Not Development Vs Environment but its Development & Environment !!!

In past one week at CSE, we have had been touching society and environmental issues from various perspective. I was initially zapped to hear heavy words from my friends here that I generally used to hear from discussions on TV or from my “non-technical” counterparts prior to CSE. To be frank, I was too taken up with my inquisitiveness and curiosity about ‘science’ and ‘technology’ to be able to pay any attention to anything else. When CSE brought my attention to the word development, and showed to me how environmental well-being is so much related to “development”, I thought about the concept of development and how we were and are going so wrong with it.
I realized how conveniently I was ignoring such discussions to avoid any conflict as I knew my friends generally had very strong views for or against and for me I was a naive person who was just satisfied with the world of science. Here is when I realize that I had drifted away from environment. After all, I am going to be an environmental engineer; I simply used to generalize and say ‘politics’ is not my thing. Many I know, like me are ignorant.
Now after about a week at CSE, I question myself. In my self-introspection I realized, my ignorance was because I knew how unjust we a being to the environment and felt the hurt only superficially. As Miss. Akansha Joshi said in one of the discussions that, “we need to sensitive ourselves to be able to relate ourselves to the environment”. Miss. Joshi is an independent filmmaker who recently filmed a documentary called earth witness, showing what actually climate change is and how it is affecting people, for those who do not know. Like her, I too strongly believe sensitization and realization should come to the people. It is high time that people like you and me realize the urgency and the need to do something. We being the city people, users of tremendous energy from fossil fuels, living comfortable lives and having a ‘disconnected from environment’ lifestyle should be aware how indifferent and ignorant we are being to the earth and to life itself.
After so many discussions with such wonderful people, I realized that by the way we are “privileged class”. Approximate figures came to me; about 20 percent of the India is developing and rest 80 percent is not. And what is development? Again it is so funny, when we actually see the concept of development it’s all about industrialization, globalization and blah blah….well how industrialization is helping a person even like you and me?? I think it is not helping anyone, if at all I might have cancer or any chronic disease and die young tomorrow and someone might die because of some nutrient deficiency disease but my children or may be theirs I predict will die of water and air deficiency. And then the so called “developed people” or we “privileged class” who knows might die first.
I do not want to sound complicated and vague. However, all I really want to put forward is that for those who are environmentalist should first know what development is in real sense and where it is leading us to, how it is affecting lives of people and the environment and then think of what needs to be done. Environment, development and society have to go hand-in-hand. If there are environmental techies like me, I think their education is incomplete without getting the true picture.


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