Conserve the nature to save lives

/ Guest Column / Friday, 30 July 2021 18:07


Madhya Pradesh Government had surveyed the Bundelkhand regions under “Bunder Diamond Project” through Australian company Rio Tinto in 2000-2005  to find out probability of diamond. In the survey Kimberlite rock,whichis the major source (ore) of diamonds,have been traced outin the Buxwaha forest areas.Presently, Panna of MP is the largest repository of diamond having approx. 22 lakh carats. It is said that Buxwaha forest contains 15 times more diamond than Panna. The State government has allotted the mining area to Aditya Birla Group’s Assell Mining and Industries Ltd. on lease for 50 years. The mining area of 364 hactare is a part of approx. 3000 hactare of Buxwahaprotectedforest. The heartening aspect is that to excavate the diamond nearly 215875 trees of various species will be cut down, threatening large scale ecological imbalance in the region.

Presently not only MP, but whole world is suffering from pandemicCoronavirusDisease 2019 (COVID-19), whose one of the prime cause is disturbance of the nature and ecological imbalance. Currently main thrust to counter the pandemic is the production of artificial oxygen in laboratories, which is nothing but result of neglecting natural source of this life supporting gas, i.ethe trees. Ideally a country must have at least 33% of its areas covered with forest, but currently it is just 20% in India. Central as well as State governments have separate jumbo size ministries and departments for this purpose; but in spite of huge expenditure of public money all have failed to achieve the goal even after 73 years of independence.

Trees & plants are major components of environment. They balance proportion of Corbondio-oxide in the atmosphere.The gradual rise of temperature on the earth is not a natural disaster, but is the scientific and environmental problem. There are certain proportion of oxygen, nitrogen, carbon dioxide, carbon mono-oxide and other gases in the air. Due to steep growth of factories & motor vehicles, rapid pace of urbanization, population rise and indiscriminate reaping of forests there has been unexpected increase in proportion of Carbon di-oxide in the atmosphere. With rise in population , the consumption of oxygen and production of carbon di-oxide has also increased. There has been gradual rise in carbon di-oxide gas due to conventional source of energy such as burning of coal, wood, petroleum, cowdung etc. This gas has the tendency to pass sunlight through it, increasing temperature of the atmosphere and resulting in unwanted geographical & seasonal changes.

The emitting smoke from factories & vehicles contains not only carbon di-oxide but harmful carbon mono-oxide, nitrogen oxide, lead oxide, carbon particles, heavy hydro-carbon, formaldehyde, bengene, which pollutes the atmosphere and affects the cells in the human’s lungs to become cancerous. The Ozone-layer protects us from harmful ultra-violet rays of the Sun. The industrial chemicals, particularly chloro-carbon and nitrogen oxides from nuclear and atomic explosion damages the Ozone-layer. If these chemicals are not controlled, then in coming 50 years, the Ozon-layer of the earth will be damaged upto 25 to 30%, resulting in rapid increase in atmospheric temperature and danger of cancer to human and animal bodies. A report reveals that presently, pollution from municipality is 45.62%, Bio-medical/chemical - 20%, Various mode of transport - 14%, Industry -  6.4%, Thermal power station - 6.4% and from other sources is 6.7%.

In various religious literatures, the importance of trees has been highlighted.  In Sanskrit literature, trees like Peepal, Neem, Tulsi, Bargad/Vat, Anwala has been worshiped and cutting of green trees have been prohibited. Obviously,the Holy literatures have glorified the trees due to its life-supporting quality. In MatasyaPuran , a tree has been mentioned as equivalent to ten sons (Dash koopsamavapiDashvapisamohridah. Dash hridsamahputronDashputrasamodrumah).  In Bhagwad Gita (10.26), Bhagwan Krishna glorified the Vat/Bargad tree as “AshvatthahSarvavrikshanam”. In Yayurved, the tree has been said to be the reflection of Bhagwan Shiva. As Shiva ingested the poison and released the Amrit, in the same way trees desiccate the poison (poisonous gases like Carbon di-oxide) and pump out Amrit in the form of oxygen.

Gautam Buddha has attained enlightenment under the Peepal tree called Bodhi Vriksh in Bodh Gaya. As per Buddhist scriptures, nature creats as well as preserves life and it is the duty of people to preserve plant considering them as living being. All 24 Jain Tirthankars meditated under the tree to attain enlightment. Islamic literature mentioned “whoever plants a tree and diligently looks after it until it matures and bears fruit, he will be rewarded by Allah as charity”. Holy Bible says “God made the trees with seed bearing fruits. He gave us the possibility to increase their number by planting the seeds.”Actually all these aspects have been emphasised to keep in mind the social concern regarding importance of trees& plants for conservation of environment.

Forests are not just densely covered areas  of trees & plants,  but are the source of livelihood of human as  well as other biological creatures. It is responsible for rains, reduces the effect of natural calamities like tsunami, prevents soil erosion, minimizes air pollution, produce shelter for birds and wild animals, availability of food etc. It is the source of numerous herbal plants for manufacturing medicines. In other words, it is the lifeline for millions of peoples and other living creatures.

The conservation of environment is not possible only through some government initiatives; civil society too have to come forward. Otherwise, in coming days, duetounexpected rise of carbon di-oxide and damage of Ozone-layer, the earth would be so much heated that existence of life on the earth  will be in danger mode.

Although Buxwaha lush green forest is not the only natural resource whose existence is in danger, earlier hundreds of various such resources have been destroyed recklessly  on the name of development causing disastrous climatic changes in those regions.No doubt, diamond or other valuable minerals are essentialfornation’s growth& prosperity , but not at the cost of life-supporting natural resources, the forests and the trees. Once again, the million dollar question arises –“what is the urgency of nation  -Diomomd or Oxygen ?”

(Author is a technocrat and academician.)

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