A Quote from the Streets

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By M.C. Linthoingambee

One can say without any doubt that with the progress of time, human civilization has seen a varied number of stages. During the time of our forefathers, development of a road or a street led to building friendship, trade etc. This tradition is still on but the new added version of this event are the unwanted amount of pollution gathered on roads which in parts is also partly our own doing. We could still say that the literacy rate has been increasing and still increasing, and we have more and more number of people buying and owning cars but all these changes have not taught our race not to pollute. A person driving an Audi car or some such expensive car model will still throw out his finished pack of cigarette on the road by pulling down his window. Now, just who does he expect to pick up his discarded trash?

I recently watched a movie called “Lucy” where this girl Lucy had consumed a certain drug thus making her brain’s cerebral capacities to reach an optimum 100 percent. What would happen in real life if such a person who throws out garbage without realizing its effect were to function with such an amount of cerebral capacity although it is a mere hypothesis? This is currently the growing evolution of a human being. There are many places in the world where civic sense is often taught from a young age but in our country we are still novices just fighting to get the perfect parking spot, the last seat on the metro, and the clothes on sale and so on. But this joke of owning up to a better social strata is merely smeared by a person of the village whose lives still depends on the ecology of nature where they are taught to preserve what is given to them. But, we cannot negate the factor that there are also people who pick up after the causes and parents teaching their children to pick up a wrapper of a lollypop or some such packed stuff, which they were on the verge of littering.

The Environmental Laws of this country has been a safeguard to these mishaps but what was termed small scale pollution has reached a wider area with the increasing and growing number of industries and their own industrial wastes. Various legislations have been set into motion for control of our main requirements of air, water, forests, etc.. and some have seen effective implementation. There are people like MC Mehta in the field of legal profession who makes it their work to file for Public Interest Litigation (PIL) thereby affirming the rights of a large number of the public at large. And it is not easy to forget of the large number of people and organizations springing up to awaken the larger mass of the ill-effects we are putting ourselves in. A major effect of pollution to air was seen in the events of the Bhopal Gas Tragedy which released a large amount of intoxicated chemicals in the air, thus killing and severely injuring a number of people and their recuperating generations who are still handicapped as an evil of this accident. Where is the Right to Life of a common man? It is often the large corporations who win a battle at progress most of the time and there are still people with a less amount of compensation at hand who are still unable to make a day’s living. Can we really pay of a person’s life with money? Human beings have no valuation we are still at the mercy of our own kind where we do not know the account of somebody’s mistake would do to us. The Laws put in place are never enough to quantify a life and if such events are to recur we are partly to blame.

We could learn from Sri Lanka where the sole line of pollution control is solely dependent on the defense i,e, their military personnel who themselves sees to the effective utilization of pollution control in and out of their surroundings. This principle is also currently practiced in Imphal with the police working alongside the Imphal Municipal Council to arrest people who litter and contribute to pollutions and giving them a handsome fine for their actions. But how successful has this step been? Who is going to be weary of the many who still throws out their garbage in the Naga and Nambul turel (river) which now runs a stream of polluted garbage with a black stream? It is often said to know we are often the causes of our own miseries. My grandfather often told stories of how he and his friends and many others used to catch fish from these rivers. Those stories have remained as sad stories in our generation, telling us of a long ago time that have since disappeared.

There is a principle of Inter Generational Equity in law which states that what is once ours will become our children’s, so it is critical to ask whether we are really willing to leave our destruction for corrections to the future generations that is soon to come. A common generation of civic sense would teach us how to be polite to our environment. In the years to come, we can hopefully pray that the existence of trees and oxygen does not merely become a myth for the future

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