BENGALURU: I have been a resident of Bengaluru for over 30 years and have experienced first-hand the changes that our city has gone through. Rapid development, loss of our green cover, depleting groundwater levels, extremely polluted lakes and I haven’t even got around to mentioning rising temperatures, poor public infrastructure or our traffic woes. We can only collectively work together to find holistic solutions to all of these issues by first acknowledging that they are all interlinked.
Our society has to become more environmentally conscious and put the word ‘sustainability’ at the forefront of every decision. We can calculate our individual carbon footprints and make better choices to offset our carbon emissions. Once we start to achieve this, we should inspire everyone we know to make these decisions. We must purchase materials only from companies that source their products without damaging the environment. We could do our best to procure our food locally to support our farmers and all of us should take a stand against intensive farming techniques by the meat industry or agriculture by corporations seeking profit.
Bengaluru is one of the best cities when it comes to citizen action groups. I was proud to learn that the Koramangala Resident Welfare Association took the lead to segregate waste and generate biogas and that they are being globally recognised for this. I hope this inspires other citizens to take action.
Accountability is key. All of us know that Bengaluru’s lakes are frothing or catching fire. We should ensure that companies that pollute offset their carbon emissions. Citizens who choose to walk, cycle or use public transport should be incentivised. We must work with public officials to achieve sustainable growth. Our schools should teach our children about the importance of protecting our ecosystems and environmental education should be made compulsory.
SOLUTION: All of us should ensure that we make informed decisions while electing our leaders and we should not elect leaders who do not have environmental conservation and our basic human rights such as the right to breathe clean air, the right to clean food, the right to drink clean water right at the top of their