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SAVE ENVIRONMENT MOVEMENT IN INDIA-Attempts made in India for protection of environment

SAVE ENVIRONMENT MOVEMENT IN INDIA-Attempts made in India for protection of environment

Since vedic times, India has remained environment-friendly. In vedic time, elements of nature were given the status of deity. Even today the vedic tradition is still practiced and popular in Indian society. In India, environment is maintained by connecting it with religious beliefs. River has been given the status of mother in Indian culture. Trees and plants like Banyan tree, Peaple tree, Ashoka tree, Basil, etc. are believed pure and sacred by offering the status of deity. In this religious beliefs, compassion towards nature and awareness regarding the health of the society is expressed.

We know that, environment and human life are closely inter related. In order to make human life healthy, peaceful and prosperous, it is very important matter that ecological balance is maintained. Since last few decades, the problem of pollution of water, air, noise, land, etc. is acquiring serious form in India. It is the biggest challenge against the Indian political system as to how can a development can be made by maintaining healthy equilibrium between environment and development. Therefore, in this direction efforts are being made.
SAVE ENVIRONMENT MOVEMENT IN INDIA-Attempts made in India for protection of environment
After achieving independence, efforts have been made to maintain environment and its balance in India. Article 48 (A) of directive principles of State policy under our Constitution, provision is made for maintenance of environment and improvement in it. Provision has been made for the protection of forests and wildlife of country. And according to Article 51 – A(g) of the Constitution it is considered the fundamental duty of every citizen to protect and improve the natural environment including forests, lakes, rivers and wildlife, and to have compassion for living creatures.
SAVE ENVIRONMENT MOVEMENT IN INDIA-Attempts made in India for protection of environment
Serious efforts are being made even by the Government to solve the serious problems of environment and to restore equilibrium. Government has taken initiative for effective implementation by framing policieslaws and programme in that regard. A separate ministry for environment and forest has been started in India. Certain laws have also been framed by the Government of India relating to the protection of forest and environment, for example, Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972, Environment (Protection) Act, 1986, etc. for the protection and the conservation of forests, Government of India has also framed national forests policy in the year 1988. Gujarat Government has also started climate change department to maintain environment and forest and to face the challenge of climate change.
SAVE ENVIRONMENT MOVEMENT IN INDIA-Attempts made in India for protection of environment
Despite many laws framed for the protection of environment in India, problem of environment could not be solved. If laws, policies, programme of environment are not effectively implemented or when effort is made to affect policy matters and decision relating to environment of Government by vested interests, then, public opinion is unified for the maintenance of environment and Government is compelled to take effective steps for the maintenance of environment and giving of justice to the victims. If the Government does not give the appropriate response, mass movement commences. People’s religious beliefs, health, employment, habitation, etc. are connected with the nature. Therefore, when, instead of protection, devouring of environment starts by Government or vested interests, then, it is opposed by local residents, environmental activists, non governmental organizations, etc., which takes the form of movement ahead. In India, all the movements which have taken place for the protections of environment, water, land and forests have remained in the centre. When, instead of protecting forests and wildlife, deforestation starts, then, local people are not tolerating such matter and movements start for the protection of forests. For saving trees from felling and protection of wildlife, no body hesitates in sacrificing own life. For the protection of forests, many such movements have taken place in India in which people have offered their lives. One such movement is chipko movement. Here we will discuss in detail about Chipko Movement.

(1) Chipko Movement

Chipko movement is famous movement for the protection of forests and wildlife. This movement took place in the district of Tehri Garhwal of Uttaranchal State in the year 1970. A decision was taken by the government of India for cutting of trees obstructing for the construction of the new roads in this area. The contractor started cutting trees for the construction of new roads.

Cutting of lush green trees made the local people furious. When the labourers of the contractor went to cut the trees of the interior village Reni of Garhwal, women came out in protest. However, ignoring the protest of women when labourers remained firm to cut the trees, women stuck to the trees by hugging them. Women challenged that before cutting trees, slash them first. Finally, the activity of chopping trees was dropped. By showing courage at the risk of life, women protected the trees. Thereafter, this movement also spread over the entire region and other States. Environmentalist like Sundarlal Bahuguna, Chandi Prasad, Gaura Devi, etc. provided leadership to this movement. Chipko movement has provided an inspiration to the people of India and world to protect environment in the line of non-violence and ‘satyagrah’. Chipko movement became source of inspiration of future environmental movement.

After chipko movement, the awareness for the protection of environment amongst the people through out the Nation increased and movement took place for the saving of environment in other States also, on different issues. In this, save forest movement started in Jharkhand, Bihar in the year 1980, Silent Valley project movement in Kerala in 1973, Navdhanya Movement in the year 1982, Narmada Bachaao movement from the year 1985 are considered chief movements.

Now we will discuss in detail Silent Valley Movement and Narmada Bachaao movement for the protection of environment.

(2) Save Silent Valley Movement

Silent valley is a forest region situated in the Palakkad district of Kerala. Decision was taken by the Government to construct a dam on Kunthipuzha river. The planning was to generate good amount of electricity by Hydro Electric Project to be commenced on the dam. However, due to it, there was a possibility of posing big danger to the forest and environment. The rare mangrooves and the ecology situated in the area of silent valley were in danger. Therefore, construction of the dam was protested and public awareness was spread for the protection of environment by Kerala Shaashtra Sahithya Parishad. This movement started in the year 1973 gained momentum thereafter. Therefore, the ban was imposed on the project by the then Prime Minister. Finally, upon abandonment of the project, the silent valley was declared as national park in the year 1984 for the protection of wildlife and environment.

(3) Narmada Bachao Movement

A project to construct huge dam on Narmada river was started. This project was protested by the environmentalists which was started with the object of generating electricity and making drinking water available to the lacs of people due to Sardar Sarovar Dam. In Narmada Bachao Movement started since1985, local people and non governmental organization also joined. A big question for rehabilitation of displaced people due to Sardar Sarovar Dam arose. Narmada Bachao Movement started keeping issues of rehabilitation of displaced people, damage to the local environment and submerged land, etc. in the centre. However, the question of displaced is solved by the Gujarat Government. And lacs of people have got the drinking water due to Narmada. On getting water of Narmada for irrigation in certain area, dry area became irrigated. Simultaneously the financial position of the farmers has also improved.

Thus, for the maintaining equilibrium of environment and prevention of pollution, individual efforts of environment friendly citizens, activists, group medium, etc. are playing important and decisive role. For the maintenance of environment and control of pollution in India, the role of judiciary is deserved to be appreciated. Because of judicial activism in India, environment and environmental rights could be protected.

At the end, it can be said that problems of environment commence from local level to the global level. Therefore, its solution should also be thought at world level, it should be implemented. Looking from this view, environmental problems are more and more in reference to the world. Any one region or any one nation or a group of Nations cannot bring its solution. For that, Nations should discuss at global level and should attempt to search for its solutions. Thus, it can be understood that environment being a global problem, it can influence the world politics.

In the era of globalization, all the nations after understanding their respective moral responsibility, harmful changes occurring progressively in the environment, which is also called climate change, must oppose it and must attempt to built consensus after discussing and deliberating its short and long term solutions.

climate change is affecting or will affect more or less all the Nations. Therefore, all the Nations are needed to make collective effort to control it. In this reference conferences have been held and will be held at international level. Every Nation should adopt that type of policy in which least alterations are to be made in the climate change. Those factors which are sustaining biology on earth are decreasing fast, any one nation cannot able to bring solution and from that view its effort should be made at the world level.
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