This Environment Day You Will Have to Do More Than Just Planting Trees


If it was a regular Environment Day, I would have asked you to take a break from what you are doing to look at the image above. I would have then reminded you of the beautiful bounty of Mother Nature, and asked you to take a deep breath and let Nature rejuvenate yourself. 

But wait, I cannot do that because the deep breath that you will take could impair your lungs beyond repair. It would also shorten your life span by a few days and put you at risk of a large number of pulmonary disorders.

The World Environment Day is an annual celebration made on the 5th of June since 1972. On this day, individuals, organisations and governments remind themselves about the role of a healthy environment and cherish the bounty of Mother Nature. UNFORTUNATELY, Delhi has been devoid of that luxury too, on this World Environment Day 2015.

Biosphere, the living part of Planet Earth, is made up of three components, i) the hydrosphere, ii) the atmosphere and iii) the lithosphere. River Yamuna, which represents the hydrosphere part of Delhi, has been lying dead after being converted into a sewer since almost a decade. Now, with Delhi being declared one of the most polluted cities in the world, we have killed the atmosphere part of Delhi as well.

The result of this is neither too difficult to understand nor hidden. More and more people are suffering from lung disorders in Delhi and those already suffering from asthma and related diseases are having a very difficult time in Delhi. News has already been broken of journalists and employees from the Western world, who were operating in Delhi, now having left the city fearing the health of their family members.

So, how should an ordinary citizen, who cannot in one way or the other leave and go away from Delhi, cope with this air pollution? Or do something to prevent further damage?

Yes, you must indeed plant saplings..and many many of them. But you must also ensure that you adopt those saplings as your children and be with them until they are young trees. Delhi has seen many a saplings planted before, but Delhi has also witnessed the death of these saplings long before they can become trees (and shortly after they are planted).

But that’s not enough. At least that is not what will bring back clean air in Delhi immediately. The pollution status of Delhi (remember, the most polluted city in the world in terms of air pollution) needs drastic measures for it to be addressed.

For one, each and every citizen of Delhi..who cares for his life and the lives of his  family members…must become an Eco Warrior for saving Delhi. The battle for pollution is impacting you (and your family members), it is only natural that you get involved and choose a side.

And should you choose your own side (which is also the side of Mother Nature), YOU MUST MAKE SURE THAT FROM THIS DAY ONWARDS…:

  • not a single tree is damaged or felled in Delhi
  • no leaves or waste is burnt in or around your house, office, institute etc.
  • every citizen of Delhi’s first choice of transport is public it the Delhi Metro, DTC buses or even auto-rickshaws or those debatable e-rickshaws
  • participate in environmental campaigns and actions for cleaning our air
  • you and all those who you know lobby with the Delhi Government to ensure congestion free roads, a good transport policy and provision for cycles on EACH AND EVERY road
  • your waste is picked up and disposed of in a manner that least amount of it falls on the roads, remains dumped in dhallaons or falls from trucks while being taken to landfills (speak to your local MLA about this)
  • adopt as many parks in and around your colony and ensure that the plants and trees are provided with water and other needs
  • (AND THE MOST IMPORTANT) every citizen of Delhi is made to realize the importance of SOLAR ENERGY..which Delhi receives in abundance. Private and Public harnessing of solar energy HAS TO be popularized and adopted by the people of Delhi. Speak to your RWA, speak to your local MLA, speak to your Chief Minister…and make Delhi adopt Solar.

The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) has declared the theme of WED 2015 as Seven Billion Dreams. One Planet. Consume with Care. With a population well above 20 million, this theme is very relevant for the National Capital Territory (NCT) of Delhi. Delhi has limited resources, both in terms of water and air. Our wasteful and unsustainable lifestyle has consumed all these resources so much so that both the water and air in Delhi are heavily polluted.

We must now realize that our lifestyle itself is coming in the way of healthy living and this World Environment Day, it becomes a moral, obvious and sensible responsibility of each and every Delhiite to stand by Mother Nature and do all that it takes to make Delhi clean and green once again. A Happy and Hopeful Environment Day to all!


Govind Singh

Dr. Govind Singh holds a Ph.D. in environmental studies and is currently associate professor of environmental studies at O.P. Jindal Global University, Delhi NCR. He can be reached at

3 thoughts on “This Environment Day You Will Have to Do More Than Just Planting Trees

  1. Very clealry and right pointed Dr.Govind that each of us need to do our bit to save the environment, be it Delhi or any other place in the world. We need to realize what the environment means to us and act appropriately to save it. Ashirvadam, is among the few NGOs in Bangalore who supports other NGOs, working for nature conservation and wildlife protection by providign them funds and grants. You may visit their site for more information.

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