Pictures courtesy: Adriaan Louw / Red Bull Content Pool
June 5 is World Environment
Day. In India, car manufacturers do their bit and conduct pollution camps where
cars are checked for their pollution and accordingly they do the needful. As for the government and bodies like NGT,
everybody does a wish-washy job, whether it is banning diesel cars with engine
capacities of 2000cc and above (The weirdest thing to do especially when these
are all BS 4 complaint engines and are the least polluting) or merely enforcing
an odd-even exercise (another equally weird thing to do when India cities and
towns are polluted to such high levels).
NGT, the best part about it,
is they want publicity. If the body really wants to check pollution of all
kinds, it needs to walk around Indian cities and towns and into its forest
lands. Let me give you an example. Somewhere in a forest land adjacent to
Vasant Vihar and Vasant Kunj in New Delhi’s South West area, there is pollution
on the rise. Hundreds of acres of land have become a dumping ground for trash, burnt waste and is being destroyed
by encroachment. Motown India has photographic evidence of that.
Similarly, forest lands on the
outskirts of Delhi in Gurgaon are encroached by religious factions for building
their religious places. The illegal encroachments are bound to pollute the
forest lands. In forest lands in the midst of Vasant Kunj in New Delhi, forest
lands have been encroached upon in a big way. All over India, the situation is
a hundred times worse.
NGT has to step down from its
high and mighty seat and see the ground realities if it really wants to check
pollution. But do you think they really
care? By stopping economic development (banning cars, stopping the Metro lines
from expanding, etc) bodies like the NGT are going to simply harm the country’s
But far away from India in
distant Africa, positive environmental actions are being celebrated in the
right way. For South Africa’s Thabang Mabapa working on turning castor oil into
a biodiesel,is a daily matter.
An agriculture and energy
entrepreneur, Mabapa founded Selokong Sa Dimelana, an organisation that focuses
on the farming, processing and distribution of castor oil and cake for
biodiesel purposes, in 2013.
He found a chief in Limpopo
who was prepared to give him some land, and he got growing. More than 60 local
people have got involved as volunteers, tilling the land, planting bushes and
harvesting the beans every three months.
Now supported by Red Bull
Amaphiko, Mabapa started out extracting the oils in his mother’s kitchen and is
currently using lab facilities at the University of Wits in Johannesburg before
working towards his own factory facilities.
“My dream is to do the farming
and the processing in Limpopo so that people here can have that skillset,” he
says, adding that “I want us to grow, to supply the whole of Africa, and
produce tons and tons of biodiesel.”
Now that’s doing something
really positive for the environment! Maybe India needs to learn something from Africa!
Source: Motown India / Red Bull
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