Saving the Environment? Or Killing it??

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There is nothing to hide in the fact that earth is slowly moving towards devastation. One of the major reason for this is the deteriorating condition of the environment. It probably won’t be wrong to say that our environment is very sick and there are no signs that it may ever be restored to its previous pristine health. Environmental pollution, whatever may be the kind, is gradually pushing our beloved earth to its decay and ultimate death.

Because of awareness campaigns have taken up by different organizations and individuals, people are now gradually getting educated in the field of environmental pollution and other problems related to the environment. Many steps are being taken, some on a very large scale which some are smaller endeavours, in order to save the environment, which in the long run will save all of the living worlds. But in the midst of all that has been done for the environment are all of them in the right direction? Are they contributing towards saving the environment or pushing it towards more darkness?

Such a massive arrangement, a step taken in order to save the environment is what caught my attention and what I intend to discuss here. 18 March 2018, Meerut, Uttar Pradesh was all set to take a gigantic step towards saving the environment, to give the people a relief from the problem of air pollution. Nearly 108 fire pits or hawan kunds were dug out and prepared for the grand occasion, about 350 pandits were in place. Everything was arranged and the only thing that remained was for the event to begin. But it is this event that became an issue of great controversy and talk.

What was to take place was a mahayagya, which would run for nine continuous days. Arranged by Shri Ayutchandi Mahayagya Samiti, this yagya, called the Rashtriya Raksha Mahayagya was all set to burn about 50 metric tons of mango wood so that air pollution could be curbed. Really? I don’t think anything can be more absurd than this.

Arguing in favour of the event, Gyanendra Agarwal, president of the Shri Ayutchandi Mahayagya Samiti said that the fire will be lit using ghee (clarified butter), made of cow milk, which is apparently non-polluting.  “We are also adding sesame seeds, rice, and barley to aid the purification process,” he told the Times of India. Some others said that in the ancient times this procedure was taken up to purify air by the great sages of those times. But this can’t actually be proved only because no scientific research had been done from this angle. All the supporters of the yagya are of the firm belief that rather than contributing to the air pollution it will purify it. Maybe they forgot to take into account that burning 50 tons of firewood did nothing but added approximately 20,150 kgs of CO2, 1,875 kgs of Carbon monoxide and 100 kgs of particulate matter (leaving aside the huge mountains of ashes that it left behind), all calculated through proper scientific methods and estimates!

For me, and I believe for many people like me this yagya and the arguments given in its favour are nothing but a great joke on the blind faith, superstitions and narrow mindedness of the people. It seems to be nothing more than a religious stunt. However, can so many learned people make such grave miscalculations? Were they thinking at all? Even a 5th standard kid with little knowledge of science can say that burning of fire woods adds to air pollution. Why did they refuse to see it?

I think it is high time that we understand the correct meaning of the phrase ‘conservation of the environment’ and take steps that lead us to it, rather than away from it. Such Mahayagyas, which spread the wrong message among the people should be stopped and the naive masses should be given the proper education so that they know what to do and what not to do. We need to take the right actions now or else it may be too late. It is of great immediacy and emergency. Every little step taken in the right direction will ultimately culminate in a big hole and will contribute towards saving the environment, which in the long run will save the world and the entire humanity.

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Hi! My name is Gitika and I am a final year Masters degree student of English. I love creative writing and reading novels. I enjoy exploring new places and spending time with my friends and family. I hail from the beautiful state of Assam and my family is my strength.
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