.
  10. The Forest Conservation Act, 1980.
  11. Coastal Regulation Zone Notification.
  12. The Biological Diversity Act, 2002
  13. The Noise Pollution (Regulation and Control) (Amendment) Rules, 2002


Conclusion:
Whatever happened has over, we can't change it. Imagine you are in your bed having deep sleep and suddenly water slashes or floods into your room and you, I, We all will be underneath water. To make this remain as an imagination, we all must wake now! Destruction is always easy and simple to do but construction or growing is very difficult. We have exhausted our limit already and despite many warning signs and alarms, we humans are not going to stop this exploitation till it reaches the point zero.

Let us keep a full stop to exploitation and degradation of our Earth. As per Newton's third law, for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. So when we do good to the environment, we will get it back. Let's be happy grateful for what we have! Let us all take it as a responsibility and duty to save our planet and the impacts can be reduced when it is applied as a collective movement.

End-Notes:

  1. https://www.who.int/pmnch/media/news/2012/life_free_from_hunger_sum_briefing.pdf
  2. http://www.indiaenvironmentportal.org.in/content/426740/water-at-what-cost-the-state-of-the-worlds-water-2016/
  3. https://www.worldatlas.com/articles/which-ocean-is-the-most-polluted.html

    Award Winning Article Is Written By: Ms.Atchaya Subramanian

    Awarded certificate of Excellence
    Authentication No: DE33815525747-3-1220

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