India, Nature, Navi Mumbai, Thoughts and musings

Environment Protection: A Community Initiative

Humans take pride in being the most sophisticated creation of nature. We can feel and process things that other animals can’t and have the ability to initiate a difference. Creation of the wheel, producing fire, or taking flight alongside birds in the sky are all mean feats. However, have we always utilised our virtues to make the world a better place? Urbanisation, creation of tourism hotspots and subsequent pollution, blatant over-consumption of natural resources, etc have done irreversible damage to our environment. Our green cover is fast depleting putting all of our lives at great risk.

Navi Mumbai, once beautiful land of lakes and hills and a breeding ground of a huge variety of flora and flora has now metamorphosed into an ugly concrete extension of its elder sibling, Mumbai. Until a decade ago it wasn’t unusual to find a snake slithering next to you while you took a morning walk. Now, bird photographers with their high-end cameras forage for hours in the woods to capture some exotic breed. Does development inevitably have to come at the cost of ruining our environment? This planet isn’t ours alone, after all.

Environment Protection A Community Initiative_avibrantpalette

I’ve been a Navi Mumbaikar for a decade and a half now. After living on rent in airless, dark, and privacy-free places we finally got our own home here 5 years ago. Clean and fresh air, excellent lake view, and proximity to the sea were the clinchers for us while investing in the apartment we reside in. Despite the massive construction, Navi Mumbai is a planned city with designated open spaces for parks, schools, and other activities.

A few months ago we connected with a group of people in our area who actively pursue the cause of creating a better environment around us. Most of the hills have been flattened for making way for apartment buildings but a lone survivor stands proudly amongst them. It has a small Mahadev temple on top that is more than a hundred years old. Come rain or shine, many devotees visit it every day to offer their prayers.

The hill, though, wasn’t maintained. Overgrown grass, weeds, useless junglee plants, and litter had defaced the entire area. This group took matters into their own hands and decided to give it a green facelift. Under the guidance of a spirited horticulturist, they started clearing the area and planted an ‘adopted’ plant. They also made arrangements for watering them by placing water drums at designated places. An adjoining society, in turn, offered to refill them. The hill is now lined with countless tulsi, rose, hibiscus, neem, etc plants and has transfigured into a picnic spot! Community effort can make a huge difference, can’t it?

Interestingly, they didn’t stop at this. They encouraged all societies in our lane to plant almond, java plums, neem, flowers, etc on our surrounding footpath area. We readily gave our nod and joined in. It’s amazing to see many of our plant babies grew taller and have new lush green leaves already. Can’t imagine how thrilling it would be a couple of years from now. Doing our bit for the environment sure soothes the soul.

“Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.” ~ Helen Keller. We take pride in showing off our curated home garden, if only we insisted on creating a green and clean environment outside too. Saathi haath badhana applies to every good initiative that thrives on community effort. What’s more, our kids can learn from and practically contribute to our actions. Our environment is ours to cherish, maintain, and benefit from, isn’t it?

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23 thoughts on “Environment Protection: A Community Initiative

  1. I loved this initiate, indeed a great one for environment protection. I agree that when everyone put even a small contribution from their side to protect the environment and make a change, things get a lot better in long term for future generation.

  2. For our environment and mother nature the step and initiative Navi Mumbaikars are taking is great. I am sure entire world will take lesson to save our environment.

  3. It’s great to see that there are groups which still exist to protect the environment and the community at large. We all need to play our part in ensuring that the environment continues to be liveable for the future generations ahead.

  4. An ocean is formed with small droplets of water. If each one of us contribute as per our capacity, a big goal will be achieved. What an amazing initiative.

  5. Pandemic has definitely taught us that it is important to take the step now in saving environment. This is such a good initiative and I hope every community comes forward to take these steps.

  6. What a wonderful initiative! Kudos to all of you for planting new seeds of almond, java plums, neem, flowers, etc. on your surrounding footpath area. It must be an awesome feeling to see many of your plant babies growing taller. You are right about doing your bit for the environment; it definitely soothes the soul for sure.

  7. Environment and its protection and regeneration is owned by all of us and hence communities need to do their part. What you have described is a wonderful and commendable initiative, we need more and more like these.

  8. Indeed, collectively as a society we can definitely bring changes to our environment which is actually a need of the hour. What a wonderful initiative to make the place more greener 🙂

  9. So true when you work in group and as a community there’s so much that you can achieve which when done alone could have taken you a lot of time. It’s wonderful that all came together and made the place more greener.

  10. Given the high rise and growing population it indeed is imperative to work on ways to protect the environment. We need to collectively come up with ways to make the environment good for the future generations to come.

  11. Community initiatives like these are amazing for the environment! I am glad to read that you took part in one. Would love to read more about this and learn about the progress. Do share before-after pictures if any, I would love to see and learn. Thanks for this positive post! Congratulations to you and the community!

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