At the advent of the 21st century, the problem of environmental pollution is posing a great threat to our present civilization. Environmental pollution is a direct influence of industrial progress.
The more we are being civilized, the more we are marching towards devastation. We must remember Mahatma Gandhi’s saying: “Nature has enough for our need, not enough for our greed.”
Environment means the land, water and air around us. In other words, it refers to the surroundings and conditions in which a person, an animal or a plant lives or operates. In our cities, the air is constantly being polluted by smoke from factories, and carbon monoxide gases emitted by motor vehicles. In winter, the air becomes heavy with smoke. A thick layer of smog (smoke + fog) descends all around causing a burning sensation to eyes and breathing troubles with damage to the lungs. Even the ground we walk on – in both urban and rural areas – is polluted by uncollected garbage.
The foodgrain we take is polluted with the excessive use of fertilizers and pesticides. Water is also polluted, particularly as a result of untreated sewage. Also, oil tankers often clean out their tanks at sea. And power stations release hot water into rivers, which kills fish and aquaplanes. Moreover, the amount of oxygen which is released from the plant kingdom is being diminished day by day due to indiscriminate deforestation and felling of trees to meet the increasing demand of the human population.
Noise pollution is another nuisance. The bullying horns of automobiles, particularly in congested urban areas, pollute and upset the normal balance of the environment. The microphones and the crackers during the festivals very often cross the limit of normal endurance. As a result, people run the risk of becoming deaf and getting a severe nervous breakdown. The latest addition to environmental pollution comes from nuclear explosions and radioactive rays which damage the biosphere. Thus the price of pollution may be the abolition of mankind from this planet.
Under such circumstances, we cannot remain idle and let things be as they are. We must take immediate steps to prevent pollution and purify the environment. Steps must be taken to control such mushrooming of industries here and there. To fight against the pollution of water, sewage arrangement plants must be built. At the same time, industrial effluents should not be released directly into the rivers. We must ensure the purity of our drinking water and check the use of pesticides for our foodstuff.
We should take every step to save our environment. But the best way to curb pollution is to plant trees and to take care of them. People must be made aware of the dangers of environmental pollution and their duties to check it through both formal and non-formal education. Above all, we must make peace with Nature. We obligation to remember, “Pollute and perish; preserve and flourish.”