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World Environment Day 2023: Plant a seed of change

On this special occasion, let us make sincere efforts to restore Mother Earth and protect our biodiversity



This is a very common quote, “When the last tree is cut down, the last fish eaten, and the last stream poisoned, you will realise that you cannot eat money.” Many of us may have even read this native American saying a few times. Alas, it stays for only 5 seconds in our attention spans until we move on to the next Instagram story. 

Think about it? Are we at individual levels unaffected by environmental degradation? It is only when we look around closely, that we realize that we are not miles away from the repercussions. The alarmingly high air pollution levels causing breathing disorders, delayed and irregular monsoons leading to crop failures, and of course the unbearable heat waves in this summer, are all warning signs of the calamity to come. Hence, with no time to waste, let us rethink our stance towards Nature this World Environment Day and also brainstorm what we can do, at both individual and collective levels, to help reverse environmental concerns.

Here are a few steps we all can take at an individual level:

The Changemakers

Lipika Roy, Deputy Director at Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change says the Indian Government has been making some big level changes to address environmental concerns.

The officer mentions, “The Government under the visionary leadership of our Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi is doing a lot for the environment. Be it controlling pollution, launching afforestation drives, reintroducing cheetahs in the country to even beach cleaning drives, various steps are being taken for ecosystem conservation and restoration. Especially in the current scenario, Mission LiFE (Lifestyle for Environment) was launched by the Honourable Prime Minister on 20 October 2022 at Kevadia, Gujarat. The objective is a global movement for transitioning from a model of destructive and mindless consumption to deliberate and mindful utilisation of resources. A mascot ‘Prakriti’ has also been launched for the same. She is a little girl with her tiara of flowers, bag of hope and locket of ‘LiFE’ who spreads awareness about Mission LiFE to all.”

The civil servant adds, “The Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change is celebrating World Environment Day at the Vigyan Bhawan. With regard to this year’s theme: ‘Preventing plastic pollution’, India has been working continuously in this direction since the past 4-5 years. India started working on two levels to get rid of single-use plastic in 2018. We have not only banned single-use plastic but plastic waste processing has also been made mandatory.”

She further mentions, “However, we all as individuals also have to come together to consciously practice eco-friendly habits. Our little daily habits indeed make way for a large change. I myself try my best to avoid using plastic. Another habit I follow strictly is to never litter on roads or other public spaces. Also, small things like reusing wrapping papers, ribbons and avoiding one-sided printing do go a long way. “

Further, Apeejay Stya University (ASU) in Gurgaon has always stood in support of a cleaner, greener world. Each year, the university organises various environment related activities to sensitise its students towards environmental concerns. This World Environment Day, ASU has organised a mega-plantation drive on the theme: Beat plastic pollution! Plants were provided to the university by L&T Infra, a leading independent engineering consulting firm.

Speaking on the occasion, Vijay Kumar, Associate Professor, School of Education at ASU and Programme Coordinator mentioned, “We receive everything of our needs from nature. It is so kind towards all, especially human beings. We must understand that nature can survive without humans, but we can’t survive without nature!”

Highlighting the importance of the day, the Professor added, “This World Environment Day, let us take one step to help all understand and appreciate the importance of nature in our life. We at ASU believe in the phrase ‘Catch them young’. Thereby, we inculcate values of environmental protection in our learners from the very beginning. National Service Scheme i.e NSS team of Apeejay Stya University keeps on organising various programmes promoting environmental protection, preservation and conservation.”

Picture credit: Larsen & Toubro Infra Company representatives

He further added, “Combining with Unnat Bharat Abhiyan, Apeejay’s Rotaract Club in collaboration with the Larsen & Toubro Infra Company and HME Waste Management organised a mega plantation drive within the campus. More than 3000 saplings of various varieties of plants are planted across the university.”

While this may be the beginning to a greener world, surely it is not enough. We all have to step in and actively contribute to change the sorry state of environmental affairs. The time has come to keep nature as the priority and see the world transform into a happier nest. 

What are you waiting for then?  Remember, even if you cannot plant a sapling, plant at least a seed of change in the mind! 

Wishing a Green World Environment Day!

Arijit Roy is a young correspondent at Apeejay Newsroom. He has done his masters in English literature from Delhi University and has a book of poems published by Writers Workshop India. He can be reached at [email protected].