This idea of talking on this serious issue might have had come later, may be much later, if I had not encountered this Auto-Riksha driver, with his decently new Auto-Riksha. First of all let’s thank this guy. It was 1st of May, 2016, yes its been just a few days, I was visiting a locally famous temple of Lord Ganesha, in the morning with my father on his 52nd birthday. There is a railway crossing in the path to Panchama which is about 5 kilometers from my village Golanthara. It all started, when we were about to cross it while returning. It was closed, as there were two back to back trains scheduled to pass by. I just turned off the engine as soon as I reached the gate, and tried to settle for the few minutes just next to the road, under a large banyan tree. However, the fellow Auto-Riksha driver was not bothered to turn off the engine. And, it was a considerable amount of time he kept gossiping with a fellow biker onto one of his sides. Five minutes passed on, and one train passed by, immediately the railway staff signaled that there would be one more train passing by in a few minutes. I was just about to start my bike, I just held back. The railway crossing gate was closed for another 10 minutes and the Auto-Risksha driver never bothered to turn off the engine. I knew, going and talking to him directly and immediately would not be of any benefit. He would just respond like, “Abey, tere baap ka kya jaata hai!”. Yes, this is the attitude I see, and I have already got such reply in the past, and I don’t find any way out for such people, to make them understand that this is too bad of what they do.
It felt really bad, when I started correlating things. It was just his laziness that added to the carbon footprint by a small margin. Yes, maybe it was too small, but wasn’t it an increase? It was already too hot, the environment there, was boiling with quite a high temperature of above 40 degrees, at just 10 a.m. in the morning. This emission of smoke from his vehicle might not feel like significant, but if accumulated, the amount done by all such drivers of Autos, Bikes, Cars, Trucks, Busses and so on, in India and around the Globe, would not be less than 10-15% of the overall carbon emissions in the environment from all the vehicles. In fact it might even be an understatement. I am not going to focus on statistics, but I am just going to put some light on some other such activities, that I see and worry about. And, I just ask you to take a step on this. Please, make people aware, at least those who listen to you!!!
It is not just only on roads I see such wastage or misuse of energy, I also do see the wastage of energy in many other forms and contexts, which do nothing other than causing damage to our sweet mother earth. But, if I look back at what happened to the driver over there, questioning why he did not bother to turn off the engine! What I find as the probable reason is quite surprising. He would be earning decently, which easily suffices to make it to his own and his family needs. I do not blame him for what he did; I just blame his sense of responsibility, his laziness, his carelessness. How can a person be so lazy and so reckless, that he does not turn off the engine for 15 continuous minutes!!! Arey, let’s forget about mother earth for a second, at least he could have had saved some bucks in terms of petrol or diesel. It barely takes a few seconds and a very small physical exercise, nothing more.
Okay, let’s forget about this not so educated and aware guy! Let me share a high profile experience. I stayed in the beautiful IIT Guwahati campus for a considerable amount of time. During that period, I encountered several times, several people leaving their hostel rooms, with light and fan turned on 24*7. Even though, the need was of less than that of 12 or 15 hours, they used to do it, just do it, cause it takes nothing from them directly. However, the intellectuals, being generous did listen to me and several of them stopped doing that. And, I am quite happy for it. On the other hand, I encounter many offices, homes and houses, where people do not care to switch off unwanted and unused applications and appliances. Specifically, think of the scene of Government Offices, what might be happening there, is of real big concern. Okay, these days electrical and electronics world is doing well, and has brought several power saving modes which get automatically turned on after stipulated idle times, which is really appreciable seeing these lazy senseless people out here.
Now, one simpler context I would like to highlight! And it is silly, really silly. One question that I ask, when one goes to market for marketing, does not he/she go for marketing! Does not it make sense to take a carry bag for whatever shopping you do! Why would one use those polythene bags? What’s the point, absolutely!!! I mean, one is going to do shopping or marketing, and yet goes empty handed. If the same person does not forget to take money or debit or credit card, then how can he/she forget to take a carry bag! It is acceptable when you do it unplanned, but how can the person be so careless that every time the same gets repeated. And, let say we end up using a polythene bag, cannot we do a reuse for several future such contexts? And, when it becomes useless, cannot we dispose it off properly? Another context, people use batteries, be it for a torch light or for the powerful laptops or for the most portable mobile phones! Once it gets the job done or once it expires, just simply throwing it in the sewage or drainage around does not make sense. Is that supposed to be done? A huge amount of damage to mother earth is done by the harmful materials present in it.
Today, I am very angry! It’s probably these people, who are less than 10% of all the people, who waste, underuse and misuse so much of energy, materials and money and eventually contribute so much to pollution that our mother earth is getting worse to live in, every passing day, every moment. This year, it reached 48.5 degrees in Titlagarh, Odisha. I would not wonder if in a few years it reaches and rather passes the 50 mark, because of this significant unawareness, carelessness, and dumbness of people around. I see, people travelling single on large cars like SUVs and Sedans when they can easily get it done on a sharing basis by pooling their cars with people around, and the pollutions can be reduced to even one fourth. I wonder why people hesitate to take up public transport by getting up half an hour early in the morning and still reach office in the same time. I wonder why people are so obsessed with showing off their powerful bikes! I know having a bike is cool, going for a trip once in a while, is fantastic, but why everyday in the extreme traffic? Why would not one care? It’s not how much you have; it’s about how much you really need. Consuming only the optimum amount is much like giving it back to the society and mother earth. It’s not just about saving the lot many bucks in your pocket, but also about helping in big ways to our mother earth take care of us. Think of the food wastage that is happening around. People are dying with hunger in droughts, yet I see so many people wasting so much of food. I am not claiming here to be the Mr.Perfect, some might have already asked me this question in their mind! I am just doing my bit, I do try to make minimal waste, I do try to maximize utilization of resources that are in my hand and around. That’s best of what I can do! And, I do make mistakes too, but I do correct it, the moment I come across it or even when somebody makes me realize it.
My dear wonderful reader, I thank you for reading this long. I request you to spread this word in people. Ask them to stop making these kinds of misuses, damages and wastages. And in case you happen to be doing something wrong or underusing or misusing something in your life may be in your unknown or even may be in your known! There is nothing to feel bad about, please correct it, the moment you feel like you should. We still have some time left, it’s not too late yet.
Thank you so much, if you liked my words and agree to it, please spread it! And in case you do not agree, please do let me know, so that I can do my analysis on it and may be try convincing you or may be I get convinced myself in your context.
Hope to see you here again, with some more new experineces!