As the whole world celebrated Environment Day on 5th June, my daughter Pakhi – who is a kindergartener – also participated in the celebration this year in her school. She has learned so many things to protect the environment but has not able to relate them to the world around her. She is witnessing lots of roadside waste, construction rubbish, and garbage in the lakes and keeps asking why we don’t plant trees and why do I see lots of plastic and waste on the streets and in the lake water. I really do not have the proper answer to these questions.

Ulsoor Lake, Bangalore

Ulsoor Lake, Bangalore (Photo Credit All India Roundup)

As parents, we want to develop good habits in our kids. And we all know that the sooner we are able to imbibe these good habits, the longer they would stay with them. Every parent and teacher are trying their best for this. But, is just saying things enough or do we really need to set examples for them by doing something ourselves as well? Kids learn the best if we practice what we preach.

One of the saddest things she asks me is – “Why people throw waste in water? Don’t they know fishes and other water creatures will die and they can’t survive in dirty water?” This made me sad as well. I told her – “You and I will never do that and other people need to learn that this is bad too.” What else can I do to console her? Kids at this age take thing too seriously and this becomes very difficult for them to grasp why grown-ups won’t understand these small things.

We all know that no one wants to hurt environment on purpose. But sometimes greed, ignorance, carelessness forces us to do these. As Mahatma Gandhi said,

Earth provides enough to satisfy every Man’s needs, but not every man’s greed.

Pakhi told us every single thing she learned in the school and I was delighted that she was ready to follow everything and she really understood how earth and humanity will suffer if we don’t stop polluting the environment. Sure she is not aware of big words like “Global Warming” and “Green House Effect” etc., but she can feel something is not right and we need to stop this as every small effort can make a big difference. If everyone makes a promise to protect the environment in their own way then it will definitely make a big change.

We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors,  we borrow it from our children. – Native American proverb

The environment is not mine or yours – it’s ours. So, protect your mother who nourishes you.

Abha Mondal

I am a simple woman from India who wants to live every moment of her life as it comes. I believe in taking every chance I get in life because some things only happen once.

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