World Environment Day is observed on the fifth day of June every year. Radio Active CR 90.4 MHz marked the day by inviting some of the most passionate environmentalists and environment activists to share personal stories of change-making and to highlight the importance of the day.
Two of our guests were Nalini Shekar, the co-founder of Hasiru Dala, and N.S. Ramakanth, the highly-respected veteran of solid waste management in the city.
Nalini spoke about how waste grievously, and often irreparably, affects the environment. “To counter this problem, waste segregation should start at home,” she says. But, this is a difficult proposition, with too many people still mixing wet waste and dry waste in their households, and then carelessly disposing of it in the collection bins. Uncollected waste can seep into the soil and groundwater and cause contamination. Plastic doesn’t disintegrate, so that is one aspect of the waste issue that needs serious consideration.
N.S. Ramakanth is one of the strongest promoters of Eco Weddings – zero waste weddings and ceremonies where only bio-degradable items are used and where absolutely no plastic is allowed. “The spirit of World Environment Day transcends one day; it should be observed and implemented every single day,” he says. Ramakanth has also been involved in the newly-launched BBMP Green phone application. But, he is of the belief that environment protection is not the sole responsibility of the BBMP.
“There are some faults in the approach, of course. Planting trees on roadsides but not maintaining them is pointless; but it is our collective responsibility to look after the trees. I feel that schools must run awareness programmes because this understanding must start early. Children should start planting trees at the right age. If we go around Bengaluru city, the need for a ward-wise assessment of all the barren spots would become apparent. We must identify these spots and plant trees there to revive them. Always remember, environment is my responsibility.”
Written by Shruti Sharada.