CHENNAI: The devastating earthquake that shattered the Himalayan country of Nepal in 2015 has once again brought the focus back on global warming along with a huge concern over glacial melting on polar caps and the Himalayas. The Himalayas are called the water towers of Asia as they contain the largest body of ice outside the polar regions and provide long-term water storage for critical dry season. India has its own environmental problems as it is dependent on fossil fuel for cooking, transportation and electricity.
The forests in India have been a habitat not only for flora and fauna but a lifeline for many communities that lived around them. However, with the onset of industrialisation, urbanisation and climate change, a lot of such forestlands were destroyed. Modernisation and consumerism have caused high levels of automobile and industrial pollution. Another key area of concern is to decongest the urban pockets that have become heavily polluted, as the cities are bursting at their seams with overpopulation, vehicular congestion, pollution, housing and harmful technologies that are like cancerous tumours posing risk to the entire body of the nation.
Spirituality can play a vital role in environmental sustainability. The scriptures mention how societies in ancient Bharat supported their environment with lifestyles that were based on values like respect for nature, simplicity and harmony. Hence if we live in harmony with our inner and outer nature, it will create a sustainable world. So, instead of flaunting bigger cars and consuming products that harm the environment, we can make choices that promote conservation of energy and a cleaner environment rather than chasing a life that is based on greed, competition and glamour.