Considering the factors bugging people as a whole in diverse ways, running to a long list and still getting longer, some of them self inflicted by human beings and the rest caused by indiscriminate and over-use of nature’s bounty, read over-exploitation, two such factors deserve to be accorded prominence. One is the factor of pollution and the other plastic (used for producing an increasing number of products driven by cost concerns and convenience, familiar to even the unlettered sections in the population, namely the ubiquitous shopping bag.) The civic authorities of Mysuru, with unalloyed support of many voluntary groups, particularly the Greens (the outfit promoting organic practices in daily life,) have been waging a losing battle with the trading fraternity in the city to redeem Mysuru from plastic in all its forms. The proportions to which pollution (in its widest meaning, but focussed on environment in media reporting on related issues) has reached, one is convinced that its continued sway is virtually unstoppable.
The country is currently under the Swachh Bharath Abhiyan (Clean India Mission) spell resulting in at least one outcome namely, awareness about the intimate connect between diseases and insanitary living. However, it is only a minor fraction in the country’s 130 crore head count that are complying with the practice of consuming unpolluted water and avoiding unsafe food in daily life.
In a monumental case of human indiscretion and irresponsibility, even life-supporting water bodies, namely rivers and lakes, are being fouled up across the country, making a mockery of the people’s sentiment of considering rivers as sacred. The resultant sacrilege is unpardonable. Residents of Mysuru, barring exceptions, have chosen to be passive observers in the struggle by voluntary groups for the cause of the city’s lakes and also ground water resources. The fact that the 12 lakh or so Mysureans constitute of mix of agents of pollution and activists giving a clarion call not to pollute the living spaces of the city cannot be missed.
The issue of pollution caused by ill-kept automobiles across the country has attracted the attention of the nation’s Supreme Court which has described it as “Very Serious” and “Critical Problem.” One more dimension has been added to the fallout of pollution, going by a just published report based on a study conducted by adults in India and the US, namely: Exposure to air pollution may lead to unethical behaviour such as crime and cheating. Can anybody disagree with the finding?