'We Must Practice What We Preach'

    • Subhagata.B@timesgroup.com
    • Publish Date: Aug 23 2018 7:17PM
    • |
    • Updated Date: Aug 23 2018 7:17PM
'We Must Practice What We Preach'

Gitanjali Kachari, principal at Army Public School, Clement Town shares her views about the decaying environment and the combined responsibility that must be shared to ensure a better future.

Q. Why do we need a clean environment?

The environment not just in the city but the whole country is polluted. Dehradun was once known for its beauty and clean air but today, there are rarely a few areas across the city that can be called less polluted. But calling a place pollution-free is a far-cry. So it is imperative that we ensure a clean environment first in our own houses, then our neighbourhood, followed by our city, state, country and so on. 

Q. What are the steps that children, youth can take towards protecting the environment?

I am an educationist, I can motivate children youth or make them aware about the problems that have risen in the last few years. We had clean air to breathe, clean water to drink but not anymore. I am passionate towards protecting the environment and the children can definitely be proactive towards the cause. The youth in particular can be galvanized to action and the children at my school have undertaken a few projects to clean the nearby areas every day, which they do religiously.

Q. Plastics have become an integral part of our lives, how do we move to an alternative? Because it is one of the most harmful material for environment.

We have grown with a habit of use and throw products in recent times and that contributes to waste plastics. From the street vendors to supermarkets, most use plastic bags and it all contributes to the growing waste generated by plastics. So, no wonder it is very difficult to move beyond plastics but unless we educate it is a lost battle.

As kids, I remember we would always carry cloth or jute bags to the market to fetch whatever we needed. But, now we rarely see any of those. Maybe with a complete ban on plastics, and the right amount of awareness among people we may bring it back from the past.

As for moving to alternatives it's not going to be easy but we have to, a shift to viscose or paper bags may be an alternative for our daily needs but a more permanent solution needs to be found.

Q. With all human activities and lack of proper waste disposal have we choked the environment? 

Without a doubt. We have choked our environment in more ways than we can think of. We have put the city at risk and further poor waste management systems have made it much worse. We can probably learn from the example of Surat which was once a dirty city but look at them now, its among the cleanest. 

We can dispose our wastes by segregating it, so it becomes easier for further processing whether it is recycled or reused or it could be used to produce manure. But we don't have a proper mechanism for it once the waste is collected from our homes. So, a fool-proof waste management plan strictly adhered to would be useful.

Q. To what extent is planting trees and preserving forest land a viable solution to the growing environmental crisis around the world?

Planting trees is definitely a possible solution but that too needs to be done responsibly, conducting plantation drives must be done in a planned manner. There should be a gap between each sapling, taking proper care of the plant so that it grows over time is important. So, planting a tree isn't the end to the problem it's just a small part in a very long process. Similarly, preserving forests will help in sustaining life of a number of wild animals which are crucial for maintaining ecological balances.

Q. What is your message to the students who are the future of this country and world about conservation? 

I have a very simple message for the students and youth in general, talk about the existing problems in the city, come up with solutions and a way for implementing it too. Make it a habit to do your bit for the environment and always raise your voice against the wrongs.




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