Ramnish Geer: COVID-19 and the resultant lockdown has had a positive impact on the environment and now it is upto us to ensure that we take this forward and continue to take care of our environment.
Every person needs to understand that a clean environment is the only way to survive on the planet. Environmental changes have put our existence on the planet in danger and have also given rise to infections such as HIV, Ebola, SARS and COVID-19 that can be pandemic in nature and affect us enmasse. It has also changed the way we go about our work.
I began to first take an interest in the environment thanks to the many birds that surrounded the green environs of my office and home. I began to get interested in bird calls and then started photographing the birds in and around my office and home. This eventually got me interested in protecting and conserving them so much that today it is an important aspect of my life.
Today’s situation reminds me of a poem in Hindi titled ‘One more World War’. It said, “No bullet was fired, no fire was set yet what is the destruction that the world is witnessing.”
The world economy has taken a beating but nature used the chance to heal itself. Even as the world entered the pre lockdown stage, it was time for us to understand the situation from a short, medium and long term perspective.
In the short term, as we battle the pandemic, we need to concentrate on medical waste and how its disposal could aggravate pollution. We need an eco-friendly way to dispose of such waste.
We need to look at a work culture and lifestyle where work from home, webinar, online conferencing and social distancing becomes the norm. This will give the environment a breathing space.
In the mid term we need to look at improving the green cover for the benefit of both humans and animals. As a long-term measure we need to focus on growth that balances between development and environment. Our focus should be on a stable society that ensures equal rights for every living creature on earth.
The long term focus should also be on preventing biodiversity loss, flood, famine, depletion of ozone layer among others.
(Ramneesh Gir is working as Joint Director at CBI, Bhopal (MP). The article is based on his personal views. This article is basically based on the address given on the occasion of World Environment Day 2020 at Indira Gandhi National Human Museum.)