Our economy is highly dependent on our natural wealth. It includes renewable, nonrenewable and other natural resources. Our agricultural, fish and raw material industries, all are based on these resources. Development in tune with sustainability and renewability is sustainable development. Industrial development is a key characteristic of any modern civilization. It is the result of people’s daily demands and technological innovation. Although these developments are important for progress, they also have some harmful aspects. The use of fossil fuels has polluted our environment. Climate change is a huge issue worldwide. Because of people’s unawareness and unplanned work, the world’s temperature is steadily increasing. Other than industrial development, electricity/power consumption, use of automobiles, brick production, industrial waste and deforestation is also responsible for this.
India is obviously a densely populated country; It has also been one of the victims of climate change through natural disasters. Floods, cyclones, tsunamis are all regularities now because of the climate change. Our country is being victimized for the destruction of the environment by more developed countries. Our actions are also greatly harming the earth’s environment. We have polluted most of our clean water sources. Dumped industrial waste has destroyed our rivers and other wetlands. Some rivers’ waters have been completely replaced by waste. It has been found that 18500 meters cubed of liquid waste and 19000 Kilograms of hard waste are dumped every day into the Ganga river alone. Ganga is still known as the holy river of India but in some parts, use of its water is deadly for humans just because of the high level of water pollution. This waste has entered our food in several ways and has resulted in the spread of different diseases. With increased industrialization, there has also been an increase in urbanization. We are increasing pollution in the cities by using polythene, plastic products, and inadequate waste management. The use of polythene and littering is affecting the oxygen levels in water and destroying soil fertility. With this era of development, roads, dams, bridges and ports are being constructed all over the country. But without proper foresight planning and management, this is doing nothing but pushing us backward from sustainable development. Being an agricultural society, most of our farmlands are hydrated by rivers. But river flow is hindered with dams. Rivers are getting filled up by sediments. Aquatic organisms are having their habitats destroyed. Indian rivers are also being heavily affected by dams built by neighboring countries. In dry seasons, there are always water shortages and the soil is all dried up. Conversely, in the rainy seasons, we are faced with huge floods. Because of dams built in some rural areas, people face a myriad of problems including increased levels of salinity in the water. We are also generating electricity from the river while causing irreversible damage to the environment. With the forests, we are losing invaluable wild animals and biodiversity.
We humans have very strong survival instinct. We are doing whatever we can to survive on this planet. Whatever we do, we get affected by it. Some of our activities favor us but on the other hand, cause harm to environment. We need any economic development to be in tune with the environment and socially sustainable in the long run. We also need initiatives to reduce poverty. Because, if poverty keeps increasing, the sustainable development wouldn’t be much effective. On the other hand, if we are destroying several species for some development, we are not leaving anything for future. The average people in villages can do things within their capabilities to help. For example, agricultural researchers can figure out how to grow rice using water with high saline levels. A lot of other small things like this are needed. The industrial development in the last 200 years or so has brought us to a point where the temperature of earth is rising like anything. Because of deforestation and wastage of important resources, the earth is heating up. The industries are not fulfilling their Corporate Social Responsibility. There are a lot of economical, cultural and social barriers in the way of sustainable development. There is a strong need for taking care of our present so that the future can be favorable.
Still, humans with their creativity, are trying to find ways to reverse these damages. In the past, the environment was never considered when planning for development. Slowly but importantly, this is changing for good. Before any plans for developments are approved, it is now considered whether it is environmentally sustainable of not. Protecting environment should receive high priority when planning for further urbanization, industrialization and electricity production. The sustainable development is possible if we work together. We need to raise awareness and teach people about proper use of farmlands, ponds etc in villages. The environment’s health depends on our social management and how we manage economic development. Social ability depends on how we move forward in these areas. Biodiversity is really important, we need to consider everything from snails to crabs while thinking of developed lives. We need to make the masses understand these things before we move forward. The concepts of low carbon economy, historic environment, prudent use of natural resources and improving biodiversity should be on top of our list. We should also be aware of the proper usage of water. We waste a lot of water on unnecessary activities because we think that there is no shortage of water. But there is not the same situation in every part of the country. People are forced to drink water full of chemicals and toxic material because they do not have supply of fresh water. Sustainable development starts with us when we start taking these little steps. Even if some unsustainable initiative is economically successful, it can still harm us greatly through environmental damages. Sustainable development will help us and the environment at the same time. To protect our natural environment, we have no option but sustain our resources. Only then we can achieve the proper balance between the environment and us and can co exist in harmony.