“What have we’ve done to the world. Look what we’ve done. Did you ever stop to notice this crying Earth, this weeping shore?” These are lines from a very famous Michael Jackson song titled ‘Earth Song’.
This is the face of the world today! Blinded by greed and selfishness, we notice nothing about the plight of other living things around. To answer Jackson’s question, “We don’t give a damn!” The condition of the earth today is proof enough and the recent landslide in Pune just makes this belief stronger.
The landslide, in Pune on July 30, that claimed more than 100 lives, according to a news report on Reuters, is being considered a direct result of human activities. The report says that deforestation in the area to make way for farming is what caused the catastrophe. In the Uttarakhand tragedy also, thousands died for the same reason.
In the past decades landslides have increased manifold due to human activities. Indiscriminate felling of trees, construction, mining and quarrying has increased the fragility of soil. According to a geologist’s statement in the DNA newspaper, the recent landslide was also a result of human doings like farming and road construction.
According to another report in the Hindustan Times approximately 28,000 trees were cut in the area where the landslide took place. Unofficial figures however put the number at 300,000. And if this wasn’t enough, heavy machinery was used to flatten the slopes. This resulted in loosening of the soil.
The onset of monsoon naturally washed away the loose soil causing the landslide.
The sad part is that despite tragedies like these, man fails to pay heed. Despite several warnings that nature seems to be giving us from time to time, he continues to exploit resources for personal gains.
‘The Indian Disaster Report’, a study published by top academics and scientists clearly mentions that the developmental projects carried out for the economic growth of the country are putting the citizens and the environment at a huge risk. Although this is a local report, it does not take a genius to know that this is the state across the world.
Scientists are saying that had there been shrubs or other plants in the area where the landslide happened, the disaster could have been avoided. The question here is not what could have been avoided but what we can avoid. Must we always wait for a disaster to tell us that we are going wrong? Shouldn’t we be well aware by now, given that such events have happened over and over again? We definitely shouldn’t need newspaper or academic reports to tell us where we are going wrong.
It is high time that we realize we are citizens and protectors of this world and saving it shouldn’t be a burden. We should be doing it willingly because after all we are the ones who have to continue living in it.