By Ms. N. ILAKKIYA
The author feels that we always criticize the government and keep on blaming them for the actions committed but here we are not ready to think about a factor that even we are responsible for the cause of pollution. Even the citizens are duty-bound to protect their environment but due to various factors we forgot the duties provided to us. It is not the duty of Government always but ours too. Thus the author wants to appreciate the Government for two specific schemes brought in the country- ‘Green cover’ and ‘National Green Corps’. Both these concepts are having their own specific role in order to protect the Flora and Fauna. The Green Cover is about increasing the forest area and the National Green Corps is about the role of students- how they strive hard to protect this environment. When a person is excellently contributing towards the environment in either way in the sense, they are motivated by giving the awards like Green awards and Environmental Awards. So the government also appreciates any work did for enhancing the environment.
So are we not responsible for environmental issues? Some blunders are committed by us too. We are also majorly responsible for causing environmental problems like environmental pollution of Air, Water, Noise, Land, etc. We are dumping our garbage and plastics in land and water without even giving care. We are also polluting the Air by our ways and here we should not blame the industries alone - everyone knows about the car-pooling system but why we aren’t using till now? Hence the inference from here is we are keen in criticising the Government, but why we are not blaming ourselves?
Hence I’m going to elaborate about the two small schemes but cause greater impacts which are brought by the Government which plays a major role in the Environmental Development- the ‘National Green Corps’ and also about ‘the green cover’ (in respect to the State of Tamil Nadu) and the awards provided for those services (Environmental awards and green awards)
THE NATIONAL GREEN CORPS AND THE GREEN COVER:
First, let me explain about the Green cover. The Green cover is nothing but increasing the forest area in every state of the country. The Union planning commission has recommended that the forest area in the country should be increased to 25% of the geographical area by 2007 and to 33.33% by 2012 in Tamil Nadu[i]. The present forest/tree cover in Tamil Nadu is 17.584%. Thus earnest efforts are being taken to increase the forest cover/tree cover in the state to 25% of the total land area of the state, by encouraging tree cultivation in and outside reserved forest areas. Thus there are many who work to increase the green cover and one such community which strive to increase it is the National Green Corps.
National Green Corps (NGC) Programme- it is a well established and a recognised factor that the Children/ the College students/ the youngsters can be the catalyst in promoting a mass movement on anything and hence the student’s efforts are utilized in the field of Environment also. We are the present and future citizens of this country and hence we have a major responsibility in promoting the green cover since the country believes that we students are powerful and we can bring a drastic change in the society in any fields because whatever we do, it will be a long term effects and hence for that, the children are the triggering factors for a chain like reaction since it creates a big impact in society. Thus the government introduced this scheme in every school and colleges in the State in order to give awareness about the environment and environmental issues in villages/city/State/Country and in Global level. In Tamil Nadu, there are nearly 1320 eco-clubs have been formed in 32 districts by involving the educational institutions and NGOs. In order to strengthen environmental consciousness among students, the NGC has been launched in 2900 schools at the rate of 100 schools per district. Government of India has also approved to provide training to master trainers and teacher coordinators of each district. Not only this but there is also a State level steering committee and district-level monitoring committees have been constituted to monitor the implementation of these programmes. The NGC comes under the Ministry of Environment and Forest of Government of India. The NGC students participate in the activities related to Biodiversity Conservation, Water Conservation, Energy Conservation, Waste Management, water harvesting, composting of biodegradable waste, and also local specific issues of environment are focused by them. The NGC eco-clubs are also present in other states like Assam, Gujarat, and Maharashtra, etc.
But one major criticised factor here is only the schools affiliated to the CBSE and ICSE participates in these programmes as NGC cadets and other schools are not given consideration. If this is really true in the sense then this factor to be changed in our system. All the students from all the schools irrespective of school types/ districts have to be members of the NGC and also as an NGC cadet. Thus if every school have this system in the sense there will be drastic changes in the environment. As far as my concern I would like to suggest that, all the school should give any activity related to environment for every week, the activity can be either about planting the trees or other activity related to Environment.
At the end the environment is not only for us it is for the future generation also. It is not only an activity for the students; even the adults should participate and bring a change in the Environment for a better world. Even Adults have to do something useful to the environment and everyone have to think that nature and environment are for everyone and hence everyone holds a responsibility to protect it and it is not only the Government’s duty. Even our Indian Constitution also emphasizes the same u/A 48A[ii] and u/A 51A (g)[iii]. Thus all the responsible citizens too have to strive to increase the green cover in any state.
GREEN AWARDS AND ENVIRONMENTAL AWARDS:
Thus the government also appreciates the work of every person contributed towards the environment. Hence they provide awards like:
Environmental awards-The State Government will honour the best NGOs/Individuals in their excellent contribution to the environment and distribute the awards during the World Environment Day celebration on June 5 every year.
The Government provides the green awards to the District Collectors for their excellent contribution to the environment on the World Environment Day celebration.
Thus, both these awards are given as a factor of motivation for the contributors to promote the environment in all the ways. Thus, these things inspire me a lot and hence inspired me to write this one.
[i] Mandated by National Forest Policy 1988. [ii] INDIAN CONST. art48A- The State shall endeavour to protect and improve the environment and to safeguard the forests and wild life of the country. [iii] INDIAN CONST. art 51A(g)- to protect and improve the natural environment including forests, lakes, rivers and wild life, and to have compassion for living creatures.