India has completed 64 years of independence, but it is still considered to be a developing country and continues to face setbacks in different sectors. Melissa Fernandes and our readers list a few things you can do to contribute towards the development of our country
India faces a serious problem in terms of waste management and public hygiene. One always sees people spitting and littering on roads, railway tracks and other public places. It is our responsibility to stop people from littering by setting an example they can follow. We should make it a practice to avoid littering and create awareness about the benefits of cleanliness. There are several campaigns in India that promote this cause and you can either volunteer for them or practise cleanliness individually.
Avinash Mahadik, Class 8, Children's Academy, Mumbai says,
"The scenic beauty and diversity in culture attracts many people to our country. We should not litter and destroy the beauty of our country as it will give others a bad impression. It is also very unhygienic for us to litter as this leads to many health problems. On a personal front, I have made it a habit to stop littering and also request others to do so."
REDUCE WATER AND AIR POLLUTION
Many cities in India face the problem of water and air pollution. You can help reduce pollution by using cars and two-wheelers only when necessary. If you are travelling to school by car, get some of your friends to go along with you rather than travelling alone. You can also cycle or walk if the distance is short.
Apurva Dhokey, Class 8, Sinhgad Spring Dale School, Pune says,
"Pollution is a major cause for concern as we don't bother to control our habits. Water, sound and noise pollution destroy our environment. When I travel by car with my parents, I make sure that they switch the car off to conserve petrol and honk only when required."
Indrajeet Lonkar, Class 7, Somalwar High School, Nagpur says,
"Pollution has to be avoided as it causes many respiratory disorders. The simplest way to reduce pollution is by using CNG in our vehicles."
USE ELECTRICITY AND WATER SCARCELY
Water is a precious natural resource that is used by one and all. But due to the increase in population, we are facing a severe shortage in water supply and need to use water scarcely. The same applies to electricity. Make sure you don't leave lights and fans on when you leave your house, switch off all appliances from the plug point and turn the tap off when not in use.
R Aaditya Ramaswamy, Class 9, Monfort School, Tamil Nadu says,
"We should save water as we are running short of this natural resource. With the increase in population, the demand has also shot up. If we save water, it will be distributed equally. Electricity should also be conserved and not wasted. I conserve electricity and switch off lights when not needed. I also use compact fluorescent amp (CFL) bulbs, which are known to save electricity. Apart from this, I log on to blackle.com, which saves electricity unlike google.com."
AVOID THE USE OF AIR CONDITIONERS
Today, more and more people in India are using air conditioners (ACs). ACs emit chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), which damage the ozone layer and allow the direct rays of the Sun to enter the Earth. Even refrigerators emit CFCs. Hence, we should avoid or reduce the use of ACs or use ACs that are ecofriendly.
Sneha Pandey, Class 6, Delhi Public School, Delhi says,
"Many people use ACs which causes global warming. We should avoid using them as they can cause damage to the ozone layer that protects our Earth from the harmful rays of the Sun."
REDUCE NOISE POLLUTION
Loud speakers and unnecessary honking cause noise pollution, which is a growing phenomenon in India. The government is trying to control noise pollution by imposing deadlines on celebrations and events in public areas. We can do our bit to reduce noise pollution by not playing loud music. Also, when travelling by car, we can make sure that the person driving is not using the horn unnecessarily.
Ashlon Fernandes, Class 10, Holy Rosary Convent High School, Goa says,
"Noise pollution can cause heavy damage. To avoid this, we should firstly follow the rules and reduce the volume of loud speakers after 10pm. Also, we should be careful of areas around schools, hospitals and other sensitive areas as more people are prone to falling ill due to loud noises in these zones. Heart attacks and hearing problems are common disorders caused by loud noises."
FOLLOW TRAFFIC RULES
Traffic rules have been put in place to ensure discipline and prevent accidents. Hence, it is necessary for everyone on the road to abide by these rules. You can help by learning traffic rules and then making sure that everyone you know abides by them. A few basic safety measures include wearing a helmet while riding a two-wheeler, using seat belts, not drinking and driving and avoiding the use of phones while driving.
Pooja Jain, Class 8, Kanakia High School, Mumbai says,
"It's very important to follow traffic rules as these are created for our safety. They prevent accidents and are meant to improve our driving conditions. By not following these rules we also cause traffic jams. So, in order to have a safe and enjoyable ride we should follow traffic rules."
AVOID THE USE OF PLASTIC
Each time the government bans plastic, the ban is ignored. Plastic bags and products made of plastic are harmful to the environment. They even kill animals, who sometimes consume plastic bags, mistaking them for food. Plastic bags are non-biodegradable and take about 1,000 years to decompose. As a result, they end up littering our public spaces and find their way into our waterways, parks, beaches and streets. Do your bit by using cloth bags. And if you must use a plastic bag, make sure you recycle it.
Aman Ketan Shah, Class 8, Vallabh Aashram School, Gujarat says,
"The government is doing a good thing by banning plastic, which is dangerous even for aquatic life. It's also a major contributor to air and water pollution. It is better to use jute bags, which are an alternative to plastic bags. We should also try to cut down the use of bottles and cans."